A small roundup of things Halloweenish. Item: We all know that Halloween is supposed to be a night for the dead, but the French press has declared Halloween itself dead.
"Halloween pretty much buried," the daily le Monde reported, quoting Benoit Pousset, head of costume company Cesar, who attributed the festival's demise in France to "a cultural reaction linked to the rise of anti-Americanism".
"Our Halloween sales have been falling by half every year since 2002," Franck Mathais of toys retailer La Grande Recre told the newspaper.
A group called "Non a Halloween" set up to fight the trend, which it saw as an unwelcome intrusion fostered by purely commercial interests, even wound itself up last year.
"There was no need for the group to exist any more," former president Arnaud Guyot-Jeannin told Reuters.
Introduced in France during the 1990s, it aroused strong opposition from many who found it artificial and over commercial and the festival never caught on properly. The Catholic church was particularly sceptical.
The daily Le Parisien painted a desolate picture of abandoned pumpkins and sorry displays in isolated restaurant doorways and declared "Halloween is dead".
Ah, the French. So tolerant. But not to fear, all is not lost in Europe! Item: The Germans have introduced their newest Halloween tradition. Dumping pig heads all over the highways!
BERLIN – A truck spilled two tons of pigs' heads on a road in western Germany, giving passing drivers a shock on the night before Halloween, police said Tuesday.
The accident happened Monday night after the truck turned off a highway in Herne, in the Ruhr region, police in Bochum said.
As the driver accelerated away from a traffic light, the door of his trailer opened, spilling the severed heads onto the road.
"Hans! That speed bump is STARING at us!"