Darlene Foster's Blog


Posted on: October 25, 2020

I love Halloween. It was so much fun as a kid to dress up and collect goodies. I still remember some of the costumes mom made for me, Little Bo Peep was my favourite. No store-bought costumes! Later, I had fun making costumes for my kids. A snoopy costume for my son was a big hit, as was a cute Little Red Riding Hood for my daughter. As they got older I made Kiss outfits for my son and his three friends. And a Teddy Bear costume for my daughter which she still wears when she goes to schools to teach pottery.

Mom continued making costumes for her grandkids and great-grandkids. She made a clown costume for my daughter that has been handed down over the years and recently her great-great-granddaughter wore it.

Clown costume made by mom

Most of the offices I worked in encouraged us to dress up for Halloween and I always enjoyed that. Here are a couple of my favourite costumes.

Jane Austen
Would you like your fortune told?
A scary pirate

Even the fur babies get to dress up. Here’s my grandpuppy Lola in her Batman costume.

I don’t read scary books (sorry Stephen King) or watch horror movies, although some are probably very well done. The books I write are not too frightening, except for Amanda in Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind which has a few spooky parts. But nothing that would keep kids up at night.

Here is a short excerpt.

Amanda stood in front of a door the map showed as the Santos Display Room.

“What’s in here?”

Along with Caleb and a couple of other students, she entered the dimly-lit room containing glass cabinets filled with pictures and statues of various saints. A sign explained how the families in Spanish America always
kept a shrine to a saint in their homes. The shrine often held Milagros, tiny silver shapes attached to statues of the saints. There were legs for people who couldn’t walk, eyes for those who had bad eyesight and animal
figures to wish a farmer a productive year with his flock.

Amanda was fascinated as she peered through the glass at small objects stuck on the figures.

She looked up and gasped. At the end of the narrow room stood a life-sized skeleton of a woman riding in a wooden cart. Amanda, heart beating, crept closer to the scary figure wearing a scraggly white wig and a long dark
robe. She carried a scythe in one hand and a globe in the other. On the wall beside the figure, a plaque told of Doña Sebastiana, the female saint of death, or Santa Muerte. During the Holy Week procession at Easter, this
female Grim Reaper was rolled out in her death cart and transported through the town. Parents would point her out and tell the children if they did not behave, Doña Sebastiana would come for them.

Amanda gulped and peered more closely at the horrible figure. She couldn’t understand why parents would want to scare their children like that.

‘Imagine the nightmares!’ Amanda thought.

Just then, everything went black. Something brushed Amanda’s shoulder. She froze.

“Caleb,” she whispered. “Is that you?”
There was no answer.
A cold breeze passed over her.

If you are looking for something to read or to read with the young children in your life, you might want to check it out.

Have a Happy Halloween!!

71 Responses to "Halloween"

We don’t have Halloween here, Darlene. I think it is fun though and I like to jump on the bandwagon and join in with the celebrations our American friends are enjoying. I loved your costumes especially Jane Austen.

I realize not all countries celebrate Halloween but it is fun. I love your Halloween cake!

Adorable costumes, and it’s truly special to pass them down to the younger generations!

The homemade ones last longer and can be passed down.

Celebrating with you, Darlene! I love Halloween and you make it look the best of fun times.

Thanks! It isn’t celebrated here in Spain, although many other things are, and the Spanish people love to wear costumes. I think the children dress up and have a party at school though. I always loved it, perhaps because I like to pretend to be someone else for a day.

You made a lovely Jane Austen!

Thanks, I love that costume and have worn it a few times.

Great post, Darlene and loved all the costumes. I think Halloween might be banned this year 😦

I’m afraid it will be a quiet Halloween held indoors with just immediate family. I don’t think collecting candies in the neighbourhood is a good idea right now. Glad you liked the costumes.

Hi Darlene, when my kids were little Halloween was bigger than Christmas! So many happy memories.

It was a big deal. I have many great memories as well.

What fun!

I have always considered Halloween to be fun as opposed to scary!

Halloween has been a favourite time since I ran from door to door to collect goodies for myself, to the time I dressed up my sons to do the same….and now its my grandchildren! Great post, Darlene!

Thanks, Irene. It is a fun time. I remember having a Halloween party ar our house when my daughter was about ten. We had a blast.

I enjoyed looking at your costumes. You can see some of mine in next week’s blog. Yes, even Mennonites in my day dressed up for Hallowe’en, pushing the edge a little. Great post, Darlene!

I´m looking forward to seeing your costumes. Glad you enjoyed the post.

A lovely fun post-Darlene…Halloween hasn’t been something we ever celebrated. I love how the clown costume has been handed down what lovely memories 🙂 xx

Halloween was a big part of my childhood. The homemade costumes lasted through many generations. Great memories indeed!

Your joy of Halloween shone through, Darlene.. Xx

Well done, Darlene! I’m a big kid at heart, so Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays too, Darlene. One year the teachers at my school dressed up as school supplies. That’s the only time I got to dress up a giant box of tissue.

That is so cool. It is amazing the costume ideas. At one party a couple came as his and hers outhouses. Too funny.

I don’t think you’re taking the scary seriously with the cozies Darlene. The Mexicans and their Day of the Dead schtick worry the life out of me which is probably the point….

