Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread is a bit self indulgent, so apologies in advance for that.

I've always been a Halloween nut, I absolutely love it.....or at least I absolutely love the idea of it. I was thinking just yesterday about past Halloween experiences, and it occurred to me that in terms of Halloween experiences I've actually done very little. I remember sitting with my granddad in our garden, watching a bonfire when I was about 6 years old, we cooked sausages and scanned the sky for witches on broomsticks, the lights from my parents house were only metres away but it might as well have been 100 miles. Ever since then I've had the Halloween bug.

Six years ago Mrs Beagle I moved to an idyllic cottage in the countryside, at this time of year it's quite creepy and has a wonderful atmosphere. The downside is we have no neighbours, and visitors tend to be few and far between, so whilst the house looks great when decorated in Halloween props, there's no-one to show it off too. We don't have kids so kids parties are not an option, and my wife and the dogs are somewhat indifferent about Halloween, they indulge me but certainly wouldn't do anything to mark Halloween if I wasn't here.

In years past I've bought decorations, carved pumpkins, baked cakes, watched horror movies, gone for spooky dog walks in the woods at twilight and burnt my 'Halloween scents' candles all over the house. BUT all of this feels like a too much of a solitary experience. This year I managed to persuade my wife to help me host a fancy dress party, but my attempt to sell it to friends and work colleagues was met with lukewarm enthusiasm at best.


At a bit of a loose end this year and with lots of time to kill, the best I could come up with is to decorate the popular dog-walking path in our local woods. I've been growing pumpkins and squashes this year, so have an abundance of potential jack-o-lanterns to festoon the trail with. It's all a bit desperate and unless I'm prepared to hide in the bushes and risk arrest, I'm probably not going to benefit from seeing people's reactions.



So, I suppose the point of this thread is to ask you if you have any secrets for enjoying a solitary Halloween or social events that would work for child-free middle aged types?
 

·
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
forgive me if this response is completely unhelpful...

so i don't have any great ideas for you, but i can express some solidarity with the feeling. i've loved halloween for literally as long as i can remember. i don't have any specific reason why (that i can recall), but there's a feeling i associate with halloween that i don't get from anything else.

my wife loves halloween as much as i do, and almost every year we do some kind of halloween activity. we always have a party that's typically a success, sometimes we go to an orchard, we usually do some sort of haunted attraction, and this year we're taking our 11 month old daughter trick or treating for the first time.

but for almost my entire adult life, there's always felt like there was something missing. take our party for instance--we've been planning for months, and working like crazy for weeks to get the house ready, cleaning and decorating. the party is saturday night, and while people will be in and out for most of the evening, the "fun" of the party can really be distilled down to about 3-4 hours, tops. all that work, and over that quickly. it feels empty, like it never lives up to what you expect.

i wonder if i've just gotten cynical in my adulthood--maybe i just focus too much on the effort and not the enjoyment. i sincerely hope that seeing halloween through my daughter's eyes brings back some of that feeling that i've been trying to find for the last 20 years or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
If I am very lucky i may get 3 ToTs. I usually get zero. I still go all out.

We do have a Halloween party every year for local friends but I still decorated a lot before we started having the party.

I guess the secret is to just realize you are really doing it all for yourself. For how you feel walking around outside late at night with everything lit up. With getting the best pictures you can and sharing them here and any other social media you may indulge in.

This year has been really hard. I got rear ended on the interstate smack dab in the middle of my usual decorating time and was out of commission for like 2 weeks. That put a damper on things. I was tempted several time to cancel the party this year too. I am pushing on and somehow just going outside and looking at all i have done seems to be sustaining me and making me keep going. I can't say how I am going to feel next year.
 

·
Typical Ghoul Next Door
Joined
·
6,810 Posts
Are there any Halloween related events in your town/village? Could you discuss with the local school/library/rec center/township the idea of getting an event like a haunted house or trunk or treat in a central location for the kids or even a Halloween dance or small festival? Have donations for charity? Just offer to decorate or help out if there's something going on already?

If you don't mind decorating or being in charge of things, you could get this started in YOUR area yourself. So even if you can't get people to come to you... go to them!

