I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

I Don't Normally Do Halloween, But ...


Quite a subtle disguise, don't you think? I didn't want to go over the top, but nor did I want to go totally unnoticed. This photo of me was taken in New York last year, the first time in my life that I celebrated or marked Halloween. I was there for my birthday, which of course always falls just a few days before Halloween. This year, here in Lyon, the event went by unnoticed again; the French don't seem to be all that keen on it. But I did see one or two people out in the streets in costumes tonight and it reminded me of New York a year ago. Boy, do New Yorkers know how to celebrate this day - I went to a street parade attended by tens of thousands of people!

We really made an effort to get into the mood, to throw ourselves into something that has always been quite foreign to us. There was no way, however, that I was going to dress up - I wanted to be able to go out afterwards and not have to feel ridiculous in a costume - and so the blood over the bare head seemed like the perfect compromise. I wasn't even keen to share the white face paint.

It was funny afterwards, walking down the street with that gash on my head. I had a concerned policeman rush up to ask if I was OK at one point, thinking I may have been involved in a post-parade scuffle. I suppose if I'd been in a proper costume, he wouldn't have noticed me at all. I had similar reactions for the rest of the night, even in the bar we went to. It would have been easier if I'd just worn a very loud costume!

Even in the week before the 31st, there were signs of Halloween everywhere. You couldn't escape it. Back in New Zealand, when I was little, we took part in various Halloween events, but it was nothing compared to what I saw in New York, and I guess it's similar throughout the US. Here are some of the scenes we stumbled across.


Unknown said...

Halloween's never been a big deal here, it certainly wasn't around when I was a kid - now though the shops have caught on to the commercial possibilities so kids go out trick or treating but I doubt anyone actually has a clue about the real meaning of All Hallows Eve! Great shots, Seamus - really fun - even those with blood dripping all over a certain somebody's head ;-)

pundy said...

Brilliant shots of the houses getting tricked up - great ambience - reminds me of that street in Auckland where all the houses get done up for Christmas and people come for miles around to soak up the fairytale atmosphere.

Unknown said...

Yeah well you see discrete Seamus. The most reaction I've got from dressing up was the year I forgot and borrowed one of those knives that look like they've gone through your head. I had all the little kids terrified all day.

Unknown said...

I noticed that the shops were filled with stuff this year, but the hallowed eve went by without much fuss in our street. Buzz Lightyear came and a family of Dracula's, two ghosts and a very shabby witch (tut).

Anonymous said...

Good heavens! No wonder that policeman was concerned :)

Halloween is gradually becoming popular here in Jamaica. Apart from private costume parties, some hotels on the North Coast cater to the whole concept, with at least one I heard of having annual contests, such as the room that best portrays the spirit of Halloween in its decorations. In recent times, some high schools have costume parties. Still not everyone here is into it, as it's an American custom.

S. Kearney said...

Hi AV,
Yep, the problem of commercialisation stepping in!
And sorry about the blood ... but it tasted good! lol

Yes; I know those houses that put all the xmas lights up ... one of my friends does that in Grey Lynn.

Miss V,
Yes, ummmm, discreet, I was trying to be. And there's nothing like scaring naughty kids. lol

Not much happening in your street? What? Where was Dorcas and her clan? You've obviously scared all the kids off! :-)

Hi JD,
Yes, I know, good heavens is the phrase to use!

Anonymous said...

What great photos! And your costume was perfect. Very subtle :)

S. Kearney said...

Thanks. I hope the blood wasn't too scary! lol :-)

Anonymous said...

Nice subtle costume, but yest too realistic out of context.

I like too just wear a hat. The possibilities are endless and you can take it off. I have a collection ... wizard, pumpkin, fruit, cat.

I like the bumps and humps photo. They match in an odd way.

Americans are known for going over the top on holidays.

apprentice said...

Yes the USA seem to love it -here it's more for wee kids.

My niece lives in FL USA and ther's a house in there neighbourhood with balconies and the whole thing is turned into oner big montage of bodies etc, very creepy with the Spanish moss everywhere.

S. Kearney said...

Hi Colleen,
Ah, a hat, yes, yes I should've worn a hat! lol And the bumps and humps were very inspired, I thought. :-)

Hi Apprentice,
Yes, probably more adults than kids were into it in New York when I was there. In fact I saw few children getting invovled. Any excuse for a party I suppose. lol

thecrazydotter said...

Going through this was cool. There's no Halloween here but I have been hearing about it since schooldays! That blood was really scary but!

Kay Cooke said...

I'm just not into it eh. Like you, I'd go for subtle. If I went at all! Guy Fawkes Day is the next one to suffer ... don't like that much either. I'm just an old party pooper. I stay indoors and turn the tv up behind closed curtains!

S. Kearney said...

It would be interesting to see a list of countries where this is marked with parties and the like! :_)

Hi CB,
I'm often accused of being a collective party pooper ... I've never liked being in amongst a huge crowd. lol

Anonymous said...

Subtle, in some ways, is much more powerful - and certainly more realistic. I can't stand the sight of blood and my toes positively curled at the sight of your head. I'm not at all surprised that policeman stopped you. Very interesting, Shameless.

S. Kearney said...

Hi Clare,
Lol! In same ways I'm pleased that your toes curled; it meant that my costume had the desired effect!
:-) I mean, a bare head is crying out to be featured in a costume, no?

Anonymous said...

I love the photos - Halloween was pretty quiet here in the UK, or at least in my part of the world. Quite a lot of small children dressed up, too much egg throwing from the teenagers and a chance for me to get rid of the remains of an old tin of Quality Street chocolates! The blood on your head is quite uncannily affective. It's true what they say about less being more!

Anonymous said...

Hi Seamus, I've emailed you my instalment of the Collective Story. Let me know if you got it. Thanks.

S. Kearney said...

Hi litlove,
Yep, things were reasonably quiet here too ... and not a peep from the trick and treaters!

You are a whiz and a star. What a speedy writer, with such a brilliant instalment! It's gone up straight away at the site, taking he story in a great direction. :-)

Roberta said...

What great pictures Seamus! No wonder the policeman was concerned about you!

I've never been to NYC but hope to go soon. I would love to see Christmas there.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks Roberta,
That was also my first time to NY and I do plan to go back! I have some friends who've just booked to spend Xmas and New Year in NY. :-) Ah, Time Square at that time of year!

Anonymous said...

These are great pictures Seamus! Halloween is one of my favorites just because of the costumes.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks Kat! The wound on the head has healed nicely! lol

thiennt said...
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