It's fun being frightened!
Not, most of the time; but for one night only - Halloween - the darkest, the oddest and the scariest things happen ... if not on your doorstep, then certainly in your street.
Halloween is an inversion ritual: in other words, normal service is suspended and things that usually aren't allowed to happen are positively encouraged - eating lots of sweets just before bed, knocking on strangers' doors, and running round the streets after dark.
Just over a decade ago, consumer spending on Halloween in the UK amounted to £12m, but it is now a £300m+ industry. Retail experts have said that Halloween has shed its reputation as a holiday for children, while franchises such as Harry Potter and Twilight have helped its popularity.
There are a few rules, or Halloween etiquette, to abide by on Halloween though, as much for the safety and comfort of others, as for yourselves:
A well lit home, a burning pumpkin or Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' playing through speakers, is a sure sign that the house is available for treats (or won't mind a trick).
Knock or ring a doorbell only once. If the homeowner is expecting you it will be answered, if no-one comes to the door, move to the next house.
Use kind words after the initial 'Trick or Treat', manners are everything, 'Please, Thank-You and Happy Halloween!'
Be respectful of a homeowners property, don't run and use a path (not the flower beds).
Don't be greedy, a few sweets or a mini bar of chocolate is ample, especially if you are visiting more than one house or street.
Young children should be allowed to go first, don't frighten them, as they will already be gaining enough from the costumes and decorations. Sweets are just a bonus!!
Avoid home-made treats and try to remember that some children have allergies (nut free treats are best).
Most children grow out of 'Trick or Treating' around the age of 13, so if they still turn up in costume it could be their 'last hurrah', let them enjoy it. Also, most houses don't answer their doors after around 8pm, so it may be best to start early!
Remember that some people have very young children or are older and more frail, if a house is in relative darkness, don't knock. It's not because they don't want to join in the festivities, but because it's too much for them or simply that it is way past the children's bedtimes!
With this in mind, have a safe, spooky and Happy Halloween!
Member since: 10th July 2012
I'm Sarah and I live just outside Barnstaple near Umberleigh.
I love sport especially rugby, cricket and golf and want to hear your thoughts on the site and add events and blogs on subjects that interest...
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