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Scaring yourself for beginners

Halloween chez Clegg many moons ago
Going on the vast quantities of tat elegant merchandising on display in Asda, we are fast approaching Halloween, that most divisive of festivals. It's popular in the UK to moan about Halloween as an American import, but when our children were young, we used to decorate the house for a session of spookiness (usually while they were out, so they came back to a haunted house) and they loved it.

In our previous house we never got trick or treaters, as we were too far off the beaten track, but we do here, and so far the experience has been good. They're pretty well always small children, accompanied by parents who wait at the pavement, have been polite and no silliness. I know it isn't always that way - and I recognize the amusement value of the image doing the rounds on Facebook (thanks, John Gribbin) which shows a small child taking sweets while trick or treating with the tag 'Ok kids, don't ever talk to strangers or take candy from strangers or go to strangers' houses... except on the day we worship the devil.' - but we haven't suffered too much.

So to all those who either moan for religious reasons (come on guys, it's not really about worshiping the devil - don't believe everything you read on Facebook - and anyway, according to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (so it must be true) Halloween is the one day the demons and such don't come out), or because it's not a traditional festival in the UK or they don't like how commercial it is, I say pumpkins to you.

Something that goes down rather well around Halloween is a good murder, I feel, so I'll take the opportunity of reminding you about my website www.organizingamurder.com, chock full of delicious murder mystery party games and the like - many of them downloadable for those last minute party panics.

Go away and scare yourself. It's an order.

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