You are here

Halloween then and now

Ken's Korner
by Ken Johnston

Halloween is an interesting time of year.

I remember growing up in Rainy River and how much we as kids looked forward to it. In fact we often had our minds set on a costume months ahead of the actual date. In those days we did not have a great deal of money and there were three of us kids all wanting to look spooky.

Our mother nailed down the critter we wanted to be early so that she could work on our costumes early on. I remember us being tigers, lions and perhaps the most interesting one I ever was a spider. While I don’t recall why I wanted to be a spider, I do remember her burning a cork so that my face could be made black with creosote.

When the date arrived we all went trick or treating and usually came home with at least one pillow case of candy. Of course in those days the candy bars were the same size as the ones you buy all year round. Now they are bite sized.

But perhaps the most exciting part of the season, besides the trick-or-treating and parties at school, was the halloween show hosted by the local theatre. Kids by the hundreds lined up to get in. Usually the town kids went at one time and the country kids at another. Then we all paraded around in front of several elderly ladies who judged our costumes.

That coupled with the fact that it was a free show we were really excited to be there. I even won a prize as a spider, thanks to my mom’s hard work.

I don’t know how many parents actually make costumes now a days. One told me on Friday that it is cheaper and easier to buy them.

My mom continues to show strong halloween spirit and holds a special spooky show every year. It should be fun!

–Until then, Ken

contact Ken via email at