Spook-tastic Halloween

DSC_0159It’s the spookiest time of year, where not only do you get to believe in ghosts & ghouls, but you also get to dress up as whatever you want. Your imagination can run wild! Plus you get to eat all the sweets you possibly can. The origins of Halloween are not certain, but common consensus seems to be that it is a Christianised version of the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain and is a day to remember the dead and departed! It isn’t just an American holiday to collect “candy”.

We’re a pretty diverse bunch at Hasson Associates – our Halloween memories & experiences  illustrate that point well.

Sinead & I are from Ireland, the motherland of Halloween, so we celebrated every year. For me that meant putting on a witch’s hat, cutting a black rubbish bag to use as a cape and going out trick or treating every year. There were also lots of Halloween games that needed to be played such as bobbing for apples & money in a basin of water, cutting flour cakes with money on top and eating barmbrack (essentially an Irish tea cake with various tokens wrapped up inside such as a ring to symbolise marriage, or a rag to symbolise being poor). Costumes, frights, games & treats were an absolute on the 31st October, it’s my second favourite time of year, after Christmas of course!

12049558_10153059239526852_5148359604737809086_nMakayla is an Aussie so had no experience of this Celtic festival as Halloween’s not celebrated there (apart from grown adults using it as an excuse to get drunk and dress up). Therefore, she never did all the typical pumpkin carving or trick or treating. She carved her first pumpkin the other night and made a kitty cat pumpkin. In her words “I was more excited than a grown adult should be“.

Damon’s overriding Halloween memory is of a misty night a fair few years ago. “We would always leave to go to my Uncle and Auntie’s house in Devon in the middle of the night – my dad insisted.  As a young boy I would of course fall asleep in the back of the car, along with my sister and wake up as we stopped the car outside the house.  But on one occasion I woke up and could not see much – just some mist and some willowy trees in the background. It was cold, it was wet, it was Halloween and all a bit spooky. Dad had made great time and had parked up on the Moors. I had recently watched (unknown to my parents) American Werewolf in London.  I can still see the mist and my parents, 34 years on, can probably still hear the screams.”

HalloweenFebe’s typical Halloween was a bit more ‘late night’! Surrounded by screaming banshees, evil witches and the walking dead, she was the she-devil who ruled the dancefloor on All Hallow’s Eve! It’s also the best get-up to move in for any rhythm: techno, house, drum & base, trance, electro and even the howls of Halloween.

Steph’s spooky Halloween experience is a little freakier, and happened when she was a student at University in Canterbury. She says “It always felt there was a sinister presence in my flat close to the Cathedral (I found out it was where an ancient monastery site had once stood). I hated being there alone if my flatmates were away. Halloween pumpkin SRThere was always a presence, and it certainly wasn’t of the Caspar the Friendly Ghost type!  That flat was icy cold, even when the heating was turned up full blast. One night, we had a few friends over for dinner and were sat around the table chatting. Suddenly the extractor fan in the bathroom turned itself on and a window slammed shut. We all looked up in alarm. A little later that evening we heard a distinct sound coming from the kitchen. I can only describe it sounding like a knife being scraped very slowly on toast. We turned to each other in horrified silence. All of us were in the same room, there was no-one in the bathroom or kitchen. Even the most cynical of my friends were totally unnerved that night.  

This is all topped off by the fabulous Alex who is from Transylvania. In her own words – “I don’t like “celebrating” Halloween! When your father sucks blood at lunch and your mother leaves the house only when it’s dark – Every day of my life IS Halloween…”

Hasson Associates are almost 8 years old and today was our first fancy dress day. I have a feeling this is about to be a new tradition! We’re off to the London Dungeons this evening to see the ghosts for ourselves. I am sure we’ll make it out alive – so we’ll see you on Monday! Happy Halloween!!