Halloween: To Scare or Not To Scare

Halloween is not really celebrated in the UK as much.  I have noticed that it does seem to be getting bigger every year.  We have even noticed the craft shops are finally getting Halloween stuff in.  There are always fancy-dress outfits in the shops and obviously the horror films on the television.  I personally feel that the old black and white horror films have a lot more atmosphere about them than just the blood thirsty slasher horror films.  Still always good for a fright.

When I was a child, the first memory I have of a Halloween party, I think I was around 5ish and we were at my nans caravan in Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppy and the club house was having a fancy dress party.  Obviously, we didn’t have any costumes, so mum bought me and my brother a mask each and a black plastic witches’ hat with green and black hair attached to give us the effect of being a witch.  The rest of the outfit was a black bin bag with holes cut in for the arms and head to go through.  It was cheap and did the trick perfectly and I felt like I was the scariest witch around. 

How many of you dressed this way?  These were fun times.  There was also a school Halloween disco and we dressed up (I wore the same thing) and we bobbed for apples and danced to songs like, The Monster Mash and Thriller.  We didn’t really do the whole Trick or Treat thing.  After that the next time for me would be when I was much older.  Falling in love with the Gothic genre, Halloween was a natural time to be myself.  I had already dyed my natural blonde hair black when I was 25 and I certainly felt more comfortable in myself.

Halloween wasn’t just another day, it lasted for at least a week or so, well it did when I was working in the pubs and clubs in the evenings.  One particular club, Charlie Chans in Walthamstow became The Crypt or The Haunted Mansion. 

It took over a week for the transformation and for four nights we got to celebrate Halloween.  It didn’t matter if we were working but four nights to me meant four different outfits.  Didn’t cost me much, I just looked through my gothic clothing and I had the perfect outfits.  They just needed some accessories and I was all set. From a witch/Elvira, to a witch’s cat, to a female phantom of the opera or my take on it, to Medusa.

When you open the front door to trick or treater and you are dressed ready for work in one of your many costumes and your make up is perfect for that evening, they scream and run off, you know you have succeeded.  I did have a giggle or should I say a cackle all to myself.

So, in the words of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, ‘Unpleasant Dreams’.


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