I know. I am so weird as I love to hang out in graveyards but can´t watch a horror movie! I find the Day of the Dead fascinating but not actually scary.

How wonderful to have costumes handed down through the generations, and to be able to dress up at work!

It was so much fun. If you took the bus to work on Halloween just about everyone was dressed up in various costumes, too funny.

Wow! great outfits and with such a lovely family history too. Happy Halloween!

I love Hallowe’en too. I love the creativity, fun, the community and the generosity. Wishing you a Happy October 31!

It is all of that! The costumes and decorations people come up with are amazing. My daughter-in-law decorates her entire front yard as a graveyard. So cool. Happy October 31st to you as well.

Amanda in New Mexico would be perfect for Halloween — ghosts and the Day of the Dead! Loved it. Also enjoy your story about home-made costumes and their journey through your family. You remind me of Morticia (?) from the Addams Family in your second costume — think it’s my favorite!

Thanks, Pat. Yes, a Morticia look was what I was going for. Glad you liked it. I was pleased you enjoyed Amanda in New Mexico too.

Wow. Those are wonderful costumes. Dressing up for Halloween is the best part. After reading about your homemade costumes, all I can think of is the time my son (only 6) wanted to be a ghost. An orange one. It was his favourite colour. We still have it.

I don’t like scary movies either, and I’m glad to hear your books won’t keep kids up.

Thanks, Diane. An orange ghost, I love it! Why not. One year my daughter was a pink cat.

What lovely costumes, Darlene. We don’t really have Halloween here, though some people do it. I lived in America for 3 years when my kids were little, and it was great fun. Toni x

I realize it is more of a North American thing. Glad you enjoyed the costumes. xo

I love that excerpt, nice cliff-hanger.
What a talented family you are. Those costumes are fabulous. What a lovely heirloom the clown costume is.

That clown costume is still around. Pleased you liked the excerpt.

What great costumes, Darlene! I’ve never been one for making anything or dressing up, and unfortunately neither was my mum. My boys must have known I wasn’t that way inclined, as they never asked me to make them anything. Instead they would buy wizard outfits from Woolworth’s with their pocket money!

Mom and I both liked to sew, which came in handy for Drama Club and Halloween. Glad you enjoyed the costumes.

Love the pictures of costumes!

Thanks for stopping by, Michelle. Glad you liked the costumes.

Happy Halloween to you! I sure wish we lived close to each other when we were raising our kids. I would’ve even paid you to make costumes for my two. Unlike you-I have never enjoyed Halloween except for the walking out at night part. As a child I still remember how neat it was to walk outside at night with other kids my age. Walking under just star and moon light and hearing the breath of everyone underneath their masks. I think I liked that part when taking my kids around on Halloween night also. The costumes just gave me a fright. Wearing them and having to make them. I love love love the pictures of you in your costumes as an adult. And then the clown costume your mom made is absolutely amazing.

Happy Halloween! Yes, walking around the neighbourhood was fun at night and it was safe then too. Halloween appealed to my creative mind especially creating costumes and decorations.

I would love to celebrate Halloween with you.

We would have so much fun!!

Happy Halloween to you, Darlene – though it is a somewhat bizarre thing to wish on someone! When I was growing up, Halloween was not that big a deal in England – bigger in Scotland, where they had the tradition of ‘guising’. It’s only really taken off in the last 30 years, entirely driven by commercialism – but we did have some fun parties when the kids were young!

Thanks, Mike. I know, when my husband immigrated to Canada from the UK, 45 years ago, he was amazed at what a big deal we made of Halloween. I always found Halloween to be a happy occasion so it is appropriate to say Happy Halloween. Thanks!!

Passing Halloween costumes from generation to generation sounds like a fantastic tradition.
It also shows the quality of the costumes that are hand made – your grown daughter still uses a costume from her childhood.

The handmade costumes do last a lot longer and can be passed down. Thanks.

I love the Jane Austin costume! The book excerpt was appropriately scary for the season. Happy all saints day!

Thanks! I´ve worn that costume a number of times. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Rebecca. Happy All Saints Day to you as well. xo

Great costumes! I’ve never dressed up for Halloween nor had the opportunity but love the idea. You look so cute in them. Love your story excerpt. Wish I had grandchildren or someone to buy them for. What age group reads these books?

Thanks! I enjoy creating costumes, part of my imagination I guess. Hubby and I have his and hers pirate costumes which I made years ago and still wear. We also won a prize for Henry VIII and Anne Boylen costumes. I wrote my books with ages 8 to 12 in mind but I have been amazed at how many adults enjoy them too. We are all kids at heart, aren’t we?

You are so fortunate to have a husband that will play along. It’s good to never lose that sense of fun and playfulness. I’m probably enough of a child to enjoy your Amanda books. I did enjoy what I read here.

Yes, he is a good sport.

Love the costumes….I so remember doing that years ago at one places I worked.

Glad you liked them. I have always enjoyed dressing up and Halloween is a great opportunity.

Darlene, I also enjoy Halloween.

It us fun! Thanks for commenting.

Darlene, I do invite you to look at my blog and leave me any comments.

I love your costumes, Darlene. And, your excerpt from Amanda in New Mexico is terrific!

Thanks, Jennie.

You’re welcome, Darlene.

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