Hair of the Doc

Aside from that time I chased guisers down the street, I’ve not done anything Halloweeny since I moved to Scotland. But this year it was totally spooktastic.

Gareth carved two pumpkins – one for us and one for his Mum’s birthday, coz Mum’s dig the handmade gifts. We dooked for apples at work.

Then Hippo played a Halloween gig at a local pub. As mentioned before, Hippo already had a bass player so Gareth got lumped with the keyboards. At least this give you a great excuse to put on a flowing blonde wig and dress up as the legendary prog-meister Rick Wakeman.

It was bloody hilarious seeing G with hair. He didn’t stop fussing with it all night, tossing it over his shoulders; stroking it with tender absentmindedness; tutting when a rowdy reveller sloshed it with Guinness.

Rick Wakeman-alike


Aside from Rick Wakeman the band featured a pirate, a scarecrow, a terrorist and Australia’s favourite serial killer, Chopper Read. Here’s some footage of the noisy lads at work; they were ace.

The next night we went to a Halloween party. Gareth’s cape and wig were totally destroyed by the night of rock so he hastily assembled a new costume from his bike leathers and a grungy mask and club from the pound shop. He seemed to enjoy the raven locks even more than the Wakeman tresses. I bought a 50p pitchfork and £1 stupid hat that claimed to be devilish but just looked like a demented pilgrim.


Do you remember that shitty, sinking feeling you got at school when you had an assignment that you did at the last moment in a half-arsed manner thinking that everyone else would have the same crappy attitude, but then you get to class and realise everyone has gone all out and used glitter and stuff? That was My First Halloween Party. Everyone put in so much effort; I felt totally budget. There were geishas, zombies, hippies; a disturbing Josef Fritzl and an Optimus Prime. One couple had handmade Rabid Care Bear costumes – they fashioned the heads out of coathangers and cushions and furry fabric then splashed the whole ensemble with fake blood.

Still, I learned a lot from observing the locals this year and will be sure to do things properly next time.

“I don’t really get this Halloween stuff,” I’d told one of my Scottish pals a few weeks ago, “We don’t really do it in Australia.”

“Do you come fae Australia!?” she said, “Ohh. I always thought you talked a bit funny.”

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11 thoughts on “Hair of the Doc

  1. It seemed to flit right past without a murmur here in Oz, although my sister reckons there are a lot more ‘kiddy parties’ going on with a Halloween theme such as school dances and the like.

    Halloween was great fun in Scotland. We were surprised at first (although not as surprised as we were the following week when everyone got drunk and started shooting fireworks from rooftops or at the village over the water), but by our 2nd year we decided to go all the way and were carving out pumpkins and setting fire to tables covered in absynthe…

  2. I was trying to explain to my colleagues in NY that the Scots invented ‘Trick or Treating’, but we called it guising and used to carve turnips instead of pumpkins, but they didn’t believe me.

    The Halloween Parade in the Village was amazing tho… there was even an entire section of people who were doing the Thriller dance the whole way! I went on the subway at 14th St 2 day’s later and there were still feathers and stuff all over the place!

  3. I chuckled all the way through this post but laughed out lout at the conversation as below:

    “I don’t really get this Halloween stuff,” I’d told one of my Scottish pals a few weeks ago, “We don’t really do it in Australia.” “Do you come fae Australia!?” she said, “Ohh. I always thought you talked a bit funny.”

    That’s a classic.


  4. I have never been to a fancy dress party in my life so I am guessing that you have just managed to tap into some weird Fifey sub-culture.

  5. it’s kind of funny that in America it’s for the kids, but over here in the uk it’s more for the adults!

    the crazines is always fun… you’ll have to get started on your outfit now, in time for next year!

  6. “Talked a bit funny”? What a cheek!

    With Loth, I take issue with the idea that in the UK adults get more fun out of Hallowe’en than kids. The last time I dressed up properly, I was fourteen. Maybe I just don’t get asked to the right parties – I saw plenty of costumed people on the buses…

  7. It’s definitely for adults in the U.S. as well. Those of us without kids often see it as an excuse to role-play…I went as dominatrix vampiress, complete with bullwhip, leather bustier, cape, stiletto knee boots, black wig, fangs, the whole deal. It was crazy-fun.

    Folks with kids, though…you’re right, they’re often too busy making it fun for them, they don’t get to play slutty pirate or some such.

    It’s my personal favorite holiday! Glad you got a piece of it, Shauny!

  8. I took a look at Hippo – which one was Chopper Read? Was it the guitarist with something pink hanging from a piece of string around his neck – was it supposed to be an ear? If so, I love it!
    There were a lot of kids trick and treating this Halloween – much more than usual maybe because it fell on a Friday night (no school the next day). I was impressed by the ones who had put their dogs in costume – a ghost and a witch and the dogs seemed to be having fun too…..

  9. I had a friend in middle school who’d lived abroad her whole life and had never once gone trick-or-treating. She thought the whole thing was rather odd.

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