You can also try to get friends to come over for a horror movie night and do a double feature with snacks and drinks (not a full on costume party). Anything to have fun with this. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I think it is a solitary experience much of the time for many fans of the holiday. I look at Halloween stuff all year, and it's basically a hobby. I collect vintage items, and the rec room is themed around Halloween, classic horror and scifi things (lobby cards, etc. ) As a writer, I recommend reading fiction that helps enhance the mood. Since I write primarily supernatural and fantasy fiction, all this ties in together. Our house is more isolated than most, on top of a heavily wooded mountain, and a long driveway, so no TOTS for years. We host an annual Halloween party (get invited to others), do some hayrides and a few other things, and my band plays one every year, so it is an active month. I would suggest reading, collecting spooky music and movies, maybe collecting some of your favorite items, stay active on Pinterest, and keep looking throughout the year. The hunt might prove to be more than the payout on Halloween night itself, but there's nothing wrong with that at all. There is a very rich tradition with Halloween history, collectibles, crafts, music, literature, and artwork, that it never grows old or boring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
I noticed the flag in your avatar so are you in the UK?....If so, I'm not sure what your camp grounds are like but here in the US, campgrounds seem to be embracing Halloween events more than ever - costume contests, hayrides, bonfires, haunted trails/barns, pumpkin carving, decorating the camp sites, etc.....That would be a great way to go to where the people are.....This is the first year decorating for me for several years so I'm pretty much starting out at the beginning again....My goal this year is to just get something in the yard and a bon fire to sit at for the last Sat and Halloween night....I have a couple people interested in coming over but nothing like previous years where it was non stop visitors/family get together....I'll get there again but I'll be happy to just have something in the yard this year....If you are in the UK....There is a Halloween in the UK thread here you may want to check out...Sorry if this isn't much help....ZR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I live on 7 acres behind a gate, and I still decorate a little. I donated most of my decorations to local schools, a nursing home and local humane society thrift store. I am trying to spread Halloween since it doesn't come to me. Check to see if your local nursing home is having a Halloween or fall festival you can volunteer and help. I feel your pain!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
I am usually the only adult in any room who is into Halloween. I keep the spirit alive by decorating my home, office, car and any other area I can get away with. I agree with some of the other posters that it does end up being a solitary celebration a lot of time but there are ways to expand upon it. I am on a mission to visit every haunted attraction in a 300 mile radius. I sometimes go alone and honestly, it can be more fun that way because I get to watch other people's reactions more. One time I ended up in front of a group of teens and they were cowering behind me through the whole haunt which I found amusing. I think there's a lot of great ideas in the other posts, too. Happy haunting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Assuming from your post and avatar you're in the UK...I can see why you're not getting much response. I think Halloween is, while accepted in other countries, it's such an American thing that I don't think other countries really "do" it. Like for example Japan. They are huge into cosplaying there...you'd think dressing up for Halloween would be a sure thing and while they do have some sort of event where you dress up...it's not really the same. They don't trick or treat for example. Has to do with their whole society and not wanting to ask for handouts/bother people. Really in depth stuff if you look into it.

Back on topic, so yeah I can see why you're not going to have a lot of the same things we have. Is there such a thing as haunted houses there? Over here they pop up everywhere. We also have a lot of Fall festivals or harvest festivals leading up to Halloween. But that might be because I'm in an area where there are tons of farms...

As someone who doesn't do haunted houses, doesn't have any friends to celebrate with/throw parties for...I'm also stuck not doing anything for Halloween. I've done the same thing year after year once I stopped being able to pass as a kid to trick or treat...I stay home, watch horror movies and stuff my face with candy. It's lost any charm it once had...I'm sick of doing it but what other choice do I have? Do nothing for Halloween? Yay...sounds so fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Not sure if you have something like a Big Brother/Sister program in your area or not. But if you do maybe you could sign up to be a Big to some young kid. Then you could do some fun things with them, like make decorations, carve pumpkins, grow pumpkins, help them go out TOT. You would be passing on/sharing your love of the holiday and hopefully giving them similar memories you had while growing up.

I know that a lot of us decorate for ourselves, but it still feels good having others enjoy or be a part of what we do. Solitary has it's place in life, but too much of it can get downright boring and/or depressing. I hope that you can find some way of being able to share some of your passion with others and it is well received.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Sounds like you've tried virtually everything you can do, on your own, to celebrate the holiday. I'm sure it would make a world of difference if your wife was as excited about the holiday as you are. Being out in the boonies it would be a challenge to get fellow revelers to come to you and being in The U.K., you're not bumping into them either but what about seeking out those who also like the holiday and plan a meet somewhere? Perhaps people could pitch in to find a location in which you all could meet and spend a day decorating a hall and you could then celebrate in the evening. It sounds like a lot of work but it would be easier than flying to the U.S.:)

There is a popular nationwide website called nextdoor.com that has subsites for all the towns and acts as a social network to connect neighbors. Hopefully you have something similar.

See if you can find a haunted castle. Personally, I'd like to visit Romania to see Bran Castle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
You could try registering on https://www.trickortreatme.com/ , and/or create a fb page for your haunt and advertising it on local fb sites and nextdoor (as vinny186 suggested)?
You could see if local school, community group, or business would like you to set up a display for them?

