Thursday 30 October 2008

Trick Or Treat? Humbug!!

I was going to post a short work of fiction, a scary tale in preparation for Hallowe’en – but then I thought to myself, why?

I hate Hallowe’en. I hate it with a passion.

Now I don’t want to sound like a killjoy here, or somebody who hates kids having fun, but I really wish that we would just leave the Americans to celebrate this day.

The holiday has taken off in recent years in the United Kingdom, to the point where our shops are now full of scary paraphernalia such as witch costumes, lanterns, pumpkins, monster outfits, pumpkins, vampire outfits, face paint, pumpkins, fake blood, more pumpkins, more bloody pumpkins and finally even more pumpkins.

As a fan of ghost stories, horror novels and horror films, I am all for sitting in a candlelit room, telling scary tales or watching terrifying movies on the box.

What I positively hate is the commercialism that surrounds it.

Tomorrow night is going to be a nightmare, and not because it is scary. Our streets will be full of kids dressed as vampires and monsters, roaming round with bored parents in tow, begging for sweets with the threat of punishment if you fail to hand over the chocolate bars. If I stay in I will be subjected to a knock on the door approximately every ten seconds for the entire evening. If I am stupid enough to answer it I will see five year old children dressing up as vampires and ghouls saying “Trick Or Treat”. I will then say “Go away” and find my house covered in eggs the following morning.

Why do kids dress up as monsters anyway? Most are too young to watch films containing vampires and witches. I remember as an eleven year old kid pestering my dad to allow me to watch a horror film. I must have been a real pain in arse because he finally gave in and allowed me to watch “Dracula” starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. I was so excited I almost peed my pyjamas. I watched the film and then peed my pyjamas. I have never been so scared in my entire life. I spoke with a stammer for ten weeks. I didn’t get a wink of sleep for an entire month. I quite literally avoided cemeteries for ten years. My dad certainly taught me a lesson. He asked me about a month later if I wanted to watch “Dracula Has Risen From The Grave”.

“Has he risen from the grave?” I stammered. “Yes,” he replied. I spent the next fortnight under the duvet with a crucifix, a torch and a telephone directory trying to find the number for Professor Van Helsing.

So why do kids dress up as creatures they would be terrified of? Why do we do have this ritual? Who bloody started it? Businessmen who want to exploit people, that’s who. It is far too commercial and yet another way to extract cash from my pocket for a meaningless purpose (other than to make them rich).

I don’t mind it being celebrated in America or Canada, where it has been traditional for decades. But in the UK it should stop forthwith.

When I am President of The United Kingdom I will ban this holiday immediately. Anybody who opposes me will be locked into a crypt in the most haunted cemetery in England. If people want blood-curdling terror, I will show endless repeats of the Vanessa Feltz Show on TV.

In fact, that’s a thought. Given some of the shows and celebrities in England, if you want to scare the children just let them watch any TV show with Jeremy Kyle, Trinny and Susannah, Bonnie Langford, Anthony Worrell-Thompson, Gillian McKeith, Jamie Oliver or Tim Westwood. That should give them sleepless nights for months.

Hallowe’en! What a royal pain in the buttocks! Dracula would turn in his grave. So would Frankenstein’s Monster. I’m sure that Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and all other evil entities escape to avoid the legions of children roaming the streets. It must scare them to death.

I’m glad that’s off my chest. I’m now off back to my coffin for a well earned rest before rampaging through the streets of Manchester with my vampire friends in search of adults hiding in their homes.

Or maybe I’ll just hide in the pub.


Anonymous said...

My parents let me stay up to watch a Vincent Price movie when I was about 10. It scared me so bad I hid under the covers and just about perspired to death as I was too afraid to come out. Peeing in your pants! That's too funny! Anyways, good post as usual...please refrain from harming any little ones!

Plastic Mancunian said...

I think I'll just hide upstairs.




Alison said...

can I can point out please that Hallowe'en is an ancient CELTIC ceremony and has nothing, at all, to do with America. The only part they added were the words Trick or Treat, and the tradition of egging or toilet papering. Celts have, for hundreds of years, been guising (getting dressed up as ghosts etc) and going door to door saying "The sky is blue the grass is green, are ye daeing Hallowe'en?" then performing a joke, or a dance or etc and receiving chocolate (sweeties) in repayment, or sometimes money.

Celts have been dooking for apples and celebrating Hallowe'en since long, long before the USA existed. If you have Celtic ancestors and choose to celebrate Hallowe'en you can enjoy yourself safe in the knowledge that you are carrying on a tradition long enjoyed by your forebears.

Perhaps the English missed out, cannot speak for them, but I do know the Celtic tradition of Hallowe'en is still strong in Scotland. Happy guising.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Alison,

Thanks for that information.

Maybe you are right - maybe England did miss out. I certainly don't recall "Trick or Treat" being so popular when I was a child.

The truth is I object to the commercialisation and Americanisation of it all. I suppose it is a bit of fun for the kids but its just not for me.

Sorry ...