For one night a year it is apparently acceptable for young people to run amok, wearing masks, turning up at people’s homes and threatening them in exchange for sweets. If you’re anything like us, carefully constructing your life so that there is no risk that you could have children, work with children, or be allowed near children, Halloween is nothing short of a nightmare.
Fortunately there are a few simple tricks you can put into place that will mean the night of the 31st of October passes like any other night, undisturbed with nobody but the television and a bottle of whisky for company.
Tip One: The Power of Fear!
Halloween for kids is all about balancing fear with the love of sweets. If children fear you more than they want to get chocolate from you, it’s a win. For this reason make sure that throughout the year children don’t feel welcome anywhere near your home. There are lots of steps you can take to achieve this. Puncture any balls that land in your garden with a rake. Buy a dog that barks loudly (or, if, like us, you hate the idea of caring for another living feeling, find recordings of a dog barking on the Internet and play it at full volume whenever a child comes near the house).
This will create a general air of unpleasantness and fear around your home that children won’t want to go anywhere near!
Tip Two: Don’t Make It Worth It!
The trouble with trying to scare kids away is that there’s always the risk your house will gain a kind of cachet as somewhere kids are sent to trick or treat for a dare. The alternative, although more difficult, tactic is to smile and be friendly to the children, maybe even put a little plastic pumpkin outside the house, then, when kids knock on your door, give the little brats FRUIT. With their Twitter and their Facebook they’ll soon spread the word that there is absolutely no point in going to the house of the creepy guy who plays the dog recordings.
Time Three: Fortify
Because children, with their Nintendo Wii and their iPhones and their Facebook, are essentially lazy creatures the chances are most of them will dress as zombies for Halloween. Why? Because for roughly the duration of their lives it’s been some sort of law that zombie movies are the only films anybody is allowed to make, and it’s an easy costume because you just need to rip some old clothes and splash some fake blood around. Rather than despairing that the current generation of rugrats is completely devoid of imagination or effort, take advantage of this fact to realise that the survival tactics employed in many zombie movies can help you get through to November 1st undisturbed.
So, get in all the supplies you need (by which I mean, whisky), get the best double glazing you can, shutter all the windows, turn the TV up loud, then get to your sofa and don’t leave until it’s way past everybody’s bed time.
Safe behind your Anglian Windows with the doors locked and bolted there is no way the little whippersnappers can get anywhere near you.
Tip Four: Hire Some Great Cleaners
If you follow any of these tips, the chances are you’re going to leave your house in the morning to discover it’s covered in egg and toilet paper. So we strongly recommend you find someone who’s willing to clean all that up for you. The bill may be the scariest trick or treat of all. Happy Halloween!
Chris Farnell is a freelance writer who actually really likes Halloween.