As they say "build it and they will come" (as long as they get to hear about it :D ) But be careful what you wish for, I know people who now get bus loads of trick or treaters!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
I think Halloween is, while accepted in other countries, it's such an American thing that I don't think other countries really "do" it. Like for example Japan. They are huge into cosplaying there...you'd think dressing up for Halloween would be a sure thing and while they do have some sort of event where you dress up...it's not really the same. They don't trick or treat for example. Has to do with their whole society and not wanting to ask for handouts/bother people. Really in depth stuff if you look into it.
When I lived in Japan years ago, they used to have what was called an Obake Taikai, or ghost conference. I lived in smaller towns, and the folks would pick a particularly spooky stretch of forest walking trail and decorate it with ghosts and creepy things. Adults would wander around as ghosts scaring the kids and they always had concession booths with some kind of treats. Not exactly Halloween, but it was a community event that you don't often see in America. I have to admit, I like their approach because so many people got involved in creating the night and everyone knew where they wanted to be on that night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
You could try registering on https://www.trickortreatme.com/ , and/or create a fb page for your haunt and advertising it on local fb sites and nextdoor (as vinny186 suggested)?
You could see if local school, community group, or business would like you to set up a display for them?

As they say "build it and they will come" (as long as they get to hear about it :D ) But be careful what you wish for, I know people who now get bus loads of trick or treaters!
I signed up but the houses aren't especially dense I don't think it's very used for my area. We will see if it makes any difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
It sounds like you have the acreage and might want to consider building a free Halloween maze for children to enjoy before the big day. I bet if you were to put out a few flyers and decorate it for fun it would be great and you would have the satisfaction of having people come to your place to participate.

I know a lot of people say they decorate for themselves but to be honest I decorate to see the kids enjoy the fun. The maze or something similar would draw kids and allow you to see their enjoyment of your hard work.

Just a thought.
Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
I re-read your post and saw where you said you had grown quite a few pumpkins and squash this year. Is it feasible to grow even more next year and maybe host a day close to Halloween where the kids in town could come out, pick out a pumpkin and then carve it and hold a JOL contest at the end of the day? Maybe you could, as someone up above suggested, set up a haunted maze or even a garage haunt that the kids could go through later in the day when it starts to get dark. Just make it a whole day event. Have games like apple bobbing, mummy wrapping, bean bag toss, 3 legged races, or gunny sack races. You could hang up flyers about it in various stores/shops or even take flyers to local schools and see if they would pass them out. It may start out with a small attendance the first year or 2, but I would bet over time it would grow as the kids who attend spread the word. Who knows you may even meet some like minded people who are kinda in the same boat as you and you could all start working together to provide some fun for the local kids and get your Halloween fixes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the replies everyone.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm just missing the social aspect of the celebration and need to remedy that for next year. I currently work for myself and am therefore at home all week, in previous years I've arranged events at work and they've gone a long way to stretching the season out a bit and bringing others into the fold.

I love the ideas you put forward about attracting people to the house with a maze or pumpkin carving, but we really are remote and I just can't see people making the journey.

I think Halloween in the UK is as readily recognised as in the US, we're not as commercially aware but there's a very old sense of the traditional aspect of the day (although much of it is hoovered up by November the 5th with its bonfires and fireworks). Pumpkins always sell out and it's a rare street that does nothing to honour Halloween.

So scary movies tonight and then on to planning something better and more meaningful for next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Thanks for the replies everyone.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm just missing the social aspect of the celebration and need to remedy that for next year. I currently work for myself and am therefore at home all week, in previous years I've arranged events at work and they've gone a long way to stretching the season out a bit and bringing others into the fold.

I love the ideas you put forward about attracting people to the house with a maze or pumpkin carving, but we really are remote and I just can't see people making the journey.

I think Halloween in the UK is as readily recognised as in the US, we're not as commercially aware but there's a very old sense of the traditional aspect of the day (although much of it is hoovered up by November the 5th with its bonfires and fireworks). Pumpkins always sell out and it's a rare street that does nothing to honour Halloween.

So scary movies tonight and then on to planning something better and more meaningful for next year.
I wish you luck in finding a way to help make your Halloweens more enjoyable and less isolated. It's always more fun sharing the joys of any holiday with others. Hope you have spooky fun night tonight despite it all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
I love the ideas you put forward about attracting people to the house with a maze or pumpkin carving, but we really are remote and I just can't see people making the journey.
We live not too far from a couple of pumpkin patches, farms that grow pumpkins and pretty much rely on Halloween and Thanksgiving to bring in a profit for the year. They have mazes, cannon and trebuchet pumpkin launchers, and all manner of activities along with the purchasing of pumpkins and snacks. They draw in crowds like you wouldn't believe even though they're miles from anywhere. Now, we're USA, and that means Halloween is a bigger draw commercially than the UK, but it still speaks to the desire of folks to get out on a sunny autumn day and enjoy a drive with a fun activity destination.

If you actually offer any of those activities for free, I think you'll find a market, one that grows with every year. I could be wrong. The UK is a different dynamic for sure. But there are many events in our area that are a bit of a drive to reach, and people come visit them every year, because it is part of their family tradition. If you create a place that has fun decorations and activities, I think you can pull it off.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top