Well it is still the 31st of October, and we have survived Halloween in Beetley. Regulars will be all too aware that I do not celebrate Halloween. In fact, I regard it as an American commercial invention, and avoid it, at all costs.
During all the years I lived in London, I had little or no idea about Halloween. For me, it arrived some time around 1990, with people knocking on the door after 6 pm, and asking for ‘Trick or Treat’. I had no treats prepared, and asked them for a trick instead. Some were flummoxed by my reply. Mums with small children called me a ‘meanie’, but older kids just threw eggs at our windows. By the time I was living in Camden, after 2000, older kids would knock up until 10 pm. They did not even bother to dress up, and never said ‘Trick or Treat’. They just wanted cash, which annoyed me even more.
By 2012, we were living here in Beetley. In a neighbourly spirit, we bought in lots of sweets and snacks, expecting better-behaved children to knock on our door on the 31st. But despite hearing them around on the nearby streets after dark, we didn’t get a single ring on the doorbell, or knock on the door. A few days later, we mentioned this to our neighbour. She told us that as we did not have a pumpkin outside, nobody would knock and disturb us. We had never heard of this tradition, but considered it to be admirable.
Since then, we have never put a pumpkin outside, and nobody has bothered us on the 31st. The same thng happened this evening. Despite crowds of noisy children traversing the local streets, nobody came to our door. Just as well, as we had no sweets ready, and Ollie might have barked. For us, this is an excellent way to celebrate Halloween, for those of us that do not want to celebrate it, and take part in the commercial excesses of this corrupted festival. Well done, Beetley.
We survived Halloween, and that made us happy.