Halloween causes spirited debate
"HAND over the lollies and no-one gets hurt."
Yes folks, it's Halloween tonight.
Bagged by some as a child's introduction to extortion, debate continues to rage over whether it is a pagan or Christian festival, whether it is good or evil, Yankee nonsense or Irish tradition.
To all these questions, it seems the answers are "yes, no and maybe".
Even blamed for obesity and tooth decay, some say (perhaps more seriously) that it can be dangerous - and police suggest precautions.
So what do parents really need to know?
Love it or hate it, it seems that most people, well, love it or hate it.
Few are indifferent, as The Gympie Times' Facebook page can demonstrate.
For or against, 96 people had responded to the question in two days by late yesterday.
This was in addition to suggestions on how householders can let marauding lolly-seekers know they are or are not part of the festivities.
Despite pre-Christian Celtic origins, it seems the festival in honour of the dead was quickly commandeered by the early Christian Church, as it occurred on the Eve ('een) of All Saints (or Hallows) Day (hence "Hallow 'een).
And much as some say Christians should not celebrate an occasion with even partly pagan origins, it is not clear what they may say about the equally "Christianised" but partly pre-Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter.
As a general rule, however, don't panic, just hand over the sweets.
And be safe. Children should be supervised and careful on the road.
What people say are the top 10 scariest books
It - Stephen King
The Shining - Stephen King
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
Salem's Lot - Stephen King
Pet Sematary - Stephen King
Goosebumps - R. L. Stine
Misery- Stephen King
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski