Happy All Hallow’s Evening — thus the contraction to Hallowe’en. This is the time when we use humor and ridicule to confront the power of death. The ancient Celts believed that during this liminal time, when darkness overtakes the world (at least in the northern reaches of the northern hemisphere), the spirits can more easily come into our world and are particularly active.
How do you ward off the spirits? What’s your best Halloween memory? Best costume? Or maybe your worst costume fail…
Barb: As everyone probably knows by now, I am not a Halloween lover. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have some happy memories.
Liz: While my Halloween-junkie lifestyle offers many options for the most memorable, I do love dressing up the doggies and taking them to Salem. They are always huge hits, and they love the attention. It’s actually how they ended up with Facebook pages – the first time Shaggy went to Salem when she was Only Dog, people loved her so much they wanted to be able to connect with her again. A woman on the street actually had gave me the idea when she asked if she could find her on Facebook. And a star was born….
And then Finny decided he wanted to get in on the act, so here he is as a pumpkin!
Julie: My sister Kristen has a November 1 birthday, so she usually had Halloween themed parties. I remember one year when my mother made us all wear blindfolds, and then played a witch who handed around ingredients for a brew, including worms (cold spaghetti) and eyes of newt (peeled grapes). It was great. I also remember being little little, and having a nightgown that doubled as my Halloween costume. I was an angel, natch. As an adult, I loved my nieces’ first Halloween. They were 11 months old, and we got them little fleece outfits–one was a giraffe, the other was a tiger. I still smile when I see the picture. PS, I love that Liz takes the dogs to Salem.
Edith: I love, love, love Hallowe’en. Love costumes – anybody who has seen me at Crime Bake banquets knows that. And I used to host an annual Halloween party, but haven’t in years. I sewed whatever costume my sons wanted every year, starting with Allan at age four saying he wanted to be a red-winged blackbird. Done. John David wanted to go as Aladdin? No problem. (If only I could easily find those pictures…) The last party I went to, hosted by a Quaker friend, had a prom theme. Loved putting on my black wig, my glasses from eighth grade, white gloves, and a plastic corsage. Why, yes, the wig and glasses do get repurposed quite often (see Crime Bake photo).Take that, dark spirits.
Jessie: My beloved sister and I have built a Halloween tradition that I treasure. She only lives a few miles from me but her home is out in the country. I live in a tiny village custom made for trick-or-treating. Every year she brings her children and a pot of soup and some sort of bread to my house. I make more soup and bread and provide my own batch of kids. Our husbands accompany all the cousins out trick or treating and my sister and I pass out candy and visit with each other. When our cold and tired wanderers return home we make sure they warm up with some hot soup before they begin evaluating their loot and haggling with each other over trades.
Sherry: I love getting dressed up too. Some of our best Halloweens were while we lived on Air Force Bases. A bunch of us would sit outside — perhaps with a glass of wine — and the kids just kept coming and coming. It was like a parade. I remember one unsuspecting general, whose wife was out of town, didn’t know how many kids would show up. He handed out all the candy, turned to cans of soda and finally cans of soup until he finally gave up and turned off his light.