The Ghost Pop House

A local couple share their half a century old Halloween traditions that have touched many over the years.


Riley Devine


      Everyone who lives in Amherst knows that the town is a kind and welcoming community that loves to do for each other. Every year, downtown Amherst (more commonly known as the village), opens its doors and welcomes the children of our community for trick-or-treating. Among these people are The Lammares, a couple who have taken the festivities to the next level. For over half a century, Brenda Lammare has brought cheer to those around her by making her beloved Ghost Pops. 

     It all started in Berwyn, Pennsylvania in 1964 when she found the idea in a craft magazine. She began to make them and they were a huge hit. She decided to continue the tradition with her husband Clement and her young children. When their children were young, they would make about 25 ghost pops. As they moved from Acton, Massachusetts to Amherst, New Hampshire, they made less than twenty-five because not many children came to their house. The houses in their first Amherst neighborhood were far apart and the foot traffic was minimal. However in 1984 they brought the tradition to the village, which was no small undertaking. 

      The first year they made a hundred Ghost Pops and ran out early. Brenda even admitted that they had to hide inside and turn the lights off. The next year, they decided to “up the ante”  and made several hundred, but still ran out. Learning that the village was a very popular spot for families to bring their children, and that their Ghost Pops were a big hit, they decided to go to BJ’s in September and buy eight boxes of one-hundred Tootsie Pops. One weekend, the two of them turned on the television, grabbed the Tootsie Pops, white napkins, and orange yarn. They then used a sharpie to draw two black eyes and  a mouth. In that one weekend, Brenda and her husband were able to finish a total of eight-hundred Ghost Pops.

      In an interview with Brenda she said, “We continued the tradition all those years because the children expected them when they came to our house. We were known as the Ghost Pop House.What made it worthwhile was to see the children’s faces, especially the little ones and sometimes the parents would ask for one for themselves.” The Lammares have shown kindness to the Amherst community for forty-three years and are now living together in Milford. As a child who trick-or-treated in the village, the Ghost Pops are a fond memory and hold a large place in many children’s hearts.