Halloween Haibun!

My childhood Halloweens smelled of burnt turnip – much harder to carve a lantern from than pumpkins, but much spookier, too. They tasted of wet apples and toffee. My husband’s Halloweens were colcannon and barmbrack, and handfuls of nuts and raisins. My children had a bit of all that, over-laid with pumpkins and cheap sweets and tacky costumes.

My son was never bothered about Halloween. He doesn’t like dressing up and doesn’t like sweets. He was cajoled and coaxed along by his big sister (who knew he’d hand his booty over to her). The last costume she persuaded him into consisted of his usual clothes and a single black line drawn around his neck. “I’m the ghost of someone who had their head cut off”, he announced at every door we called at.

amber light
a hand reaches out
darkness falls

Frank is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we’re writing Halloween haibuns.

39 thoughts on “Halloween Haibun!

  1. We used to have turnip lanterns too and a bonfire. I hate that vampire costumes trick or treat stuff. It always strikes me as the response of people who don’t know how to cope with the idea of death.


      • We did but I don’t remember much about it. It was a Yorkshire thing. We lived so far out of town that all the collective jollifications passed us by. Halloween is such a special time of the year, so special the Christians hijacked it to neutralise it, it seems a shame not to do something to celebrate.


      • I can remember “Beggars Night.” That was usually the night before Halloween, when slightly older (teens) would try to go trick-or-treating, and usually get into mischievous antics, since their efforts usually were fruitless and they felt tricks were due.


  2. I loved reading about your childhood Halloweens, Sarah. Sadly, we didn’t get to carve anything or trick or treat. The closest I got to Halloween celebrations was apple bobbing at Brownies. Unlike your son, my grandson, at not quite three years old, loves everything to do with Halloween! I love the haiku.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was tempted by the idea of carving turnips this year, but I’m not sure we’ll really both much at all. I really enjoyed this little slice from your family though, and how your son went along with it for his sister’s.


  4. I always frowned when teenagers with no costumes and a shopping bag would come to the door. As a child, I would gobble candy until I puked, and would wake up with a sugar-crash headache.


  5. Your Halloween smelled the same as mine! I almost wrote about the turnips – what a job it was to carve them! Were pumpkins harder to come by in those days? I love your son’s nonchalant attitude to it all as well.


  6. kaykuala
    Young boys growing up would normally have their own minds. It shows the tenacity of leadership development. Love to read about your healthy family involvement in past Halloweens, Sarah!


    Liked by 1 person

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