Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and I have fond memories of trick-or-treating. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the chill of autumn and hear the faint whisper of fallen leaves blown by a gentle breeze. I can still hear the crunch of those fallen leaves beneath my eager footsteps and I can hear children laughing. The plastic scent from the old style Halloween masks still lingers in my mind. All of these reminders bring a smile to my face.
Going from door to door embraced in the twilight shadows, my heart raced with excitement and a little bit of fear, not knowing what to expect. With my pillowcase clutched in my hand, I would enter a neighbor’s yard filled with anticipation, wondering if the neighbor was going to jump out from behind a tree wearing a spooky mask. I welcomed a good scare in the spirit of Halloween. The neighbors that turned their yards into haunted houses or foggy graveyards were my favorite stops.
I loved that feeling of excitement and fear of the unknown. That was what Halloween was all about for my siblings and me. Halloween is that one night when a kid is free to roam the neighborhood, knocking on doors and demanding treats. It’s that feeling of fun and unpredictability that I will always remember.
I have to wonder if we have turned Halloween into a sterile, predictable night with trick-or-treating at the malls, churches and/or schools. Do kids still go door to door in their neighborhoods? Where I live now, they do their trick-or-treating in town from store to store. This is probably fun for kids who know no different, but it seems so scripted to me. I cannot help thinking that some of the fun has been snuffed out of Halloween. Gone is that experience of not knowing what to expect from each neighbor. Gone is that mischievous feeling of roaming the neighborhood in search of treats, and maybe performing an innocent trick or two on a stingy neighbor.
I am glad to see that Halloween and the art of trick-or-treating is still flourishing even if it has changed in some areas, but I will always have my own fond memories of trick-or-treating in my old neighborhood.
Have a safe and happy Halloween (Samhain)!
‘Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic’