I’m not going to be spooked by Hallowe’en

The challenge is to make it even more gruesome than the last time.

That is why I’m thinking of cutting off my own arm.

Well if that bloke in 127 Hours did it so can I.

Only you could argue that, being wedged in a remote canyon, he had a better reason to do it than to entertain a handful of children at a Hallowe’en party.

The problem with these events is that every year has to be more horrible than the last.

I wracked my brains last year as to how to top the previous year’s horror fest and came up with frights including pumpkins vomiting bloodied gunge (porridge oats mixed with tomato sauce) across our gatepost, a couple of severed feet on the lawn (a bargain at Aldi), blood-smeared chains in the hall and a giant spider that fell onto unsuspecting passers by.

This year I’m struggling and short of taking them grave robbing at a remote church on a foggy estuary I’m not sure how to terrify a group of sceptical teenagers.

My husband made himself up very convincingly last year, looking every inch Freddie from Elm Street.

He terrified me, but when he sprang out of bushes at the bottom of our garden they laughed. “That’s your dad,” said one.

The increasingly gruesome sights of Hallowe’en have left children so unphased by blood and gore that when they are eventually old enough to watch adult horror movies (they most probably do already) they will not bat an eyelid.

I don’t think anyone short of Steven Spielberg could supply the sort of special effects to satisfy my daughters and their friends.

They see it all in the supermarkets anyway – the masks, the fake blood, the witches’ warts.

Shopping in Asda this week, I wandered from fruit and veg into the ‘CREMATORIUM’, where a fake stone sign signalled an aisle full of bones and body parts, with lifelike crows perched alongside. I’ve seen worse.

Last year one store had some very lifelike shackled, severed limbs that shuffled along the floor, and I bought some revolting eyeballs, with protruding veins that I stuck in a jelly along with some fake insects.

I’m not going to get stressed about Hallowe’en. Our party is on Saturday night – if my efforts don’t terrify the teens there’s always those scarily bad acts on the X-Factor to keep in reserve.

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