Halloween Treats

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: The Imaginarium
Halloween treats are big business here! An essay for the Imaginarium creative writing prompt.

Submitted: October 11, 2016

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Submitted: October 11, 2016

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Halloween Treats

Halloween is big business here in Ireland. You only have to walk into most shops from the end of August to see that. Racks of children’s costumes, shelves full of decorations, novelties and toys. And don’t forget those masks – there are lots and lots of them.

But one thing that has increased dramatically over the last decade is the range of specially produced treats. There are the bags of jelly sweets, shaped like pumpkins, ghosts, skulls etc. And there are even ones of ‘body bits.’ There are piles of bags of treat-sized packets, just right to keep for the ‘trick or treat’ers. There are special packs of of savoury snacks too.

Pumpkins are everywhere. There are big ones, medium ones, tiny ones; fresh ones and ones made from plastic. There are ones that light up, ones that play a tune. There are skeletons, monsters and witches galore. Then we have the more traditional fare; the toffee apples, the monkey nuts, and don’t forget the barm brack. For those not familiar with this it is a fruit bread that has a ring placed inside it – an old custom, this!

The funny thing is that there do not actually seem to be many children out on the night of Halloween, not that I blame them these days. I can only presume that all this is produced for private parties now. I do pass some houses that are displaying pumpkins on their walls, scaring off the evil spirits and those that have crossed over from the faerie realm.

It gets quite a bit of attention in the National schools, those that children attend until they are 12 or 13 years old. The schools are closed for the actual day as it always seems to fall during half-term. In the weeks running up to it there are poems and stories written and read, pictures drawn and coloured. And there is a Halloween party usually on the last day before the holiday.

The children take costumes to change in to and then they have a party. Bobbing for apples is alive and well here. But that is something that many children do not seem to enjoy at all. Ducking down over a bowl of water to pick up an apple with your teeth would have limited appeal, I guess.

Even the book shops get in on the act with window displays consisting of suitably scary publications. If you are after a children’s book about witches or ghosts now is the time to shop for it. You’ll never get a better choice. And even the adult selections contain more than their usual share of horror stories.

I sometimes think that the ‘trick’ is actually being played on the stores though, because at the start of November there is a mass of stock left that no one really wants any more. The only way to move the stuff is with very hefty price reductions or a lot of allocated space in the stock room.

 

 

500 words.


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