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The only thing more ghoulish and ghastly than the Halloween costumes last night was the weather in Dunedin.
Sadly, drizzle stopped many young trick-or-treaters from hoarding candy and the odd healthy alternative, such as apples.
But for some brave and hardy souls dressed as Harry Potter, ninjas, pirates, fairies, ghosts or goblins, the pickings were plentiful.
Columba College pupils (from left) Amira Alloo (15), Charlotte Hall (15), Bailey Saville (15), Boome Kim (14) and Alice Toomer (15) were celebrating Halloween in Maori Hill.
Dunedin residents appeared to be ready for the carnage and chaos caused by trick-or-treaters. Because so few turned up on their doorsteps, there was an abundance of goodies on offer, one parent said.
And it seems the annual celebration was not just for children.
Many teenagers and adults got into the spirit of the evening by dressing up as well.
The superstition surrounding Halloween is believed to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.
Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints and martyrs in the eighth century, and the holiday, All Saints' Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain.
The evening before was known as All Hallows' Eve and later Halloween.
Over time, Halloween has evolved into something more secular with community-based events including child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating.