Fifth Friday Focus: Write Your Story (Hallowe'en Edition)

Every Friday here at The Family Yarn, we encourage you to write about a specific person in your family history. Whenever a fifth Friday rolls around, the spotlight swings around to you, dear reader. It's time to put down that Census form and delve into the recesses of your cranium for tasty tidbits of memory from your life. Besides, who better than you to write about you?

Today is All Hallows' Eve, the beginning of a three-day observance known as Hallowtide, in which the dead are specifically remembered. Of course, we genealogists don't really need a formal holiday to remember our ancestors—it seems like they're with us every day!

Vintage postcard showing an owl in front of a full moon, with a short verse of Hallowe'en greeting
vintage halloween postcard by dave (CC BY-ND 2.0)

You may know the celebration better as Hallowe'en (or, if you're so inclined, Día de los Muertos, which I like because of the specific focus on the dearly departed in our families). In the United States, October 31st has become one of the most spendy holidays of the year. Much of that is spent on candy, but costumes and decorations get more elaborate every time I see them. I doubt the simple carved jack-o-lantern, bathrobe wizard's cape, and pillowcase bag even cross the minds of children when planning the night nowadays.

The prompt this week is to think back to the late Octobers of your youth. What types of costumes did you wear for Hallowe'en? Were they handmade at home, store-bought, or cobbled together from your family members' wardrobes? Did ever attend or host a Hallowe'en party? Who was there, what did you eat, and what sort of games did you play? How old were you when you stopped dressing up and begging for candy? Have you ever been through a staged haunted house? Did you ever participate in operating a haunted house? (I played a corpse one year, who sat up out of a coffin and reached out for the patrons, beseeching them to "sleep with me". Ah, the craziness of youth!)

Share your Hallowe'en memories in the comments below while you work on that full-size Snickers bar your mom would never let you keep—it's all yours now! Don't forget to save your work in your narrative file for later reference.

Image Credit: Dave on

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