I've found through friends that the further South you go the less chance they experienced Halloween as youngsters, not so much South just region by region I suppose. Here Oop North it's always been a thing for as long as I can remember.
I've carved sugar beat and turnips as a kid in place of pumpkins
When I moved up to pumpkins, still as a kid, I felt all superior to my next door neighbour; his Dad always got him a turnip! I'd have this great big pumpkin, kitchen knife grinning jack, poorly gutted and weighing a ton! I'd insist on taking it out trick or treating with me, the warming smell of a candle roasted pumpkin wafting up through the chimney, the flickering candle light casting an orangey glow, gently warming my cold hands....yeah I'd get as far as the garden gate before my big Sister would have to carry it
She hated it