By Kath Lambert
Growing up in the U.K. Halloween was very different to how it was portrayed on American television. Yes, kids trick or treated but definitely not to the extent that they do in the US and the costumes have never been as inventive here either. We only ever seem to go for scary here, where as in the US you’ll find anything from cowboys to princesses to aliens, here we have witches and vampires and wolfmen.
As such, and because my mum was a single parent with two other children (one of which has learning difficulties), I never went trick or treating as a child. It wasn’t until I became a teenager and found a school friend, Kelly, who was similarly into all things that go hand in hand with Halloween, scary movies, dressing all in black, dabbling in witchcraft, that I went trick or treating for the first time.
I won’t go into what happened that night but suffice to say that first experience of it was enough to put me off ever doing it again, but to this day I love when trick or treaters come to my house. I’m not a fan of children either so to say that I welcome their presence at my door really tells you how much I love Halloween.
So the main thing that Halloween means to me is something I’ve talked about a lot on my own blog. Movies.
I remember very fondly the first time I watched the big three. And I also remember that mum took issue with me watching Dirty Dancing, fearing the contents of a movie she herself had never viewed, and yet as a horror fan she had no problem with me watching Michael Myers slaughtering his way through a sleepy Haddonfield neighbourhood when I was much too young to watch a movie like that.
I fondly remember watching A Nightmare on Elm Street as mum put the Christmas decorations up one year, and as she needed to get into the corner of the room where the TV was usually situated, I had ended up with my legs slung over the arm of the sofa, almost nose to nose with Mr Kruger.
Jason came later, during a sleepover with Kelly we discovered Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan on TV whilst we were channel hopping, and I quickly devoured the rest of the series. And as crazy as it might sound to anyone who has seen Part 8, which is widely considered to be one of the worst of the series, it remains to this day my favourite Friday.
Earlier this year I even dressed as Mrs Voorhees, the killer in the first Friday 13th, in order to meet two actors who had played Jason, whilst they were at London Film and Comic Con. One of which was the actor from Part 8. Even he was surprised to learn it’s my favourite. But I guess you never forget your first time.
I’m happy to say that an early love of horror movies hasn’t turned me into a raving lunatic as an adult, but it definitely gave me a taste of the kinds of films I would always love watching. Even if I’m now finding them a little scarier in my old age.
Nowadays, my perfect Halloween involves handing treats out to the trick or treaters, sticking Halloween on the telly, and carving a pumpkin. Something else I never did as a child.
That’s what Halloween means to me.
You can read more from Lady K here.