by Jacky Shum
Halloween used to represent costumes, candy, and frightful experiences, but it has been a long time since I’ve felt chills and excitement as the holiday approached.
My first memory of Halloween was quite traumatic. My parents never believed in the process of “Trick-or-Treating,” as they deemed the tradition, “unsafe for little kids,” however in 2006 we decided to go to Universal Studios for some scary fun. I was never the bravest, but the excitement of actually celebrating Halloween (besides those horrible elementary school costume marches) far outweighed my fear of the supernatural. Little did I know, it would be one of the most frightening experiences of my childhood.
I came to Universal Studios dressed in my Spider-man costume, and around this time, Sam Raimi’s adaptation of “Spider-Man 2” had just hit the theaters and was very popular. Many people at Universal Studios were dressed as their favorite film characters. It was at that moment I met my mortal enemy, horrifying me for years to come.
As my family and I walked around towards various attractions and kid-friendly rides, I (ironically) encountered Spider-man’s archnemesis. Clad in emerald armor with a menacing mask, an employee of Universal Studios had donned the green goblin suit and snuck up on visitors to scare them. Making eye contact with the menacing figure, I heard him give a horrifying cackle, and he ran after me. Sprinting toward my parents, I cried in terror, which they found quite comical, and only worsened my situation. Despite my protests, they invited the goblin over and forced me to take a picture with him, ruining any sense of Halloween excitement I had left.
As I got older, my views of Halloween changed, and it became just another date on the calendar. With experience came knowledge, and in time I got rid of many childhood fears
My parents also decided to stop buying candy and turned off the porch light as they deemed both acts, “a waste of money.” However, persistent trick-or-treaters became an annoyance, and it became a tradition for the family to go out for the night rather than answering the door.
Although I rarely celebrate the holiday now, that old photograph from Universal Studios remains as a reminder of my horrors and thrills from simpler times.
by Crystal Huang
Parading in my shimmering yellow gown, I was Princess Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” ready to conquer Halloween by beginning my trick-or-treating adventure.
The only reason my elementary-school-self loved Halloween was because I could eat bags worth of candy. My two younger brothers and I bartered with each other for our desired candy; the goal was always Kit-Kats and M&M’s.
I enjoyed ringing doorbells and screaming “trick or treat!” every few steps. My eyes would widen with delight as I watched an individual’s hand grab a fistful of candy and dump every single colorful treat into my bag. I would walk around my neighborhood until my bag was filled to the brim and couldn’t possibly h[old anything else.
After gaining trick-or-treating experience, I started to dislike Halloween because of one thing: my neighbor. Every year, he would sit in a chair on his driveway, have his kids dress up in scary costumes and watch them chase people down the street. I experienced this for the first time when I was in fifth grade.
Before that fateful night, I would just skip his house because it looked eerie from the outside with fog machines, fake cobwebs and a dark driveway. When I first went through my neighbor’s walkway, I ran away screaming as someone chased me down the holding a fake knife.
I didn’t understand why people enjoyed scaring others in the first place. To me, Halloween was all about the candy and the fun of walking from house to house.
Being the eldest of my siblings has given me the opportunity to start Halloween over again through the eyes of my two younger brothers, Derrick and Edward. I experienced with them their first trick-or-treating adventure and the moments when they got scared. Most importantly, all three of us experienced our first scary Halloween at the same house with the same person and same decorations. The three of us being scared by the same things turned into a tradition at one point. When both my brothers were 6 years old, my parents and I went to our scary neighbor’s house for them to get their first fright while trick-or-treating.
I had always been the one to toughen up and be fearless whenever we were together, facing a problem because I was expected to be a role model for my brothers. Having to put on a fearless act whenever we walked toward our scary neighbor’s house for candy has made me to realize that there is really nothing to be scared of. My neighbors scared people because, for them, it was fun. Though I did not like it at first, the experience allowed my brothers and me to connect and laugh over a shared experience.
Now, whenever October comes around, my brothers and I always joke around about my scary neighbor and the emotions we went though as we were being chased down the street into our Halloween history.