Who are these babies rininging our doorbell and lisping “twick or tweat”.
Around here, where we live in the shadow of Pendle Hill with all its sinister associations, Halloween used to be for grown ups. Off up Pendle the lads and lasses would go on this night to pay their respects to Mother Demdike and celebrate the rites the old Gods (if you know what I mean).
Few drinks in the Wellsprings, the Swan with Two Necks or the Excorcists Arms and off you’d go, climing towards the dark summit. Chances are you would meet a young lady and ask her if she was up for it.
Chances are she would reply, “I was hoping to mate with the Devil and bear his hellish brood but there’s a lot of competition about so OK, you’ll do.”
And because we northerers are well hard (or totally stupid) it would be off with kit for a quick roll in the heather. Now you have to be very stupid or very drunk to get your kit off of a mindight in Lancashire at this time of year but rolling in heather takes a special kind of bravery.
So having celebrated the rite and earned bragging rights it was off back to your local to compare notes with your mates.
And no sweeties or little kiddywinks in sight. Well they had Guy Fawkes night, that was for children, fireworks, treacle toffee, baked potatoes and all that. Fireworks are not politically correct now of course and burning an effigy of a 400 year old conspirator might send out the wrong message about the acceptability of setting fire to tramps.
But I say to hell with political correctness, brink back Guy Fawkes for the kids and let us grown ups have Halloween.