Halloween Nostalgia From the 1960s
By Diane Campbell Green

October 31, 2022, I’m Emily Chalmers Gordon, Becky Chalmers’s granddaughter. I decided to keep a diary for my friends about my Gramma’s stories.  Gramma is THE BEST storyteller.  At first it was really strange to think of Gramma as eight-years-old, but when she told her stories, Becky Chalmers and her friends came to life.  I would love a friend like Becky.  When Gramma tells her stories, it’s kind of like fantasy—I’m put in a transporter and taken to a different world.  At Miss Lisa’s Private School, where I go, there was a Halloween party today.  Gramma came to pick me up early to see the fun.  Before I knew it Gramma took over.  All the kids sat around her and Gramma let loose another one of her stories.  Gramma was scared by some other kids, but her Gramma and Pop-Pops dressed her up so royally she wasn’t afraid of anything.  Gramma said she learned that a ghost can’t turn you into a cat on Halloween.  After the story, I thought Gramma was finishing up.  She wasn’t.

“I heard that you kids go to malls and have ‘trunk or treat’ for Halloween today.  I bet you’re scared when a monster from a video game tries to get you in your dreams at night.  I had bad dreams too.  I yelled loud enough for my daddy to come to my bedroom and chase away the witch that sometimes hid under my bed.”  Gramma told us that she heard that kids today get little candy bars.  “We got really big chocolate bars and really big peanut butter cups in 1961.”

Finally, Gramma was getting sleepy.  Fortunately, Mommy met us right when she was about to nod off.  We took Gramma home that night.


Short excerpt::

The Queen of Halloween

October 1961

Halloween was coming to the peaceful little borough of Yardley.

 “Just think,” nine-year-old Becky Chalmers said to her sister-friend, Sharon Edwards, “we’re going out for our first Mischief Night and the next night will be Halloween.”

 “My big brother, Lee Junior says there’s been a Mischief Night in Yardley for 200 years. He says ghosts wander all over town and stay for Halloween night too.” Sharon said.

 “I don’t know which night will be scarier, but I’m going to show all the kids on Cadwallader Court how brave I am,” Becky said. Sharon nodded in agreement; her voice too shaky to respond verbally.

Alone in her bed that night, Becky wasn’t quite so brave. Branches tapped on her bedroom window with ghostly fingers. Shadows shifted grotesquely magnifying the clothes rack in her bedroom. “What was that?” Becky tucked the covers under her chin. Would the witch who sometimes hid under her bed grab her feet if she tried to flee?  .... 


See “The Queen of Halloween,” in The Sparkling Adventures of Becky and Friends by Diane Campbell Green. The book is available on Amazon.com and the entire Becky Chalmers series is described and sold on DCGBooks.com.


About the author. After completing college and attending graduate school, author Diane Campbell Green’s thought was to someday write history books. She didn’t know at the time that it was her own history that she was meant to share through her beautiful works of fiction. 

A child of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Diane had a wonderful childhood growing up in the Delaware River town of Yardley, Pennsylvania. Her memories of lazy summers playing outside, peashooters and paper airplanes, fishing trips and kickball games inspired her to write children’s stories, including her newest, Becky Chalmers Beautified, a precious coming of age story about an eleven-year-old girl finding her place in the world in the ‘60s.

Diane’s Becky Chalmers series first originated from her own childhood adventures. She hopes her young readers will come away from her books learning what it was like to grow up in a national period of peace and prosperity and with a sense of inner faith and self-confidence that lasts long after the book is closed.


Read more by Diane Campbell Green on Babyboomers.com below:

Jan. 18, 2022  The Friendship-Date

Feb. 15, 2022  Peashooters

Apr 9, 2022     Baloney Curls

May 29, 2022  Memorial Day


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