Most parents choose to dress up their children as a cute little pumpkin, ghost or skeleton for Halloween. Well if you thought my parents, Clare and Neil, would think to follow the status quo and dress me as an adorable witch, you thought wrong.
My mam and dad seemed to enjoy dressing me up in the ugliest witch masks, that I am quite sure could be used as props in any horror movie.
Aged just 2, in the picture above, this is where the trauma begins. I’m sure to most people’s surprise, these masks didn’t scare me, but they sure didn’t make me the popular one with the other trick or treaters. As if the mask itself wasn’t enough to claim my childhood Halloween costumes were not my most fond memories. The horrible, strong smelling and suffocating rubber of the masks, with condensation building on the inside with every breath just topped off the whole Halloween experience.
No, the masks do not end there and I don’t disagree that we should probably start to question my parents’ intentions.
The second of the masks, my dad still loves to pull out of the loft every Halloween and wear it to hand out sweets to the trick or treaters – or not as the case seems to be. The mask still terrifies the younger children who refuse to come up to our door while he has it on, so as you can imagine the experience for me as a child wasn’t too dissimilar.
I never had the full Halloween costume experience, because that would just be too scary!
It was always about the practical warmth of the puffer jacket and jeans, of course not forgetting the highly impractical and sweaty rubber mask, because of course we can’t forget to keep the face warm. For the second year of masks I did get the added element of a black plastic bin bag slung around my shoulders as a ‘cape’, so I guess I really shouldn’t complain too much. My parents still insist that they thought 4-year-old Megan looked “cute” in this picture but, somehow, I struggle to agree with that compliment.
I think most people would say they are grateful for the day their parents stopped choosing their wardrobes and we were allowed to develop our own fashion sense. I can certainly say that this was the case for my Halloween costumes. It is fair to say they have got slightly better over the years and as soon as I was old enough to choose my own costumes I can guarantee you masks were the first thing taken off my radar.
As much as I may seem to hate the memory of the masks, I can’t deny the laughs we have every Halloween when they are pulled out of the loft and dusted off along with many other childhood memories. But I can confidently say that I’m much happier with the masks remaining a memory hidden in the loft for now.