As Halloween approaches, I'm joining the Don't-Trick-Or-Treat-Me band of humbugs. It's not that I object to it on principle, but I do think it should be for the very young - accompanied by parents - rather than adults or teenagers.
I suppose I resist it also because its a borrowed activity rather than a good ol' British tradition. In fact, for us I think it's younger than me - I don't remember doing it at all as a child.
However, there will be plenty of people out and about celebrating Halloween in Richmond this weekend, and I urge you to play nicely and be considerate for others.
Many older people don't like trick or treaters calling - it might have something to do with the darkness and the fact that they're faced with a bunch of strangers dressed as devils and monsters. Who knows who'll be at the door when they open it, often breaking their own rule of not opening the door after dark. It's no wonder many people find the night intimidating. Let's face it, would you want to scare your frail old Nan like that?
Richmond Council have produced posters available to residents to put up in their windows to show they don't wish to be disturbed by trick or treaters, available on 08456 122660.
There will also be additional police patrols out over this coming weekend, so hopefully any anti-social behaviour can be nipped in the bud.
Halloween is traditionally a night to mark the end of the summer and the beginning of winter, when the barrier between life and the Other Realm is at its thinnest - great for letting good spirits through to say hi to their loved ones, but bad spirits often hitch a ride. The tradition of dressing up grew from the living trying to disguise themselves as bad spirits so they'd be left alone.
It seems a little like an oximoron given the origins, but please play nicely this All Hallows Eve: Take Care and Don't Scare.
Have a happy Halloween - Mwah hah hah hah hah!
Silas Van Der Bas
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Silas Van Der Bas is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.