Ever since I was a little girl, digging through old dress-ups to try to create a new costume masterpiece, I’ve loved Halloween. It was a time to run through the neighborhood with my dirty pillowcase and squeal with delight when the “Awesome House” handed out full-sized candy bars.
How many times did my sister and I use our mom’s old silky, see-through curtains to make ourselves into gypsies? Several. And the roller skating girl in the red corduroy skirt (which was the same skirt used for a country girl on a previous year)? More than I like to admit. But even though my parents did not buy us costumes, my sister and I had to be supremely creative with our costumes. We didn’t have much to work with during the time when my dad lost his job–and those seem to be the Halloweens I remember the most.
Going back to my childhood, I suppose it makes sense that I love seeing well-planned costumes that show the wearer’s creative spirit. I love the cute little kids who have no idea what they are even wearing and can barely walk up to the door. And I especially love being a bit creepy and scary for one night out of the year (my students may disagree with that and say every day is like that).
I am not one who is easily frightened, and I love a good horror movie… especially ones with zombies. But I can recall one of the few times that I would be scared on Halloween was when my troupe of friends and I would come across a group of much older and much more frightening kids. I would swear to myself that the boy in the skeleton mask was hiding a knife, waiting to cut open the bag of my pillowcase full of candy so he could steal my loot for himself.
Did it ever happen in the years I wandered parentless on Halloween night? Nope. And, miracle of miracles, we were never maimed, attacked, enticed into a scary van, or given candy with razor blades or poison.
In fact, my friends and I loved stopping at one particular lady’s house. She was older and lived alone, but she would hand out her homemade caramel popcorn balls wrapped in Saran Wrap. The popcorn balls were delectable, and we would try to save them until we made it home to sort them with the rest of our treasure. Once home, my sister and I would dump out our candy, carefully sorting the candy into piles–same candy bars together, and then to my left would be chocolatey candies and on my right would be fruity ones.
That candy would last us weeks. We would wolf down several pieces on Halloween night, but then we would keep the rest squirreled away for our sweet tooths.
Some people I know don’t like Halloween, and I have to wonder if they just had horrific experiences as a kid or if they never had the type of experiences I had with the holiday.
So, here’s my new Hallow’s Eve challenge: let loose. Have a little fun. Scare a kid who comes to your door. Be the crazy lady who hands out pennies or boxes of raisins. Put a fake knife on your head when you answer the door. Splurge on full-sized candy bars for the ten kids in your neighborhood who still go around on Halloween. Whatever it is, help make that memory come true for someone else.
Have a creeptastic Halloween!