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Treat of Trick? the Global View Arrives ....

The Pans and Salem in their Hallowe'en-ing Context

Hallowe'en 2006 saw the tales of our own 81 Witches and Salem's recounted at a conference convened by Glasgow's Caledonian University. The two Professors there who took the initiative there were Michael Foley and Hugh O'Donnell, an unholy alliance between Language, Culture and Leisure! Our own theatre group performed that year's Hallowe'en play The Cauldron by Roy Pugh in the evening to the delegates.

As it so often is with book publishing, it has taken more than two years to get all the contributions into print, but what is now available to the widest of audiences is a truly amazing miscellany on Hallowe'en. It's not a cheap production at 39.99 plus 3 postage, indeed it is 'unseemly' expensive bearing in mind the nature of printing costs in this day and age. But it's worth ten times its cover price to any person or institution taking the study of leisure opportunism seriously. And for those who are students or practitioners of Hallowe'en per se across the globe, it's priceless.

A conferential study of why St Andrew's Day and St George's Day in the United Kingdom are such pale imitations of St David's and St Patrick's can surely quite justifiably be on Caledonian U's agenda! For what they have demonstrated is how our societies, our cultures, seize gladly upon such opportunities to create fun and enjoyment - in many cases not caring a hoot for the message or even the messengers. [Let's not forget Hallowe'en is not really all about witches. It's just got that way in some places like The Pans and Salem!]

click to enlarge


Malcolm Foley & Hugh O'Donnell, Treat or Trick? Halloween in a Globalising World. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle UK, 2009, 284pp including illustrations. ISBN 1-4438-0153-4

Published Date: February 5th 2009

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