Let's Talk with Nancy J. Cohen

Let’s Talk about Halloween

October 13, 2016

Happy Halloween Memories

All of us have gathered to share a memory of Halloween, and we hope you’ll also share one of yours in the comments section for a chance to win our custom tote bag.

raven on swing editMy husband is a bored aerospace engineer, so our Halloween season begins in August. He begins scouring the yard sales for odd bits and pieces that he can craft into decorations for our yard. The cloud of bats that streak down our driveway started as bicycle tires and an old motor. The carnivorous trashcan began as a beat-up garbage container and a hydraulic lift. He’s been putting on this show for over twenty years now, and it’s always a hit with the neighborhood kids (and adults – though the grownups don’t find the garden of rubber snakes nearly as awesome as the young folk do).Tina Whittle

Jess_pumpkin1My daughters were born in late October, and my husband was late coming to pick me up from the hospital because he had to stop at the pumpkin patch to buy pumpkins. He enjoyed carving them with the kids over the years, and thanks to kid-friendly carving kits, we could let them design and carve their own pumpkins. The habit “stuck” even as they grew up and moved out. T My “job” was to roast the seeds, although since I was the only one who liked eating them, nobody really cared.Terry Odell

pumpkin-157050__180Pumpkin patches bring back memories of preparing for Halloween. As an adult with a family, I followed the traditions we’d had at home when I grew up. Nothing smells quite like Fall, aside from autumn leaves, than the smell of fresh pumpkin. We’d set newspapers on the kitchen table and carve out the top. Then we’d reach clean hands inside to scoop out the pulp. It was a gooey, squishy mess but also fun. We dumped the pulp into a bowl. Later, we’d separate the seeds, rinse them off, and roast them in the oven. Once the pumpkin was emptied out, we could carve the face. It helped to draw it on first and then cut around the pen marks. I was never very good at this. Then we stuck a candle inside. I can’t conceive how we’d lit the thing. It’s so much easier now with those electronic lights you can use instead. Or better still, buy a fake carved pumpkin and save yourself the work. It’s fun to do the real thing with small kids but not worth the effort once they leave the nest.– Nancy J Cohen

Boo imageBoo! Do you like to be scared? I don’t like to be caught unaware, and I’m often totally absorbed in whatever task I’m doing, thus fair game for the pranksters in my family. The net result is that I’m often quite startled when I notice someone standing beside me. Papers fly. I jump. A scream comes out. But a laugh follows.Maggie Toussaint

Samhain. It’s the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark half of the year. It’s halfway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. The origins of Halloween tie in with this pagan holiday as a time when spirits are said to cross more easily between this realm and the next.

IMAG0061I’ve often wondered why we pass out candy to children on Halloween, and I’m willing to bet a large part of the population doesn’t know. My research shows that on “All Souls Day” (the day before All Saints Day, November 1), children went from house to house singing for “soul cakes” and agreeing to pray for the dead relatives of those people who gave them a cake.

This year, as I continue working on my new series, which focuses more on haunted houses and ghosties and things that go bump in the night, I’m doing tours through the cemeteries as a means of researching those flights of imagination that make us all wonder if, especially on Halloween, those ghosts might find a way to pop up and say hello! Happy Halloween!Karla Brandenburg

jims grandsMy three granddaughters enjoy the costuming part of Halloween in a major way. They don’t much care about the candy part. They have been or will be Annie Lennox, Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasly, A Dr. Who TARDIS, character from Game of Thrones, Rapunzel with a braid of hair long enough to reach the floor, and a Twix bar. Here are three pictures of the girls in costume.James M Jackson

We hope you’ll share a memory or a Halloween like or dislike for a chance at our tote bag. Winner must live in the U.S.

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Posted in Let's Talk, with James M. Jackson, with Karla Brandenburg, with Maggie Toussaint, with Nancy J. Cohen, with Terry Odell, with Tina Whittle, zed: Former Authors • Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |  35 Comments


35 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about Halloween

    1. I loved going around with a gang of kids while I was a child. All the houses were so far apart and we walked the whole way! It was nice to have the moral support and we kinda tried to scare each other as we walked along. What fun!

  1. My mother used to sew our rather elaborate costumes and bake treats for us to visit friends and neighbors. I wasn’t quite so ambitious but we had “Orange Food Night” for Halloween and watched old scary movies and Charlie Brown. Not as much fun now without small children here, although our adult granddaughter loves to decorate and we already have a little zombie lighting up the hallway.

  2. My fave memory is passing out candy with my mom. I didn’t appreciate it back then but I do now.

  3. I love decorating, taking time to carve out my pumpkin… enjoy seeing what costumes the kids come by in… especially the homemade ones… one kid made himself into a Whack-A-Mole game…

    1. I’m with you on the homemade costumes, which usually show a lot of creativity. Whack-a-Mole would be worth a few candy bars to see.

      1. Hayrides were fun as a little kid – a delight of smells of motions. As a teen, it was a chance to sit close to that special someone!

  4. Having 7 kids has given me many memories of pumpkin carving, baking , making costumes and finally trick or treating. Now I enjoy it with the grandkids. Thank you for sharing.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Carol — did the seven share and share alike or was it each child for themselves. There were three of us and I remember being guilted into sharing with my younger sisters because “they can’t stay out as long as you.”

      Of course that’s back when kids could roam on their own without the need for parental escorts.

      1. It’s amazing how things have changed, isn’t it? Now our neighborhood has an online site where you can register your house as one giving out treats for Halloween night.

    2. Carol, you have more than earned your angel wings with seven kids. I’ll bet you were the mom who took everything in stride.

    1. Coming from a low-budget, low-ingenuity household, I was always amazed at what other kids could do with a cardboard box.

  5. We used to do reverse trick-or-treating at my house. My mother would bake plates of divinity, fudge, and peanut butter cookies for us to deliver to the shut-ins in our community. I remember those nights with warmth and delight.

      1. We always got to cut up a pillowcase to be ghosts on Halloween. Looking back, I think my Mom wanted to get new pillowcases each year…

  6. I recently saw a picture from the 1960’s of trick or treaters. Made me smile. All the kids had on the costumes with the full front face. Remember them…2 little holes for the eyes and a mouth/nose hose. I remember being snow white

    1. Oh sure, I remember those two eye holes and an elastic that went around the back of your head to hold it on. It could be quite cold on Halloween and they’s even fit over the hood of a winter coat.

  7. My greatest memories of Halloween is when my dad always helped us dress up as hobos wearing his old clothes and he would do all the makeup too.

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