Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What is Missed?

So someone from an internet news agency contacted me to write an article about haunting your house, and it looks like the Sacramento Bee may also run it! Yay, me!

One of the questions they wanted me to answer was: What do you miss most about your childhood Hallowe'en?

Since I was little during the 1970s, it was pretty easy to remember the fun things about those days. Planning your costume for a month in advance was huge! Bags of handmade treats from your neighbors, because you were pretty sure they weren't going to try to kill you with them. Actual trick or treat bags, not pillowcases. Running around at night with your friends instead of being taken to a bouncy house (not that bouncy houses were invented back then!) or the abomination that is trunk or treat!

I can also distinctly remember the Hallowe'en carnival we had at my grade school.

Yes, folks. A Hallowe'en carnival! Not a harvest fair or festival. A real, live, honest-to-God Halloween Carnival! Pre-politically correct b.s. re-naming of a holiday to make the killjoys happy. (I hear that the Harvest Festival is under attack, too, but there you go. Give the two or three people who are offended an inch, and they'll chew your damn arm off.)

I went onto Facebook and asked the question of a number of folks. Here are their responses:
  • The smell of those masks from the '70s!
  • Being able to eat treats that were homemade by neighbors.
  • The thrill and fun of being out trick r treating with your friends on Halloween night
  • My entire family gathering at my grandmother's old house all day to dress it up and then put on the biggest yard haunt in Venice CA.
  • I miss spending days figuring out what my costume was going to be.
  • The butterfly feeling in my stomach as Halloween approached. Also riding my bike through piles of leaves.
  • The plastic masks and aprons.
  • All the plotting, planning, and negotiating that went into deciding on a costume and, then, having a gigantic bag of candy to show for your efforts once the evening ended.
  • I miss 2 nights of trick-or-treat and it going later than 8:00.
  • I also miss the Imagineering products: Scar Stuff, Vampire teeth, blood etc...
  • Egging houses
What do you miss about your childhood Hallowe'en? Please leave a comment!


  1. Our town always gave a Halloween party for the children; needless to say it was a much smaller town then. The little kids had a costume party and treats. The older kids had a hay ride and a fun party after. These was very little trick or treating because there were so few children spread too far for walking from house to house!
    I do remember going out with my big sister when we lived in the mid west!

  2. Oh, how I miss Halloween carnivals! My school had one when I was little, and I still remember going through their "Haunted House". Not really all that elaborate when I think back on it, but it scared the bejesus outta me! I remember looking at the Dracula, lying in his coffin...thinking he was a dummy...and then having him grab my arm!! I probably peed my pants on the spot (and how amazing is it they were allowed to actually grab me???). In order to get out, you had to crawl through a small opening in the last room. Right as we started to "escape", a mummy started walking towards us. I was pushing my dad through the whole, convinced that my demise was mere seconds away. As I passed through the opening, I felt the mummy's hand brush my foot...I was convinced I'd just escaped a gruesome death!!

    Recently, I was told about a school here in Houston that had a full-fledged Halloween carnival. The principal decided she was sick of the politically correct crap, and went full-on (she also had a Christmas pageant, I am told). The first year they did this, attendance TRIPLED from previous years when it was branded as a "Fall Festival". An organization I am involved in has had one of those "Trunk or Treat" abominations every year, and my efforts to turn this event into an actual Halloween carnival have been to no avail (this year they wanted to replace the silly vampire mc with a king character. Needless to say, this was the final straw for me, and I resigned in disgust).

    There was just something magical about a carnival. Discussing this with my wife, she told me the school carnivals are actually her strongest memories of the High Holiday, more than even trick or treating! Such a shame that this concept has been driven away by the killjoys of the world.

  3. The scent of the magnolia trees and the smell of old paper decorations when pulled from the depths of the attic. I miss my Grandmother, who I attribute with my love and obsession for Halloween. She always made a goodie bag for me for Halloween night and let me decorate her house :) I wish she was here today to see my Halloween display now. I think she'd be proud!

  4. I miss how mysterious the night seemed...being outside, at night, without adult supervision, was thrilling!


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