Sunday, 4 October 2015

Halloween Then. And Now.

Halloween is like a thing now. When I was a kid? It was a thing. But like a really crap thing? It was more aimed at teens that would come and knock on your door and your Mum would have to scrabble around for a Mars Bar and shove it in whatever Kwik Save bag they were holding. I quite miss crap Halloween. So here is what it was like then. Compared to now.

Well you didn't have them. It's not like now when you go into supermarkets and buy your child the most adorable bride of Dracula tutu or dress your little boy up as an intricate pirate ghost. No we had masks. And probably a choice of three. In fact I can only really remember one. A witches one. It was made out of the cheapest plastic humanly possible and if the mask itself didn't crack and tear your face to shreds? The elastic band would destroy your thin kid hair. I am sad my children will never know the pain of Halloween

Top row. Second from the left. My only ever Halloween outfit of choice!

Bin Bags
Who needs to pay £15 for a dead nice outfit when you can just get your Mum to fashion ANYTHING out of a black plastic bag? It can be a witches cape, or a vampires cape or a...mmmmm...well we only ever dressed up as witches and vampires. Unless your Mum was dead generous and you were allowed to draw on a white sheet and be a ghost. That however NEVER happened in my household (#stillresentful).

Yep. This is all we had to work with.

Halloween Idols
Now your little ones can watch Shrek Halloween specials. Or pop to the flicks and watch Hotel Transylvania. We had? Grotbags. That was it. If YouTube was invented in the 1980s? Any Halloween make up tutorials would be based on 'How To Make Yourself Look Like Grotbags'. Also known as 'buy the cheapest green face paint, cover your whole face in it, and then wear a bin bag'. BOOM! Look achieved.

I am not entirely sure I ever actually saw a real pumpkin when I was a child? I certainly didn't carve one. I remember watching Beverly Hills 90210 and thinking "God Halloween IS SO COOL in America". And then looking at my one cardboard decoration that had hastily been shoved up and wishing desperately I was a USA teen.


Trick Or Treating
In the 80's things were different. And by things were different I mean we felt no fear. As a small child it would be perfectly OK to go and roam the streets. Not only asking strangers for sweets but then if they didn't give you any? You would play a trick on the f*ckers. I would NEVER let my kids do this. Trick Or Treating will take place in my own house and any trick will involve them maybe sticking their tongue out and apologising profusely directly afterwards.

At the end of the evening you would look at your Trick Or Treating loot and it would be whatever random crap was lying around your neighbours house. There would be no pumpkin encrusted Haribo, or a lolly in the shape of a ghost. There may have been a Kit Kat or perhaps a Marathon or some Opal Fruits. That was it. But you felt great. Even though you had a cut the length of your cheek where your witch mask had split, your hands were going to be green for a week from your Grotbags facepaint and your Mum was screaming something about her best sheet...happy days.

Photo Credits:,


  1. Lol yes that mask!!!!! I fondly remember my mum making me a witches outfit out of a black bin liner, there might even be photographic evidence on facebook. I've always loved halloween but its totally different nowadays isn't it. We've just got back from florida and they do halloween to the max over there, the shops were full of amazing Halloween costumes and decorations! x

    1. Oh god I bet it is amazing in the USA! I am so jel of you seeing that! x

  2. Dear God, Grotbags. I was terrified of that old hag as a child! Totally agree that it's changed a lot since my youth. I have fond memories of the sweaty witch's mask and those weird, plastic finger extensions. And of course anything was possible with a bin bag x

  3. I only did Halloween celebrating once as a child, at an age between 5 and 9 but I was given a white sheet cos my mom could not be doing with face paint and masks. And sheets were shit let me tell you cos if it moved as you walked (which it obviously did) you couldn't see out of the eye holes any more and also you kept tripping over it. But that one and only time I 'did' Halloween is etched on my memory, such was the awesomeness of it. My kids need to have an 80s throwback year one year...

    1. That sounds amazing!!! I want a Halloween like that!! x

  4. Things have certainly changed since I was my kids age (12 & 13) but I don't believe all of the changes are for the good. We seem to have taken on a large number of American commercial 'holidays' and traditions such as Halloween, elf on the shelf & proms.

    Seems too many celebrations were parents are pitched against each other to see who can win best parent competion by splashing the most cash


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