Oh Halloween, You’ve Changed!


This week we’re really enjoying the build up to Halloween. There are two pumpkins in the garden waiting to be carved, we have several pumpkin decorations dotted around the house and there’s a brand spanking new wizard outfit hanging in the little mans wardrobe.

This is all a far cry from the Halloweens I remember as a kid:

My costume for trick or treating consisted of a black bin bag with two holes cut in it for the arms,  no fancy witches dress for me. If I was lucky I got a plastic witches hat with a bit of green and black “hair” that had been stapled to the back.

There were no pumpkins to be carved. My dad would hollow out a turnip, stick a candle in it and then attach a bit of string. Yes, it looked as ridiculous as it sounds but we didn’t know any different.

When we get trick or treaters knocking on our door there is always a selection of responsible adults loitering at the bottom of the drive. I don’t really remember any adults coming with us, I think they were glad of an hours peace and quiet getting us out of the house. Having a big brother who’s 2 years older than you counts as a chaperone, right?

There were no little buckets to collect your treats in. I carried home my stash of sweets in an Asda carrier bag.

People actually used to say trick, and then you would stand there looking awkward for what felt like an eternity thinking of something to do. Come on, you know we’re only here for the chocolate!

I fully admire the teenagers who come trick or treating today.  To be fair they’ve made an effort with their costumes and full on scary make up.  I’m slightly ashamed that when I was 14 trick or treating consisted of a fairly crap mask and hoping for money much more than chocolate!

I will be getting excited on Friday, decorating the house and putting my carved pumpkin outside the front door whilst at the same time remembering that back in the 80’s I was celebrating Halloween by wandering the streets, dressed in a bin bag with a lit up turnip for company.


Happy Halloween!

Post Comment Love


  1. Mummy's Blog
    October 29, 2014 / 2:39 am

    haha, so funny I was talking with my mam yesterday about our bin bag costumes and our hollowed out turnips! You must have been posh with your plastic witch hat, ours were cardboard and they had been used for so many years in a row they were covered in sticky tape! Happy Halloween! x
    Mummy’s Blog recently posted…Baby Bear’s 7 month updateMy Profile

  2. Beth Twinderelmo
    October 29, 2014 / 6:33 am

    I can’t get my head around all these carving templates – what’s wrong with a wonky mouth and triangle eyes?!? Not a Kardashian face or Elsa from frozen!!!
    Beth Twinderelmo recently posted…Wicked Wednesdays #14My Profile

  3. October 29, 2014 / 7:21 am

    Haha you’re right our poor parents definitely had to use a lot more imagination for Halloween costumes (any costumes actually) as store bought ones just didn’t exist!! There are some truly amazing Halloween costumes available now for kids. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the old black bin bag witches get up though!! X
    Seychellesmama recently posted…Ice cream! {Wicked Wednesdays}My Profile

  4. Potty Mouthed Mummy
    October 29, 2014 / 10:44 am

    It has changed a lot since “our” time. I really love it, it’s always been one of my favourite days so I am glad it’s getting bigger here so H can appreciate it all. I was never allowed to go trick or treating as a child so perhaps I am trying to live vicariously through him ha ha xx
    Potty Mouthed Mummy recently posted…No More Daily MailMy Profile

  5. My Family Ties
    October 29, 2014 / 11:26 am

    You are bang on there! My childhood Halloween nights were not as grand as they are today! I love the turnip idea of your dad’s – I will have to try it out! #Sharewithme
    My Family Ties recently posted…Halloween Tricks and Treats – My Family TiesMy Profile

  6. October 29, 2014 / 11:49 am

    I’m quite shocked by some of the costumes popping up on instagram this week! It really has taken over this Halloween thing, hasn’t it? My parents were very ‘anti’ halloween so i’ve always been the same with my kids. I will always provide sweets for the brave trick or treaters but don’t encourage my kids to join in.
    Suzanne3childrenandit recently posted…LightMy Profile

  7. Moderndadpages
    October 29, 2014 / 11:59 am

    Well that made me think back… I was usually a ghost… a white sheet with 2 holes for eyes so I could see! lol Things sure are different now. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  8. lifeatthelittlewood
    October 29, 2014 / 12:35 pm

