IWD: 8 Irish women in the beauty business on what their biggest failure taught them

Holly O'Neill

#IWD21: Sharon Keilthy is on a mission to promote sustainable play

Eoin Higgins

5 essential supports for female entrepreneurs in Ireland

Erin Lindsay

#IWD21: Wildflowers and a candle will always be found close to Ruth Starrett

Dominique McMullan

The most explosive revelations from Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview

Holly O'Neill

The lingering gender pay gap: One woman’s expert advice on how to narrow it

Meg Walker

Inequality in women’s healthcare: why it happens, why it matters and what we can do...

Erin Lindsay

#IWD21: Alix Mulholland captures the scents of the Irish countryside

Eoin Higgins

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had no choice but to go on Oprah

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

The Disappearing Art of Halloween Humbugging


by Laura George
31st Oct 2017

Come Halloween, every child past third class carries a mental map of where the goodies are- houses where you get full-size Mars Bars or a two euro coin and there’s no sign of loose peanuts breaded in lint. For the rest of their lives, long after the last of the faux spiderwebs have finally been decoupled from the shrubbery, those homes hold a special place in kids’ hearts and memories. They’re part of neighbourhood mythology.

Back when hardly anyone decorated- a mere five years ago in the height of the recession when blowing 50 quid at Penneys for “Scream’ décor in every window was out of the question- it took some skill to know where to go. No more. Now when the hard-core trick-or-treaters hit the road, the only tool they need is a productivity app. There are very few Halloween Humbugs left.

It isn’t always a question of money. Over the past few days, we’ve heard instances of people going way out of their way to make their houses positively off-putting to potential young visitors. One tactic is to make your house so scary that no one crosses the threshold.  Others believe in physical barricades (strategically placed potted plants etc), and of course full blackout procedures, should make a clear point. But according to one man in our neighbourhood, the hoardes are undaunted and no matter what he does, he has to spend every year cowering in a dark back room listening to the distant shellfire on Killiney Hill as though under siege. Hearing him describe it, you can’t help but think it would be way easier just to buy a bag of minis to leave on the stoop and be done with it.

Perhaps he should take a leaf from another neighbour who took it upon herself to dole out toothbrushes instead of sweets. As a passive aggressive expression, it was a genius move guaranteed to ensure a dramatic drop in visitor numbers YOY. Numbers will eventually dwindle away as the collective memory of the mean old witch with the dental tools grows. But maybe at the end of the day that’s what a humbug wants- ignominy when everyone else is having fun.