When most people hear the word ‘Halloween’ they think of either children trick or treating dressed in costumes or terrifying horror film type scenes. I’ve never been a big Halloween fan, it is no where near as popular in the UK as it is in the US and the day could quite easily pass me by. Except this year. Teaching English abroad isn’t just about teaching the language, it is also about sharing cultures and traditions so I decided to take the plunge and do a Halloween class with my students. It helps that my students are really interested in all things Halloween and had been asking me about a special class for weeks.
Halloween was on a Monday this year and I made sure I had stocked up on halloween balloons and sweets over the weekend. My classes really enjoyed the decorations and the liberal prize/sweets giving. It was a huge hit.
It just happens that Mondays are the one day of the week when I teach an after school class until 6.15pm. The nights have been drawing in for a while and by the time I leave school it is pitch black. After a fun filled class of mask making and horror story telling I turned off the computer, drew the blinds and put on my coat ready to go home. The second I switched off my classroom’s lights, I was thrown into complete darkness. The corridor lights had already been turned off, the stairways were big black holes and there wasn’t a soul in sight. My students had disappeared with the bell. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a die hard Halloween kind of person but I don’t particulary enjoy horror films either and as I felt my way along the wall to go down the stairs, horror film images kept creeping into my head. Even worse, the stories in my head started to mirror the stories my students had thought up, most of them disturbingly set in the school. Halloween had well and truly gotten to me. I was spooked. I made it to the ground floor, made my way for the nearest exit and upped my pace to a a definite jog. I admit it, I jogged.