It is no secret. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE FALL! It’s my jam, the season I wait for all year. And a huge part of why I love it so much is Halloween. Not just because I enjoy scary things or buckets full of candy. (Um…we’ll talk about that later) The thing that truly gets me…right down to my pumpkin-spiced lovin' heart…is the excitement and mystery. An unsettled feeling, goosebumps, shivers, which tell you something unexpected—even magical—could happen.
I suppose it goes back to childhood. Growing up in a time that heartily embraced Halloween. No rules about when or how you could Trick-Or-Treat. If a light was on, you rang the bell. I even went with friends on the way home from school. After the big costume parade and party, of course. Spooky decorations, pumpkins, running in the dark. We’d laugh until our sides hurt, and eat way too much chocolate (only from the houses we knew). Tremble and lock arms when we passed the “haunted house.” You know the place. Every town has one. Typically, I’d make it home in time to watch It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. A must, since missing it meant another year of waiting for the Beagle to come.
Growing up, I added many more special Halloween memories. College events, my very-first apartment gathering. Introducing my own child to the things I love. The best of times as we dressed up, decorated, baked, and watched fun, spooky shows, and movies. The magic and mystery…all still there, only better with time.
One night stands out for me still…my quintessential Halloween night. I was heading to a friend’s house for a party, a group of costumed buddies by my side. The area was new to us—lovely, big houses with wrap-around porches and candle-lit Jack O Lanterns. A cold wind swirled musty leaves around us as a cat bolted from beneath a hedge. Everyone startled, and then we laughed in relief. Surely, we weren’t recalling the slasher movie we’d seen last weekend? Roasted pumpkin seeds, that bucket of candy I mentioned before, spiced wines, and locally brewed beers. Camaraderie. All of us, together, enjoying the spookiest night of the year. The magic was real.
I understand Halloween means a lot of things to many people. Folks around the globe, celebrating with different traditions. Or not. But if you love Halloween, rest assured the spirit of the season is alive and well in me. Its magic fills the pages of my books if you’d like to experience more.
I’d love to hear your favorite Halloween memories, so please share!