Curmudgeon or concerned - thoughts on Halloween
Richard Littledale blogs on Halloween
I have been away for a few days, and on my return I find that some magic has swept through the town where I live, leaving in its wake grinning skulls, witches' hats, fondant icing mummies and everything in between. The picture below shows a selection of the shop windows I passed on my way into work. They range from the clever to the grotesque, and I have to confess that I struggled a little with the one in the top left hand corner.
In all honesty, I struggle with Halloween full stop.
I can remember Halloween nights as a Scout - enjoying simple games like apple bobbing whilst all the while feeling that 'inside' was more cosy precisely because 'outside' was full of darkness and danger on such a night.
I can also remember the times in my 27 years as a Pastor when I have dealt with those who have dabbled in the occult, and seen the dire consequences of doing so. I once had to chat to a teenager who had been reduced, quite literally, to a blubbering wreck by her encounter with a Ouija board.
As a friend to the local business community I fully understand why shops feel the need to seize every seasonal opportunity to drive extra trade into their shops. I would even confess to a sneaking admiration for the campaign which urges people to spend in the run up to Halloween so that ours does not become a 'Ghost Town.' ("badoom tish")
With every fibre of my being I want to celebrate the light and banish the dark from life and locality.
I have read every Harry Potter book and recognise that within the folds of their (beautifully woven) wizard's cloak they conceal a deeply moral tale.
I like to feel that I can walk past the shops above without being a curmudgeon - although that pink-striped babygrow is pushing it.
What do you feel?
Richard Littledale is the Minister of Teddington Baptist Church as well as an author and broadcaster. He is a regular contributor to Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2 and has written for St Andrew Press. He is currently working on a book for Paternoster Press on journey and discipleship. You can find him at richardlittledale.me.uk