Friday, 31 October 2014

Why I hate Halloween

Please skip on to the next blog in your reading list if the title of this post offends you.

Skip on if you don't want to read through what may end up being a wordy post with no pictures.

I won't mind.

I was talking to someone earlier today about why I hate Halloween and got called a grumpy old woman. I laughed it off but it's been playing on my mind.

My experience where I live of Halloween is that children I don't know at all turn up on my doorstep expecting me to provide them with something. Sometimes these are little children accompanied by an adult, sometimes this can be a group of teenagers on their own, not even dressed up.

I live alone. I don't put any decorations outside my house to indicate that this is welcome. I have over the years resorted to turning off all the lights in rooms at the front of the house and sitting in the back. They still ring the doorbell.

For me, with my life experiences I can find it odd that adults are teaching kids to approach and beg from complete strangers, I can also find it intimidating and threatening.

A year and a week ago a woman was attacked on my doorstep by a complete stranger who threatened to kill her. Eventfully I was able to get her inside my house and the police did catch him. For months I was really distressed and jumped ever time the doorbell rang. As you can imagine, Halloween then was really upsetting so close to the attack.

This year, the whole thing makes me angry. I'm angry that my choice not to participate is disrespected by people. I'm angry that for this night I feel I can't live as I want to in my own home. I'm angry that I am mocked for this, that my I feeling unsafe with strangers coming to the door is mocked. Those feelings are not just based on what happened last year but are a product of a childhood of abusive relationships.

So for anyone still reading, if you find yourself calling someone a killjoy for not wanting to get involved I hope you will stop for a moment and think that they have that right. There may be a great deal going on for them that you don't know about.

And yes, this was a wordy post, I did warn you at the beginning.

13 comments:

Lynz said...

Dude, I agree with your opinion (and your right to it!) 100%. I am quite lucky that the kid has only gone guising (trick or treating) once so I was saved any massive mental conflict. She didn't care for it herself. And I had my lights off tonight! And I have no reasons like you do for being anxious of strangers at my door - I have just always found the door to door thing odd. And I LOVE Halloween!!!

Judith, Belfast said...

I hate Hallowe'en too, for lots of reasons! You are entitled! Jxo

Saira p said...

Dear Shevvy, I felt I needed to comment (and I am not a regular 'commentator??'). I totally agree that residents should not be harassed in their homes, and not be criticised for wanting their peace and privacy. I live in Watford and have suffered from 'yoof' taking advantage of what to them seems like a night off from obeying normal rules and codes of behaviour. Ignoring the doorbell and cleaning the eggs off the front door the next day would still be preferable to handing the little darlings treats. Hope your night was OK and perhaps you managed a little sewing to keep your mind occupied.

Leanne said...

I sure hope your evening was ok in the end. We have almost no kids who stop by so it is not an issue, but I don't much like it either. The woman on your door sounds so scary, I am so glad you were able to help her, and you too be safe.

Pippa Parsons said...

I love decorating and dressing up for Halloween and we took the kids trick or treating this year but only to people we know. One house with new people opened their door and called the kid's over for sweets my mum in UK had over 40 kids !!! She had her lights on, put some makeup on and had pumpkins and stuff out front so people knew she was open to it, my bro though had his lights off. I totally understand and appreciate your post and if I was in your shoes would feel the same, hope this year was easier than last x

Shay said...

Halloween is creeping in over here and I capitulated this year but only after the fact and only at home.

It does seem odd to me that in this day and age with all sorts of weird people out there people are happy to go bang on doors and accept candy from strangers...

Marg said...

Totally agree. Last year we hid at the back of the house and turned the lights off, it annoyed me that we had to do that. I don't understand why kids go to every house, as it's not big in Australia. If a house has Halloween decorations that are visible then there's probably a good chance that the occupants would welcome trick or treaters.
When Emma was younger we had Halloween parties at home. Invited friends over, dressed up and served up ghoulish treats. No one ever went trick or treating around the neighbourhood.

moira said...

I'm a lights off, ignore the doorbell kind of girl too. I respect those who choose to keep the lights on and expect the same in return. Hugs x

thea said...

I'm not a big Halloween fan but I think my kids loved the begging part -- though I didn't let them do it until they were older. We used to go to a party on Halloween...

pennydog said...

You're completely within your right to it, it's a stupid idea for a holiday anyway! There were literally 60 or so kids around our housing estate this year. I made no attempt to hide from them but the weirdest thing happened- only the man delivering my Indian take away knocked on the door. They are being told in school now to only knock on the doors of those that have "dressed" their houses. It seems to be working! Soon those "no trick or treaters" signs will be a thing of the past.

Gisella said...

Hi Shevvy,
I am so sorry to hear of your awful experience, that must have been absolutely terrifying!

People speak so often without considering that people see things differently because of what they experienced or lived through. Everyone needs to respect your wish to not get involved in Halloween. This is most definitely not obligatory, and no-one can expect anything. If you don't want to take part then you don't. You don't even need a reason.

I hope that in future years you could perhaps plan ahead and have someone over for company to wait things out - make a 'feature out of a bug' type of approach: have a cosy and comfy evening in - most definitely without answering the door!

And again, I am so sorry about the horrible experience you had to go through. I am so glad you didn't get hurt. All the best and much love.

poshpiggy said...

i hate halloween too - well done on speaking up about it too. I live in a dodgy end of London and I don't feel comfortable opening my door to anyone let alone on Halloween! also I was brought up in quite a strict religious home and we didn't celebrate it (nor was it "vogue" when I was younger) so I don't feel like I'm missing out. On Friday I ended up turning off all the lights hiding, and then actually just decided to leave the house and hide in the gym to avoid the situation all togehter - you are totally right we shouldn't have to feel like that in our own homes! sorry to hear about the horrific event at your home last year, and I'm glad that you are safe and you have recovered from it. love Grace xx

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