Halloween in Australia is all fright by me
BY THE time you read this, all the trick or treaters will have returned home, probably busy putting up Christmas tinsel.
But while I write this, my children are watching previews of all the scary movies I won't let them watch in full.
Scary fun is a big thing in our household - even the four-year-old is often busted hiding in a cupboard, ready to scare unsuspecting mothers simply trying to prepare dinner.
One time, a child threw a pipe-cleaner spider at me that they'd made in a craft session.
I suffer with a little arachnophobia and, amid the screaming, I almost killed us all.
You see, I was driving at the time and tried very hard to exit the moving vehicle. Every man for himself.
We delight in anything that will elicit a scream of terror from an unsuspecting victim.
We have countless scary masks that appear in dark windows, creepy toys that turn up under pillows and sneak into the shower with you.
Which is why, when my children realised the Halloween phenomenon, I was never going to be able to say "no”.
Our family was made for Halloween.
Just because it wasn't something done when I was a child doesn't mean it should never be enjoyed.
Otherwise, we'd have no jump parks, Ted Talks, slacklining, Spotify; I could go on.
And a trip round the neighbourhood with other families - in a Halloween-friendly neighbourhood - is a rare chance to engage with the community.
My toddler went as Chucky last year and we made lots of new friends who just loved her costume.
But you don't have to agree. Plenty of people don't enjoy scary pranks, and plenty of people don't enjoy Halloween either.
But I cannot understand any grown person getting upset when a child knocks on their door - as though they, or their parents, are what's wrong with the world today.
We are just having fun.
And right now, I'm off to sneak up behind my unsuspecting children and see how badly I can freak them out.
Peta Jo is an author and mother of three. She doesn't like spiders. Visit her on Facebook.