What will I be this year for Halloween? The question whispers and pounds in your head, demanding an answer. You try alleviating the pressure by asking friends at lunch and it evolves into a two week conversation. What will you be? Will your choice outshine your friends?

After defeating this mental obstacle, you come to a conclusion then venture to your neighborhood costume shop. Following hours of searching-mostly spent drinking in the wonderful, magic atmosphere- you find the right costume, pay for it, then run home.

Halloween Day

The school day was great, the Halloween party fun; your sack,a paper bag with a pumpkin face pasted above your name that you made in arts and crafts. The teacher lets everyone go home early and you ride the big yellow bus home, conversing with friends about tonight and whose costume would be the "coolest". You hope to come through because you bet ten dollers.

Then following a succession of Halloween movies and specials(Brady Bunch, Doug, Flinstones etc, etc) kids are beginning to walk through the streets dressed in their costumes (Freddy Kruger, Jason, Ninja Turtles, Dracula. It's 5:30. Its time.

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Your friends wait for you outside. You all joke the others costumes when you see them, then begin trick or treating.. Just you and your friends. 5:30-9:00. You hope to get to every house in the neighborhood and surrounding ones.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Does this scenario sound familiar, more or less? As a child of the 80's and early 90's, its all too familiar. And even though those days have been gone now for 18 years, every Halloween conjures details and warm memories from those bygone days like some mocking sorcerer.

Let me ask how many of you recall the grand Halloween parties at your school, or the excitement of searching for your own costume and hoping it would be scarier than your friends. And the monster movies? Especially after trick or treating while you and your parents searched each Reese's cup or Milk Dud for sharp objects; Jason, Freddie...and Halloween specials living on into the night to commence a special day?

Oh wait!! Yes, the trick or treating. I almost forgot. There was nothing like walking alone with your friends, safely hunting for candy, passing hundreds of other kids; a sort of macabre parade. Every adult (neighbor) decorates their yard to make it look like a grave yard, waiting on their front porch to scare you. Some, especially the old men, scared us good, most just ended up looking silly. Still it was a lot of fun. And don't get me started on the haunted houses put together by 15-17 yr olds. Hey, to a 7-8 year old their work was terrifying. So many memories.

Now the friends have moved on; some dead, the old folks who tried so hard to make the holiday special; those friends now dead. Memories. I was so lucky and I thank all of those kind souls.


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Today do children have special Halloween experiences they can look back on with joy and tears? Or is Halloween just another mundane event where aspects can be recreated with today's technology? I mean a lot of children no longer trick or treat. Some do. Last year I only had about 8-10 trick or treaters, there parents around them like guards. Where are all the children? Church and recreation center sponsored Halloween events have robbed them of the special trick or treating experience. And what about costumes? So many seem to be PC. Where are all the realistic and horrifying costumes? Do parents really have a say now on what costumes their children can wear? When I was young the only problem was "Do we have the parts?"

And I don't see people elaborately decorating their yards or creating haunted houses. Have we lost the Halloween spirit due to current worldly affairs? Maybe. We all have our answers.

Nevertheless, I pray today's youth know the true Halloween experience. You can continue showing Halloween movies, taking them to parties overloaded with candy, but nothing will recreate the true Halloween experience.


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