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Friday, 1 November 2013

The Book of Me - Halloween Memories

Halloween was almost a non-event in both my childhood and my daughter’s, as traditions took a long time to cross the Atlantic. 

I can remember, though, a popular children's game we played at Guides in autumn  -  "Apple Dookin"  where we had our hands tied behind our back and had to kneel at a tub of water to try and grab an apple with our mouths without getting wet.  Another version (still with our hands tied)  was to hang apples on a piece of string and again try to get a bite out of them as they swung too and fro.   

Turnips were used to  to create lanterns  as pumpkins were a rarity.   


Witches were always a popular theme  at fancy dress parties throughout the year and my daughter enjoyed reading the "Worst Witch " books.   As for chants - it was  

Double, double toil and trouble;
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
(As proclaimed by the witches  in  Shakespeare's "Macbeth").

Shops here have eventually discovered the commercial opportunity from Halloween  and last week they were full of orange and black wares.  Where I live, houses with young children have luminous skeletons, pumpkins and witch decorations  in their windows.  But all was quiet last night with little  to no activity such as "trick or treat".  Perhaps they were all at the  school Halloween disco - a good excuse to have some fun.   

I came  close to not bothering about this particular topic as I have so few memories  – but what I do love about this time of year are pumpkins! My daughter even gave me a pumpkin candle for my birthday in September.  They are such  lovely,  cheery symbols and I could not stop photographing them when I was on holiday in the USA one autumn. 

This post was prompted by Julie at Anglers' Rest  and  her  series " Book of Me - Written by You", where this week she asks us to write about Halloween.

Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved 
The photographs all show Halloween displays we came across
in New England, around Boston.


  1. What a lovely post, and my mother as well never grew up with Halloween so she did the best she could. But I for sure have made a big deal of it for my children and now they do too! We just have a fun filled family time now!

  2. Beaut photos Sue and lovely memories. We always played the apples games at birthday parties when I was a child - thanks for the memory.

  3. I do like the pumpkin photos, both the cutouts and the vast array. I remember the Apple bobbing game,but not doing it, which makes little sense.


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