    Haha! This is so funny Jo, as I’ve literally just written in a post about bin-liner costumes when we were wee! Clearly it was happening all over the UK! 🙂 Times are definitely different now – I forked out £40 in Sainsbury’s the other day for three costumes. What’s that all about?!! Great post lovely xx

  9. October 29, 2014 / 1:21 pm

    It has changed a lot. Much more elaborate than I remember. We still try to keep it simple, but even then it feels like a lot! #sharewithme
    normaleverydaylifeblog recently posted…Makeup? Help!!My Profile

  10. Shona
    October 29, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    We were Turnip lantern folks here, I don’t think I carved a pumpkin until I was at work when I was in my late teens. I don’t think I will be hollowing a turnip for Molly tho.
    We never went Guising and I don’t think Molly will get to either. We dooked for apples and maybe tried to eat donuts on a string,

  11. October 29, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    I’ve never heard of a turnip being used, that really tickled me! Have definitely been a bin bag witch before though! Well done on getting on Mumsnet front page too! x
    Jess Paterson recently posted…Are You Too Polite To Trick or Treat?My Profile

  12. Louisa
    October 29, 2014 / 6:43 pm

    I remember when Halloween was a total non event when I was little. It’s taken me a while to come around to it but I’m glad it’s changed now #sharewithme
    Louisa recently posted…Pumpkin week at Hatton Adventure WorldMy Profile

  13. October 29, 2014 / 8:13 pm

    Oh yes! I remember those crappy black plastic witches hats! I once dressed up as the devil by wearing a pair of my mum’s bright red ‘smart’ trousers with a red jumper and painting my entire face with scarlet lipstick! A bit of backcombing of the hair finished off the look (this must have been the era of The Lifes and Loves of a She-Devil I think!). 🙂 There is a ridiculous amount of Halloween merchandise these days I have to agree. I’ve never carved a pumpkin in my life but there are currently two sitting in the boot of my car and I’m not quite sure what to do with them! X #sharewithme
    Sam recently posted…Wicked Wednesdays – dead funnyMy Profile

  14. October 30, 2014 / 12:51 pm

    He,he, Halloween has indeed changed!! I never had a turnip but I certainly made use of a bin bag. The bin bag also came in handy when I wanted to fly a kite and my mum would tie a bit of string to it. Voila! x
    Laura Evelyn Bee recently posted…Oh, hi Mrs Beckham!My Profile

  15. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    October 30, 2014 / 3:35 pm

    A nice read! I came from a country that doesnt celebrate Halloween at all. Now the kids there are starting some tradition. Nice to read how things were here =) #sharewithme
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…HomeMy Profile

  16. Tarana Khan
    October 31, 2014 / 12:40 pm

    How things change! Halloween is such a big thing now with all the fancy costumes and decor. #pocolo

  17. Wicked World of Lucas
    October 31, 2014 / 4:52 pm

    Wow – you’ve just described my Halloween as a kid too. We thought we’d stepped up a notch when mum brought a gold and silver pen to draw on the bin bags with. The highlight was apple bobbing with my dad though. Great post #pocolo

  18. kidGLloves
    October 31, 2014 / 4:54 pm

    Lucas says – You’ve just made the Mother misty eyed with your memories. She remembers all of this, especially the hat with the green and black hair. She’s gonna be all sentimental now tonight and she’s probably gonna want hugs now………………
    The Mother says – I loved reading your post – it brought back fab memories for me 🙂 #pocolo
    kidGLloves recently posted…Dear Lucas: Confusing Medical IssuesMy Profile

  19. Jenny
    October 31, 2014 / 9:55 pm

    Hahha I love this so much so because it was my own childhood memories there too. Trash bag and grocery bag in tow too! lol I can’t believe in england you ever got money instead of candy. That’s not halloween that’s robbery. hahaha We don’t do that back home I would go broke here. My house has way too many trick or treaters we have to hide in the end. It has really changed though hasn’t it? Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Halloween Edition: Me & Mine {October}My Profile

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