Kids’ Halloween advice to adults

Don’t give them almonds or fruit, throw a big party, add lots of blood and chewy sweets and everything will be fine

 

Eve Cullen (6)

What are you dressing up as at Halloween? A witch.

Who is making your costume and have you any tips for them? I’m going to paint my whole body green. Witches are green.

What would you like in your trick-or-treat bag? Chocolate bars. 10 of them.

What is the worst thing you have ever got? Cheese, honey and Nutella – mixed in a jar. I’m also disgusted by fruit.

What would your best Halloween party ever be like? Everyone plays a game where someone has to lie on the ground and everyone has to guess who killed them with a magic spell. I did it.

Ellen Cullen (10)

What are you dressing up as at Halloween? A zombie.

Who is making your costume and have you any tips for them? I have the same costume from last year, but I need some extra things for it, like a zombie pants.

What would you like to get in your trick-or-treat bag? Everything.

What is the worst thing you have ever got? Nothing.

What would your best Halloween party ever be like? One year we went to a party at Halloween and played bobbing for apples, and a flour game, and pin the tail on the monster and lots of other games. It was great fun.

Maria Doyle (6)

What are you dressing up as at Halloween? Little Red Riding Hood.

Who is making your costume and have you any tips for them? Mammy. Throw loads of blood all over your face and arms to make it extra scary so you look half-dead [a non-traditional Little Red Riding Hood].

What would you like to get in your trick-or-treat bag? All types of sweets and a few cakes.

What is the worst thing you have ever got? Oranges or vegetables.

Caoimhe Doyle (4)

What are you dressing up as at Halloween? [Starts to cry because she wants to be Little Red Riding Hood too like her older sister]. Then settles on being a cat.

Who is making your costume and have you any tips for them? Mammy. What would you like to get in your trick-or-treat bag? Sweeties

Frank Doyle (9)

What are you dressing up as at Halloween? A headless Donald Trump.

Who is making your costume and have you any tips for them? Mammy.

What would you like to get in your trick-or-treat bag? Sweets.

What is the worst thing you have ever got? I got a broken torch once.

What would your best Halloween party ever be like? We all go to the parish hall every year and have a party with everyone in Moyne. We have a colouring competition, quiz, wrap the mummy and a fancy dress. It’s really good.

Ava Byrne (6)

What are you dressing up as at Halloween? An emperor.

Who is making your costume and have you any tips for them? I’m just having my face painted green. My daddy ordered my costume online.

What would you like to get in your trick-or-treat bag? Lollipops. Also maybe little chewy sweets.

What is the worst thing you have ever got? An orange.

What would your best Halloween party ever be like? I’ve never actually been to one. A table where there is so much sweets, doors on the walls that open into little houses that you can trick-or-treat at. Sweets falling out of the roof like it’s raining sweets.

Jacob Byrne (8)

Who is making your costume and have you any tips for them? I’m wearing a morph suit with a blue tie. I ordered my costume.

What would you like to get in your trick-or-treat bag? Coca-Cola because I’m not usually allowed to have it.

What is the worst thing you have ever got? Me, my brother and my cousin got grapes last year.

What would your best Halloween party ever be like? Bubble soccer with smoke everywhere so you have no idea where you’re going.

Noah Byrne (10)

What are you dressing up as at Halloween? I’m dressing up as a horse.

What would you like to get in your trick-or-treat bag? Chocolate . . . and fireworks.

What is the worst thing you have ever got? Almonds.

What would your best Halloween party ever be like? A party in Florida, with lots of fireworks.

Helpful tips for grown-ups: Doorstep etiquette and staying safe

Doorstep etiquette

Grown-ups accompanying children on the trick-or-treating circuit should keep their distance. Stand well back from the threshold when they bags are beign held out. No one wants to open their door to a grown man dressed as Frankenstein.

Those who have made an effort to provide for young trick-or-treating should advertise the fact with some modest Halloween decor. If life is too short to stuff a mushroom, it is also too short to carve a pumpkin. Turn a lamp into a pumpkin using some black paper and an orange bulb, place it in the front window and wait for those young soul brothers and sisters to knock on the door.

Have crisps and jellies ready. No need to go to great expense. It will be dark, they can’t see a thing as your pumpkin lamp is rubbish, and it will be too late before they notice you’ve palmed them off with cheap victuals.

Do not offer fruit or – even worse – nuts of any kind.

And if your lovely children call to my door, please warn them that I will be wearing my normal clothes, so asking me, as one lovely young girl did last year, if I am a witch will only hurt my feelings.

Grown-ups sitting at home can avoid callers by switching off all lights and eating treats in the dark.

Barmbrack

While Halloween has become a whole lot more elaborate in almost every sense in recent years, one tradition which has sadly become a spooky shadow of its former self is the barmbrack. Back in the day, a good old fashioned Irish brack was more Mystic Meg than fruit cake.

