I liked Halloween okay when I was a kid, but the experience was quite diluted compared to what city kids experienced. I lived on a farm, so my dad would drive my brother and me to a couple of the neighbors’ houses, and that was it. Huge Trick-or-Treat bags full of candy was not part of my childhood.
The most fun I ever had on a Halloween came during my working years at a good-sized company in South Florida. I had never dressed up at any job for that holiday, so I was considered a Halloween spoilsport of the worst kind. That’s why the year I decided to cover up from head to toe in a homemade monster-from-the-deep costume and an ugly rubber mask was a big success. I stayed far away from my own office, wandering the big common area full of accounting clerks in cubicles, supervisors in bigger cubicles, and cruising past the managers’ offices with barely a glance. I didn’t speak so no one could figure out my identity from my voice.
No one recognized me. I was in my mid-fifties, and I had finally enjoyed a Halloween to its fullest.
I’m retired now and a stay-at-home writer, I don’t go to Halloween parties, and the young Trick-or-Treaters stopped coming into the dark corner of our court years ago. We finally stopped buying the candy that we always ended up eating ourselves, and we keep the gate closed and the porch light off.
In a way, it’s kind of sad to have a holiday I can’t enjoy, but Halloween and Trick-or-Treating seems outdated and even dangerous. And then there’s this thing going on about clowns. See, when I think of a clown, I think of the great sad-faced Emmett Kelly. Or all the funny-faced clowns piling into the little car at the circus. I always liked clowns.
Things change. Have they changed for you, or are you still a fan of Halloween?