Kids are guising with a difference in Speyside’s remote glens

Gamekeeping families scattered across remote Speyside glens have created a novel plan so their kids can go ‘guising’ together for the first time.

Whilst kids in some Scottish towns can walk from door to door to do a song or joke for a reward, participating in the Halloween tradition of guising in the glens means lengthy road trips between homes, often located up hill tracks.

As a result, most children of the region’s gamekeepers have never experienced the Scottish custom because of the miles and hills lying between their houses.

Some kids of gamekeepers from the Speyside Moorland Group live as much as 85 miles away from each other; the area stretching from the Drumochter Pass on the A9, as far as east as Huntly.

Eager for their kids to finally get into the Halloween ‘spirit’, the mums have decided to bring the doors to the children: or in this case, the car boots.

Mothers and children, in their Halloween costumes, will park up in one agreed location on Saturday night, at Dalwhinnie village, and open their car boots to await their visitors for a spot of ‘car boot guising’.

Each vehicle boot is to be decorated with lights and ghoulish apparel – recreating a homely feel – and members of Dalwhinnie Community Council have even donated the use of the village hall for a small celebration.

Some of the Speyside gamekeepers’ kids getting ready for their car boot guising. (Photo: Speyside Moorland Group)

There are currently only two resident children in Dalwinnie – resulting in the closure of the primary school by Highland Council last year- and the local children have been invited to join in the fun, too.

Kids from the Laggan community have also been asked along.

Mum of two Carrieanne Conaghan, 31,, whose husband is head gamekeeper on one of the Speyside estates, said: ‘There are around 12 estates in our group employing gamekeepers and because the kids are so rural, they don’t have neighbours.

‘The only opportunity they would have to go guising or “trick or treating” was if they traveled into the main towns but they wouldn’t know anyone.

‘We felt it was a shame that they were missing out on the excitement and it was one of the other gamekeepers’ wives that thought of the idea of guising from car boots instead of houses, which seemed to make a lot of sense. My kids are absolutely over the moon about it. They’ve been practising their jokes and are looking forward to decorating the car and seeing the other kids.’

Although guising usually takes place on October 31st, the group decided to stage the event on Saturday, as two hour round trips on a school night would be a logistical headache for most parents.

Mother of two, Angela Black, 36, who came up with the car boot guising option.

She said: ‘We are the only house up our track and live in the country so we would need to travel by car into the nearest village for door to door guising.

‘My kids are looking forward to helping decorate the car boot and carve pumpkins. It gets them into the spirit of Halloween.’