The Kids hold a Pre-Hallowe’en General Meeting, to discuss what they’ll be doing on the night. This is Ireland after all, and Jenny is the only native Irish kid, so she knows the score.



When I lived in Scotland up until 1977, when I was 9, and before I moved to Ireland I loved ‘Guising’ every Hallowe’en. We might learn a special song to sing on people’s doorsteps, like Hallowe’en’s Coming That was terrific fun. We might have heard of ‘Trick or Treat‘, but we didn’t do it – and probably had no idea what it meant or how to do it anyway – even if we had seen US TV shows, like Scooby Doo. The absolutely expected element of performance made it all the more exciting for us, and the treats that the householders gave you were always well earned.


Above: Hallowe’ens Coming song. The one we sang was a bit like this


One Hallowe’en, aged 8 or 9, I went as a headless… someone or other. My dad’s white short was buttoned on top of my head. And a bright red hankie hid the top of my head, and also simulated a bloody neck stump! I then carried our old polystyrene hairdresser’s head under my arm. This was painted by me at various times as a Spock or Dracula head, among other things. I must have peeked out of the front of the shirt, between buttons. I think I drew it in my school jotter! When I find it, I’ll give you a look. So stay posted, gang!

A bit more about Hallowe’en in Scotland



Skeleton Dance!



On another occasion, Alan B‘s mum did a brilliant thing for us! She went into Perth town and bought the necessary art supplies to make two, articulated cardboard skeletons! Not only were they articulated but she painted them with luminous paint! Alan and I went into each house that we visited that Hallowe’en night, carefully held the skeletons over their sitting room lamp, requested that the light be turned off – and danced our skeletons about – glowing in the dark – as we sang the Hallowe’en song! Wasn’t she great to do that for us?


It’s Bad Luck!


neep lanterns

Above: This is what ‘Neep Lanterns’ usually look like from Wade MacMorrighan’s page



One Hallowe’en, we went out on a Sunday. Do you know, that was supposed to be bad luck in Scotland? Did it stop us? Did it heck. Hallowe’en is no time for superstitious nonsense! I hope you sleep well after seeing the next image 😉


neep-lantern terrifying

Above: But here’s a more terrifying one on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland



** Stay Groovy, all you 1970s kids! **

– John White

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