It seems we cannot blame the USA for Halloween.

I always figured that all that tricking and treating was just another way for  American companies to make money and that we, in the UK, have followed on from that - just as we have adopted Black Friday.

THAT, by the way, is the Friday following Thursday's Thanksgiving which is theirs and theirs alone.

Anyway, it turns out that Halloween was actually Samhain, a festival that started in Celtic Ireland, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, or the "darker half" of the year.

It is held on November 1 but celebrations start on the night of October 31. 

Like so many other Christian festivals, the wisest of people, instead of trying to trample all over the beliefs of others, just found a way to give them a Christian meaning.

This is true of Christmas and even Easter which is the most important festival in the Christian calendar.

So November 1 became All Saints Day, the day when we honour all those who lived what we earthly judges considered to be good and holy lives.

So that was good - but the ghosts and ghoulies bit simply moved to October 31.

Trick or treating? According to Wikipedia, it began in medieval Europe where poor and hungry children would go from house to house asking for food or money and offering to pray for the departed in return.

I am a bit of a curmudgeonly old woman when it comes to Halloween.

I love to see children having fun and getting dressed up for the occasion. But when teenage boys knock on your door in the middle of October,  and not even wearing a costume, I draw the line.

There are also tales of the homes of elderly people being egged which would be very frightening for many.

All the photos on these pages, however, show people getting into the spooky side of Halloween but without any malice. It is just fun!

And if we have to adopt this American custom which we gave to them in the first place, then let us confine it to children out with a parent or guardian and they can have all the sweets they want.