We don’t do Halloween in this house because it’s not a New Zealand “tradition”. We see it as simply another import from America designed to make money for retailers and a way for kids to torment their parents. Yes, I’m not afraid to admit it, I am the Grinch of Halloween.
I have experienced Halloween in the US and the novelty made it fun especially as, say, your supermarket checkout operator was a witch or a pumpkin or somesuch. The friends we were staying with had no children but bought in bags of “candy” to pass out to those who came knocking. I asked one kid what he was dressed as – his reply made no sense to me, yet he was looking at me as if I was from Mars! Someone had to explain what a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was. I fear I’m just as out-of-touch with today’s cartoon favourites.
the face in the pumpkin
winks at me
– Tracy Davidson (UK), A Hundred Gourds 2:1, 2012
If you’ve ever read any of Ed McBain’s 87th precinct books that are set around Halloween, you’ll know of the nasty “tricks” his cops have to deal with on All Hallows Eve. Many churches in New Zealand now offer Light Parties on October 31 to counteract the “negative” side of Halloween.
Halloween party —
after a few drinks
the masks come off
– David Grayson (US), Frogpond XXVIII:3, 2004
parked in our place
– Helen Buckingham (UK), A Hundred Gourds 1:3, 2012
All Souls’ Eve –
tipping the spirit level
this way & that
– Sandra Simpson (NZ), A Hundred Gourds 3.2, 2014