Halloween actually originated in Ireland associated with Celtic Paganism. Growing up in Ireland, we all viewed it as a bit of fun in 1993. I’ve got vivid memories of my own costume which, because we were poor, consisted of a cheap plastic mask and black bin liner bag for a suit. Off we’d go trick or treating in the local neighbourhood.
I remember one night in particular where a friend of mine couldn’t afford a mask and costume. We approached a house that was too good for the neighbourhood. The door opened, and my friend desperately tried to look scary by placing his hoodie over his head and hand over his face. The man threw candy into my plastic shopping bag and said, “I’m not giving any to your friend, because he doesn’t have a mask”.
It was that night we got a real taste of what evil looked like. That friend, by the way, went on to live a life in and out of prison. While everyone was rather welcoming to us belonging to our own class, the social ladder climbing type were the opposite.
We decided to jump across the road into a middle-upper class estate. “These people have money, surely they’ll cough up some nice treats.” Little did we know that having money was associated with being greedy. Both of us learned a valuable lesson that, just because you had money didn’t mean you were generous with it. Not one house answered the door to us, not a single one. Some of them even chased us away from the door.
Both of us 8-year-olds walked away that night with a very different view of the middle to upper classes. Looking at my friend now, taking into consideration the rejection he’d suffered his entire childhood, I wasn’t surprised he turned out the way he did.
We all suffered rejection, but I guess it affects some people more than others. I must admit it had a psychological effect upon me also, and I grew up with an incredible distrust of those with money. Yes, life experience taught me that not everyone with money was heartless, but those people were considered rare. That was the last night I ever went trick or treating.