Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Memories

House by the Railroad (Edward Hopper 1925)

Halloween always reminds me of my time in the United States.

With a typical paradox, this most hard-line of Christian countries celebrates the pagan festival with gusto.

It's tremendous fun.

Even people without children go to great lengths to decorate their houses with cobwebs and lanterns and many go even further with life-size models of witches and ghouls and gravestones and the rest of it. Then they wait with small sacks (not an exaggeration) of sweets for the kids to come around trick or treating.

In 2000 I remember walking home from work in the dark past little groups of kids, all in fancy dress, flitting like little ghosts from decorated house to decorated house collecting sweets in bags and pillow-cases.

My flat was one of five in a rather lovely colonial style mini-mansion built in the early 1890s. It was a really beautiful building, but set against the chill of a blood red sunset on Halloween it could be as sinister as
Hopper's House by the Railroad (1925) that Hitchcock used in Psycho.


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