When I grew up I used to have a recurring dream about witches. I would be hiding under the dining table in my dreams whilst witches circled about me. I wondered if this was the reason my parents never let me go trick or treating as a kid. Had I asked them to check my room for witches under the bed too many times?
I used to plead with my mum to let me go with my friends, but I was always met with the same response and the muttering that it was “some awful American thing.” After a few years I got bored of asking and eventually couldn’t be bothered with it all. Until that is we had children of our own and moved to a cul-de-sac that lent itself to the perfect safe trick or treating environment.
We live on an enclosed cul-de-sac of 96 houses around a huge open green. There is very little traffic and most of the houses are occupied by families or older couples. It is a great little community and everyone pretty much knows everyone. The event of Halloween is a big thing here on the green and the residents committee even goes to the trouble of producing and distributing a poster for people to display in their windows if they would prefer trick or treaters not to call.
This is great for the elderly residents and those who just cant be doing with answering the door every 2 minutes. And it is every 2 minutes. We have up to 30 callers at our door every Halloween from little toddlers to teenagers, who quite frankly should be in the pub. Over the years it has got busier and busier as people have discovered our road and the ease at which they can park, walk round with their children in little more than one hour, and achieve a huge haul of goodies to boot!
My husband and I fight as to whose turn it is to take the children round the green. Given the choice of that or staying in and opening the door umpteen times getting nothing done, I would much rather go with the kids. Mind you it’s always quite amusing answering the door with two nutty beagles dressed in flashing horns, who bark incessantly at all callers to the house and see people throw themselves in to the hedge in fright. Makes me chuckle every time. Much like when Hyacinth Bucket goes to visit her sister Rose and has to walk past the car in the garden with the barking dog in it.
All of the residents who are happy to take part go to great effort on decorating their porches and sinking sweets into buckets of jelly or spaghetti. Everyone is really friendly and it makes for a really good fun evening. Everyone apart from one that is. A few years ago now my two children, probably aged about 7 and 4 along with their little pals were happily going from house to house until they got to a particular house, which will remain numberless.
Unable to reach the doorbell or letter box, the children banged on the door. Can you imagine the horror on their little faces as the door flung open and a cruel wicked nasty old lady boomed at them! “How dare you bang on my door like that!” With eyes wide open as if on stalks, skin pale from shock (and face paint) and eyebrows raised, they stood in silence as she then produced a plate of cakes. Too stunned to even whisper “trick or treat” they all gingerly swiped a cake with a whimper of a thank you and ran, tripping over their broom sticks and cloaks in an effort to escape the Wicked Witch of Westwood Green.
She still lives here on the green and every year it amazes me that for someone so miserable, who takes great pleasure in complaining about everything and being rude to people that she continued to participate in Halloween each year, baking cakes for the children. But last year as we walked around, the children older (and probably capable of reaching the doorbell) we noticed the sign in her window. Looks like the old witch has hung up her broomstick after all.
Have a Happy Halloween wherever you are and remember there are such things as real witches, so don’t forget to check under your beds.
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