Bakers all over the country sold them stuffed with all manner of potentially lethal elements. Whoever got the ring would marry happily while the one with the pea would die alone. To be stuck with the stick meant you were doomed to an unhappy marriage, while eating the cloth would see you cursed with bad luck. And if you bit down on the coin you could look forward to good fortune.

It’s all gone now. Concerns over choking have taken both the danger and the craic out of store-bought bracks. Pricewatch has reviewed dozens of the winter cakes over recent years and the only thing we have ever found was useless plastic rings wrapped in waxy bags so large as to completely strip away any element of surprise that might otherwise have existed.

So the only way to include all these mysterious hidden treasures is to make your own.

Where to buy a barmbrack

The fourth-generation bakers in Hickeys of Clonmel, make a stonking good barmbrack, according to Irish Times journalist Orna Mucahy. Once you start to eat it slathered in butter, you will not be able to stop. Packed with fruit, nice ring as well. hickeysbakery.com

Be safe, stay safe

We are not talking about your attempts at making costumes – or cakes. Last Halloween, Dublin Fire Brigade took 720 emergency calls. Halloween marks their busiest 24 hours, so this year Dublin Fire Brigade has launched the Halloween safety campaign “Be Safe – Stay Safe”, in conjunction with Dublin Bus, An Garda Síochána and the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals .

Dublin Fire Brigade is advising people to stay “a safe distance from bonfires and fireworks – wind can carry sparks long distances and cause permanent injuries and scars.”

The campaign advises people not to buy, use or supply fireworks and to respect the emergency services, council staff and the gardaí in doing their jobs.

Dublin City Council asks citizens to assist them by reporting any issues regarding the storage or distribution of bonfire material to: Dublin City Council’s Litter Hotline on 1800 251 500 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm); the Environmental Protection Agency’s 24-hour national environmental complaints line at 1850 365 121, or to report stockpiling of bonfire material at dublincity.ie/report-bonfire-material

The DSPCA is urging people to keep pets indoors on Halloween night.

If anyone is still not scared of things that might heat up Halloween, one viewing of the Dublin Fire Brigade’s “What’s scary about Halloween?” video will make you more cautious. https://youtu.be/VH6cbyZGHjk

Halloween: What to do

Bram Stoker Festival Tickets and full details on bramstokerfestival.com. Some events definitely are not suitable for children.

Spirits of Meath Runs until November 1st, with more than 37 events, 25 geared towards families. See the full programme at spiritsofmeath.com or tel 046-9097060.

Samhain Festival of Fire Torchlit procession up Tlachtga Hill, believed to be the Celtic birthplace of Halloween, leaving the Fairgreen, Athboy, Co Meath, at 7.30pm. See newgrange.com.

Pick your pumpkin Families can choose their own Jack O’ Lantern at a number of pumpkin farms, including one outside Summerhill, open daily until October 31st, 11am to 5pm (086-0376583) or at Alright Pumpkin in Fordstown, Co Meath, until Oct 31st, noon-6pm (tel. 087 291 2492).

Haunted woods Children can “dress up to scare” as a personal monster hunter leads them through the “gruesome gardens” at Birr Castle, Co Offaly, on a Halloween trail on October 30th and 31st, 5pm-9pm. €12.50 child, €5 adult, €30 family. Not suitable for under-5s. birrcastle.com.

Halloween Howl Kenmare in Co Kerry goes to town on scare tactics for October 31st, with scarecrow building and haunted forest walks to “cranky cooking” and pumpkin-carving workshops, culminating in its traditional parade on Halloween night at 6pm.

Trick or treat trail Test the grey matter with Castlecomer Discovery Park’s Halloween challenge in Co Kilkenny, until November 2nd. Families can register at reception between noon and 4pm to collect their question sheet before heading into the woods and, at the end, receive their treat – or trick. €10 family. discoverypark.ie

Otherworld Ballymun Halloween Festival This year’s theme is “Dracula’s Big Night Out”. A Halloween parade leaves Poppintree Park at 5.30pm. Its destination is the Halloween Festival Village in Ballymun Civic Plaza where fireworks, games, live music, Circus Garbola and more will go on until 9pm. otherworldfestival.com

Ringsend Halloween Festival Hear scary stories at Ringsend Library from 1pm to 2.30pm. The Big Parade leaves Irishtown Sports Centre at 3pm and finishes at http://ringsendhalloween.com/

Finglas Halloween Festival Celebrate at the Finglas Civic Centre from 6 to 9.30pm.There will also be a marquee in Finglas Village from 11am to 5pm.

Ballyfermot Fancy dress, fun and games for young children at Convent Lawns Community Centre.

Cherry Orchard Halloween Festival Cherry Orchard Community Centre, Croftwood Crescent – parade at 3.30pm, fireworks at 5.30pm.

Kilbarrack Fireworks display at Roseglen football pitch at 7pm.

Donaghmede At Donaghmede Park fireworks display at 7.30pm. See dublincity.ie for more events.

Anthea McTeirnan, Orna Mulcahy and Conor Pope

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