This month, we’re taking a slight departure from our usual Round Robin topic of writing and our writing process. It is the time of spooky, after all, although, perhaps, not all of these childhood Halloween memories you’ll wind through will be spooky. The ones I’ll be sharing aren’t. Well, I don’t think so, anyway. My Halloween memories revolve around, first, my sister and I trick or treating around the neighborhood in the dark without our parents. I don’t remember if an older sibling came with us, but, by the time I was eight, I don’t think they did. Janna, my older sister, and I both had large pillowcases to fill with candy. We always came home with at least a half pillowcase full of candy. Lots and lots of candy. You know, back when the candy wasn’t bite-sized, but rather full-sized candy bars, jawbreakers, and the occasional apple (before the razor blade scare). My sister and I would hoard our candy—well, honestly, we’d gorge on the candy, eating a couple, before setting it aside and making it last as long as we could. It became a competition to see who could make their candy last the longest. Honestly, I don’t remember who won. There’s a good possibility we might have sneaked some from the other’s bag when they weren’t looking. We shared a room. There was no place you could hide something like that without the other finding it. LOL Besides, the memories are a bit foggy. (Grin) It’s been a number of years, after all.
Once more people moved out to our neighborhood, we grew up a bit and trick-or-treated separately with our friends. I believe it was in the seventh grade. They’d just come out with hair rinse, and I decided I wanted to be Vampira for Halloween. It was perfect. I could wear my fancy white, lacy dress, dye my blonde hair black for the night, and wash the dye out after trick-or-treating. My oldest sister, a cosmetologist, warned me it wouldn’t be that easy, but, me being twelve and knowing it all (hahaha), ignored her advice. For the next six weeks, I walked around with gray-green hair. Used to being teased, I brazened it out. It took less than a day before people realized I wasn’t going to let it bother me. It became something I joked about, even though I was horrified in the beginning. It would eventually rinse out, and there was nothing I could do about it.
By the time high school came around, I was on the water polo team and our season ended right around Halloween. Every year, I threw a costume party for the team at my parents’ house. Most of the team (both JV and varsity) would come, we’d watch scary movies (they’d watch scary movies, if I’m honest, I didn’t) all night, most brought sleeping bags, and we’d all crash in the living room. This was a co-ed team. We had a great time. One year, I dressed as a flapper and Jim Service, a fellow water polo player, was an ace pilot. Somewhere, packed away in a safe place, is the picture of the two of us. It’s a great photo and brings back a lot of wonderful memories. Those were good times. Unfortunately, I have no idea where that safe place is.
As I got older, and after my kid became a teen, I returned to the costume I’ve worn most of my adult life: the Grim Reaper. I’ve scared a lot of people in that costume. I’ve walked through haunted houses and had the cast think I was part of it. For a few years in a row, I’d hide in the bushes at my parents’ house and scare the tweens/teens. Recently, I’ve introduced this joy of scaring them to my teen, who dresses as a plague doctor. This picture is of the two of us a few years ago. And the video farther down is of a teen startled by me emerging from the shadows and running down my mother’s driveway screaming. I have to say, it was awesome.
Halloween, next to Christmas, is my favorite holiday. Maybe it’s the costumes. Maybe it’s terrifying others. Maybe it’s the spiders. Whatever it is, I love Halloween.
If you’re looking for a creepy, horror read, be sure to check out my book The Whispering House.
If you enjoyed my stories, be sure to follow the links below for more childhood Halloween memories: