Halloween is a big deal for adults here in Canada. Halloween costume parties are very popular and I suspect a lot of money gets spent. I was never that excited about Adult Halloween. To me, Halloween is kids' thing and all about guising. Here in Canada the kids go out Trick or Treating - which doesn't seem to involve doing anything like singing a song, telling a joke or anything like the things we used to have to do when I was young. By the way, did you know that it seems the first written reference to Trick or Treating was in a Canadian newspaper, an Albertan one in fact, in the 1927? I had imagined that the concept of Trick or Treat was an Irish-American innovation. That it was an American perversion of a Celtic tradition. But it could be that Trick or Trick is truer to Tradition. I remembered that many years ago I read a book by the son of a Strathpeffer crofter which mentioned Halloween mischief in, I think, the 1890s. The book wasEchoes of the Glen by Colin MacDonald. In his tale MacDonald recounted how when one crofter who incurred the displeasure of the local youths a bucket was placed over her chimney to smoke her out. Acts of mischief, if not outright cruelty, involving less popular members of the community seem to have been the order of the day. There were no mentions of joke telling, singing or dancing to earn a reward from householders. That got me wondering if the Presbyterian Church had perhaps subverted what had once been a childhood once-a-year extortion racket into a life lesson about not getting something for nothing, hence the guisers' need to sing, dance or tell a joke before they could be rewarded. As very few ordinary working people were encouraged to writer about their lives, beliefs and traditions before the 1960s we may never really know the origins of the Trick or Treat approach to Halloween. Many of the folk "traditions" we know of were in fact captured through the lens of affluent outsiders who did not always ask the right questions and who sadly even when they did were not always given honest answers.