Saturday, October 30, 2010

Childhood Memories of Hallowe'en

Arriving home from our begging  the ‘loot’ would be shared with younger children who had not been allowed out. The loot usually comprised loads of molasses candy kisses, apples, home made fudge, black balls, wax lips and bubble gum. Food for the soul!

To have so many apples at once was unbelievable! Just the apples! No concerns about objects being imbedded in any of the treats, no hunt for needle punctures or razor blades. Many of our apples wound up in apple pie or apple sauce and that was wonderful as well.

But on coming home the real fun began for Hallowe’en was a family celebration. Mother and dad would suspend apples from string tied to the clothes line in the kitchen. You had to eat the apple to the core while holding your hands behind your backs. Then you bobbed for apples which were floating in our metal wash tub on a stand in the kitchen…once again with hands behind your backs…..faces dripping wet, every time you tried to bite the apple it would sink!

All this while mother and dad finished off the fudge covered apples on a stick. Home made candy applies! And fudge! I remember one year we had home made toffee. Pulled over a basin of snow … pulled, folded, pulled, folded….just close your eyes and take a 'whiff'...smells of fudge, apples and toffee! I smell them still!

After the children were all in bed some of the adults would venture out to celebrate Hallowe’en. Women usually dressed in men’s miner helmets and big boots; painted their faces with charcoal and lipstick or wore their husband’s long john underwear up the main street in town,. My single aunts would borrow their brother’s long johns and head out for the celebrations. Mother and dad stayed home and enjoyed the antics of the children and the following clean up.

This was also the night the local high school held its ‘club’ initiations and inductees could  be seen on the main street tracing their footsteps with chalk all the way up main street dressed in some outlandish costumes....the boys usually having to dress in a negligee and curlers in their hair; the girls dressed as fellows in underwear.  And by the way that was considered risque!

It was the night local Girl Guides and Boy Scouts held their ‘ghost walks’ where you walked round a table and down corridors in the dark with someone doing witch cackles and hooos and booos in the background. You had to feel the eyeballs (peeled grapes) in a bowl and the ‘guts’ (cooked spaghetti) of some monster and other such revolting objects...memory fails me on the peeled orange sections; I can't recall what they were supposed to be.

If one was lucky enough to be a teenager you could also see a ‘horror’ movie of the time. The most frightening, scaries movies ... nightmare movies!   Sinister, evil characters and plots….starring Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi. Very few graphics if any in these old movies; primarily relying on facial expressions and lighting. Almost always set in dark places, haunted castles and hallways of evil.

“Cuddle movies”! “Nail Biters”! “Cuddle Closer”!.

The girls would scream and cuddle closer to their dates, cover their eyes and the fellows would lap it all up with an ear-to-ear grin! Remember them…depending on the year…Dracula, Son of Dracula, Dracula’s Daughter! House of Frankenstein!. And do you remember Bud Abbot and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein! Scared to Death with Bela Lugosi or The Snake People with Boris Karloff. I don’t have any statistics but I’ll wager the drive-in movies did box office breaking business over Hallowe’en!

Memories built to last a lifetime. To smile and remember still decades later!

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