I am not a great fan of Hallowe’en. Over my lifetime it has passed from bobbing apples and apples on string through trick or treating and ghosts to an emphasis on horror.

Marl Pits held the ‘run of the living dead’ on Sat 26th Oct in which people paid £50 for the privilege of running 5k through the mud whilst avoiding zombie challenges and men in military uniform bearing replica guns. I run up there most days for free for the privilege of being chased by the odd cow… Sadly the organisers didn’t ensure that non-participating families didn’t meet any zombies inadvertently or clean up after themselves afterwards. Ah well.

The Red Lion in Higher Cloughfold held its first children’s hallowe’en party on 31st Oct with what must surely be the most pathetic ghosts ever:

red lion day thumbnail

and they didn’t look much better at night either.

red lion night thumbnail

There is a lot of misconception about hallowe’en. It has no pagan origins and was not associated with spirits, ghosts or witches until modern times - mainly last century. These misconceptions are explained in this article from BBC History. Another good description is given in ‘Stations of the Sun’ by Ronald Hutton, himself a pagan but debunking a lot of the ‘pagan prehistory’ myths of hallowe’en and other rituals.

A more positive alternative is offered by one of the churches which puts on a fun party for children without a zombie in sight.