No Tricks or Treats: Growing Up Without Halloween

Halloween is a time where most kids dress up as their favorite superhero, or Disney princess and take on the streets of their neighborhood with pillowcases to rack up tons of candy, and a few cavities. Unfortunately, I was never able to experience the anticipation of ringing a doorbell to collect treats or running through the chilly October air at night.

The weeks leading up to Halloween were particularly irritating for me throughout my years of elementary and middle school. All my friends at school and dance were discussing their costumes, who they were trick or treating with, and expressing their excitement for the “holiday." I put holiday in quotes because my parents forbid me to call the evening of scares and tricks a holiday. Yes, the Daniels household did not partake in the festivities. “That is the day of the devil, it promotes evil and I will not allow you to engage in such!” is a quote that summed up my mother’s mood for the whole month of October. The only thing that my mother recognized for Halloween was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” which she blasted for the whole month of October.   

Despite not being able to join into the costume conversations or be dropped off at a friend’s house for the evening, I don’t feel like I missed out on much. My church held a Fall Fun Fest on the night of Halloween for the children who were not allowed to trick or treat. The carnival setting had games, food, and probably more candy than my friends were getting back at home. Gratefully, my mother would let me pick out a cute treat bag to collect my goodies from the church and buy me a festive sweater. Although I couldn’t brag about my costume the next day, I still stuffed a backpack full of Twizzlers and Warheads to snack on throughout the school day.

Looking back, I understand why my mother did not allow participation in Halloween. Although the original origins of Halloween were to remember the dead, the world had managed to turn the day into something less than honorary. Being an only child, she was terrified of anything happening to me. The constant news reports of poisoned candy or candy apples with razors inside frightened her and only made her argument against Halloween even stronger. As I got older, she loosened up. I was allowed to go to Halloween parties or walk around with friends that night once I reached high school. However, the thrill of Halloween as a child was lost but not necessarily missed.

Now as a junior in college, I dress up and go to the parties to enjoy a night of friends, make great party memories, and eat all the candy in sight. At this age, Halloween is just a night to spam Instagram with bomb costumes, partake in drinks other than water, and enjoy an evening where you can be someone other than yourself. I wish you all a safe and sweet Halloween!