I have always loved Halloween, ever since I was a little girl.
I love dressing up and seeing everyone elses costumes. I think my favourite costume was dressing up as a ladybird for a house party! Not very scary I know, but it was fabulous.
There hasn't been any dressing up now for a few years, namely because now I have a child of my own, Halloween is about her.
Princess has a cousin who's birthday falls on Halloween. Every year (well every 2 years, he's only 3 this year!) we dress Princess up and go round for a Halloween themed party. All of the kids dress up, the house is decked out in spooky gear and the cakes and food are all ghostly themed!
However this year, I think Halloween is cancelled. Princess has developed a strange fear of ghosts.
That's right. My just two year old is terrified of the undead.
I do blame myself. A few weeks ago she was watching episodes of Scooby Doo. She never usually watches Boomerang because the cartoons are too old for her, but this particular day she chose her own programme. After that, she asked to watch again.
Now she's only seen about 2 episodes of Scooby Doo so I'm not saying it's entirely related, but it's either that or my house and everyone elses is haunted.
I recently took her down the Halloween aisle at the shop and she was terrified. The poor thing cowered away from the masks and spooky noises. The only thing she would entertain was a devil horn headband, but she didn't look up from under her blanket long enough to appreciate they weren't that scary.
Every now and then she will point, shiver and say "ghosts". If anyone puts a blanket over their head, or she can't see their face, she cries and thinks it's a ghost. She literally screams and tries to hide.
Along with this she has developed an aversion to the dark. I wouldn't necessarily say she's scared of it because she doesn't wake up frightened and she doesn't refuse to go into it. But she does make a point of declaring how dark it is. She will ask me to turn the light on. Even if it's daylight outside, but it clouds over, she will say it's dark.
I wish I knew where these fears had come from. I most definitely wish I knew how to take them away from her.
At two years old she should not be worrying about things such as ghosts. In fact she shouldn't even know what a ghost is. I still don't know whether to blame Scooby Doo because the only episodes she saw were about a vampire and a zombie.
I'm not trying to justify letting her watch it, definitely not. Take it as a warning if anything. Kids clearly understand things much younger these days and I have somehow managed to give my daughter an irrational fear.
We try to tell her ghosts are silly. We even pretend to talk to them like they're our friends so she thinks whatever it is she can see is safe. We will always make her feel as safe and loved as possible.
So this year, Halloween is cancelled. There will be no trick-or-treating for us. No Halloween themed party and definitely no dressing up.
I'm hoping it's just a phase, but I feel terrible.
Unless she is in fact seeing ghosts.