Boo! (Introducing Halloween to the Singapore Heartland)

Celebrating Halloween was always huge for our family. The kids actually consider it their favourite holiday. Our Vancouver neighbourhood would transform from it’s normal suburbanlyness to cul-de-sacs of creepiness.

So when we uprooted to Singapore in 1997, it came as quite a shock to our little ones that Halloween was not celebrated there. That first year, in lieu of (non-existent) trick or treating, I put together a little costume party for our kids and a few of their friends in our condo. Word got around during the year, so that when Halloween rolled up the following October, I had to book the condo’s party room for the gig. Year after that, so many showed up, (friends of friends, and so on), that our fellow condo residents thought it was a public event!

Moving to our house shortly there after made Halloween even more fun, because in our “heartland” hood, nobody knew what we were up to. Hanging ghosts and ghouls around the garden, creating a haunted cemetary under the palm tree, the murder victim in the driveway…these things were not only foreign to the locals, they were considered bad luck. The Chinese and Malay grannies that lived nearby would pass and purposefully look away, afraid the bad juju would jump the fence onto them.

This did not deter us, nay, it only spurred us on to bigger, more elaborate Halloween celebrations. We became known in our district as THE HALLOWEEN HOUSE, neighbours stopping by or leaving notes for us from early October, inquiring if we were again decorating, and offering candy for trick or treating, which we also introduced to the hood.


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