Hallowe’en American-Style, by Juliet Archer

Just back from a holiday in the US – Ohio, where my sister lives and my son is studying (allegedly).

The fall colours were beautiful, although apparently past their best, and the weather unusually warm and sunny. But what struck me more than anything was the extent of the Hallowe’en celebrations!


At the local mall a whole shop – previously Borders, so you can imagine it was fairly large – was given over to Hallowe’en disguises and decorations. Outside there were pumpkins and scarecrows everywhere, even on the central reservations of suburban roads, and on the porches of almost every house. On Hallowe’en itself we saw lots of children going trick or treating, as I’d expected. But what I didn’t expect was that most of the outdoor decorations would still be in evidence when we left a week later!

I think the Americans are very shrewd. They make a big event of Hallowe’en at the end of October, then they celebrate Thanksgiving barely a month later, and finally Christmas a month after that. All the preparations must make the long winter nights pass more quickly – and keep consumer spending buoyant!