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Growing Up Not Celebrating Halloween

The first and only time I went trick or treating I was 11. Often when I tell people that I get a response of confusion, bewilderment… the assumption I was in a religious cult? As a disclaimer: I was not, and am not, in a religious cult. 

The honest truth is that my family was just really lazy. My mom doesn’t like anything scary, disliked most of the neighborhood kids, and my dad had negative experiences on Halloween when he was growing up. Something about the Devil’s holiday would be brought up when carved pumpkins started popping up on people’s front porches, but I just think that’s because my dad thought pumpkin carving was tacky. Combined, they decided that Halloween was not on the agenda in the Wickline household. Instead, we closed our blinds, turned our porch light off, and October 31st was met with a viewing of The Sound of Music. There’s nothing spookier than the Van Tropp family singing on a hill. 

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/season-1-netflix-stranger-things-l0MYF44K8NgPSYwRa

I never felt left out of trick or treating as I got plenty of candy in school, and I liked having that special time with my parents and siblings. At school, though, we had a costume parade every year. It sounds exactly like what it is: Every kid would dress up and then walk around the school. It was a whole event where parents came in and pictures were taken, but I was there, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The weird kid without a costume in pictures.

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/season-17-the-simpsons-17×3-3o6Mb8uSeFPQtQsaaI

As high school came around, I started becoming more autonomous. I could create my own costumes and go to Halloween parties and dances. I could choose my own media, and watch spooky movies around the last couple of weeks in October. As I became my own person, I began to fall into the appeal of Halloween. I loved going to fright farms with potential boyfriends and having to hold their arm through the maze. I started to actually enjoy the holiday that my parents so firmly did not support. 

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/filmeditor-disney-halloween-3o7aTJk6hweESdjJ3q

Funny enough, Halloween has evolved into both my sister’s and I’s favorite time of year. I still don’t like scary things, but I love dressing up, going to a mild scare house with friends and doing Halloween related things. College really peaked my Halloween interest, and I found that actually going out and experiencing things like the Rocky Horror Picture Show and carving pumpkins with a bunch of people was so much fun. There’s a commodity that comes with Halloween and a certain familiarity between people who really enjoy it. Campy movies like Beetlejuice and The Lost Boys are some of my favorite movies, and I love inviting friends over to make spiked apple cider and watch the terrible effects that used to be considered so spectacular. It’s even fun handing out candy and seeing the kids in their costumes and their smiles when they find out it’s a full-size candy bar. 

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/dancing-halloween-pumpkin-dance-l3vRfhFD8hJCiP0uQ

Halloween can be as spooky or silly as you want it to be. It’s not all hauntings or scares, but, rather, an excuse to hang out with friends and have a fun night together. I started out thinking that celebrating Halloween was weird to someone who thrives in the crisp weather of October while wearing a shoddily-made costume from a reference, I’m going to have to explain to everyone I meet. Trick-or-treating isn’t the only thing to do for Halloween, and, in fact, it’s the perfect time of year to make some memories and take really cute pictures.


Communication Major at Penn State Behrend Intersectional Feminist Do More Of What Makes You Happy
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