Last year, I took my biological blood minions trick-or-treating for the first time. Here are five useful Halloween hacks I discovered along the way.
Like it or not, Halloween is steadily gaining traction in Australia with more and more kiddies joining the fold each year. I was actually astonished by the number of trick-or-treaters I saw skulking about, including a pair of scantily clad catwomen who appeared to be around 25 years old. What's all that about, eh?
If you're planning to go trick-or-treating with your kids tonight, here are a few tips that will make your Yankee festivities as fun and painless as possible.
Stick to quiet roads
Bit of an obvious tip really, but busy streets are definitely best avoided. Apart from the increased danger involved, it creates needless stress for the guardian and detracts from the fun. It also increases the chance of idiots honking their horns at your kids as they gun past (or even throwing eggs, which apparently happens.)
Keep an eye out for signage
It is becoming increasingly common for Halloween advocates to signpost their houses with spooky banners and other paraphernalia to let kids know that they're participating. If you want to spare your kids from a stern lecture about America's bastardisation of Australian culture, stick to the houses with the Halloween signs. (As an added bonus, these people usually have better candy too.)
Use small lolly receptacles
This is a clever idea for two reasons: firstly, a smaller bag means a smaller lolly haul, which could save your kid a painful trip to the dentist. Secondly, it reduces the amount of time you need to spend trudging about the neighbourhood: once their bags are filled, it's home time. Your children will still have a container overflowing with treats so they're unlikely to care too much.
Beware the Legion
During our travels, we occasionally encountered huge, roving bands of trick-or-treaters who had decided to join forces on the road. These groups are best avoided. Most Halloween hosts dispense their lollies far more frugally when confronted with multiple upthrust bags: subsequently, your haul from each house will be greatly reduced. (Also, another kid might be wearing the same Dracula outfit as you which is a social faux pas of the worst order.)
Black cats = Facebook/Instagram paydirt
If a black cat happens to cross your kid's path, milk that dusky bastard for every photo you can!
Like most things in life, 90 percent of horror films are rubbish. From hammy acting to fake looking effects, there's a lot that can go wrong. But every few years, a pitch-black reel of grueling horror will spring from the projector to disturb and terrify everyone in the theatre. (And we're not just talking about Rob Schneider comedies.)
This story has been updated since its original publication.