My happy 70s Halloween


As I help organise a community Halloween party for the local kids (don’t ask!) and prepare to go to my first adult fancy dress party since Uni, I can’t help thinking things were easier when I was little. In the late 70s, Halloween wasn’t a big deal, it was an America tradition that we learned about from films (without Halloween how would ET have escaped?). We got involved but like all things 70s it was a bit homemade and so much simpler.

Shout if you remember:

Homemade costumes – witches hats were made of cardboard (the lucky few bought one from Woolies but it was still cardboard – black with orange stars) and capes were bin bags with silver stars stuck on!

Trick or treating involved telling jokes or showing some joke shop poo to your elderly neighbour who wasn’t quite sure what was going on

Your mum bought one bag of fun size Mars bars and even after all the trick or treaters had been there were loads left

Pumpkins were hard to come by so your dad used a selection of power tools to hollow out a turnip. Once a candle was stuck inside it had a peculiar smell you could never forget

Scary viewing was Scooby Doo and a Paul Daniels magic special. Does anyone else remember the one when he pretended an illusion had gone wrong and he’d met his maker live on TV?

Apple bobbing was done in that bucket kept under the sink. The only other time you saw it when you were off school with the sick bug so the whole experience had a faint whiff of bleach about it

Having kids makes you nostalgic but as the supermarket shelves get ever fully with plastic witches, special sweet collection buckets and face paints I keep wishing I could reach for the bin bags and just make it all a bit more straight forward!


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