Marie Louise McConville: Halloween haters trying to take the `spook' out of my scare-fest

I might have to cast a happy spell on the Halloween haters trying to take the `spook' our of my scare-fest
Marie Louise McConville

So, how's that fat goose coming and have you been saving up those pennies for the old man's hat?

With Halloween just days away, you may not be surprised to learn that excitement in the McConville household has reached fever-pitch amid plans to dress up as Count Dracula and a Demon Fairy and go trick-or-treating and get lots and lots of sweets

I can't complain really, it is a children's celebration after all.

I actually started putting my Halloween decorations up once September ended.

Gradually, I added more and more - a witch here, a bat there - and then the pumpkin lights.

I'm happy to report that in the past week or so, many of my wonderful neighbours have jumped on the boo-tastic bandwagon and some have really gone all out with cobwebs in their windows, zombies in their garden and even some fake blood splashed about for good measure.

It all looks fab.

But of course, then we have those - some whom have children - who simply ignore Halloween and leave their homes looking all doom and gloom with not an ounce of effort made, despite the fact that they live in an area with young children and know that trick-or-treaters will be paying a visit.

In fact when I was talking about next week's events to a friend the other day, I was rather surprised when she told me that she isn't doing Halloween this year.

In fact, she told me she is planning on putting a sign on her front door informing trick-or-treaters not to bother calling.

She said she was prompted after she was disturbed by numerous callers last year, some of whom had been driven into the district and dropped off by parents to trick-or-treat, despite not living there.

I have to say, as much as I adore my friend, I was really taken aback.

My children love Halloween and it's nice when whole neighbourhoods get involved with the decorations.

Don't get me wrong, I know there are vulnerable members of the community who don't embrace the event for personal reasons and I respect that but putting up an anti-trick-or-treater sign - it's a bit mean, don't you think?

I'm hoping there's not too many Halloween haters about this week when we head out - I'd hate to have to use my magic but if there's a lack of candy on the doorsteps, I might just be tempted.

You have been warned.


Actress Keira Knightley has revealed she has banned her three-year-old daughter from watching certain Disney movies because of how they portray women.

Edie Knightley Righton is not allowed to watch Cinderella because she "waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don't! Rescue yourself. Obviously".

Nor is she allowed to watch The Little Mermaid for similar reasons.

Is this really what we have come to?

Kids being banned from watching classic Disney movies because of concerns over feminism.

While yes, I recognise that it is an important issue, I'd like to point out that we all watched Disney movies growing up and we turned out just fine-ish.



The cold winter weather can play havoc with skin, so how do you fancy winning a hamper of sensitive baby products while also raising awareness of a premature baby charity based in Northern Ireland?

Elave Skincare and TinyLife have joined forces for this year's #Premvember campaign, which starts this week, as part of the premature baby charity's 30th anniversary celebrations.

Two generations ago, only three per cent of babies born in Ireland developed eczema – today, the figure is around 25 per cent.

Baby skin is extremely sensitive, making it prone to dry and itchy skin conditions, so using a clinically-proven top-to-toe product range like Elave Baby can help to reduce flare ups.

TinyLife has given Approved By status to Elave Baby products because they are free from harsh ingredients that trigger sensitivity.

Further information about the range is available at

I have three Elave baby skincare hampers – each worth £35 - to give away.

If you fancy winning a hamper, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12Noon on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

(Q) Name the premature baby charity Elave has teamed up with for #Premvember

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winners of the Nathan Carter competition are Brenda McFarlane, from Belfast and Brian Rogan, from Belfast.

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