As I sit here this Halloween morning, I find the old childhood enthusiasm lost somewhere in an old bag of sugar and wax lips. I do love the decorations and the feel of the world this time of year (at least when the south lets it be autumn) but I find it difficult to remember the last time I did anything Halloweeny or cared to. Candy aside, what I liked the most about this day was the atmosphere. Back when the time changed in October so it was actually dark in the evening, we’d get to trick-or-treat at night as it’s supposed to be. Always loved the candle light glowing from the jack o’ lanterns.

It’s been nearly twenty years since I last trick-or-treated. I didn’t buy a new costume that year, just threw together left overs from before. I think I was a goblin/ninja/skeleton, but whatever I was, I was tall, and when wearing a mask I easily passed for an adult. More than one person said I was too old based solely on that, despite not even being a teenager yet. With a heavy heart I stayed home the next year. And the next. And now here I am wondering when my hair will start graying or falling out.

How did I ever eat so much candy in one night? If I have two candy bars nowadays I’ll be sick for the rest of the week, and I’m bigger now too. I honestly can’t imagine how I ate an entire bag (or pumpkin shaped bucket) of candy. Nor am I sure how I survived on a daily diet of pizza and french fries in middle school either. McDonalds used to have halloween buckets as happy meals during that month. Of course I had to collect them all.

These things:

There was this dentist a few blocks behind us that always gave out toothbrushes. We didn’t like him too much. The people who handed out taffy or tootsie rolls weren’t very well liked either.The best hand outs were Butterfingers, Snickers, Nerds, and Smarties. I remember Bart Simpson used to do the ads for those back when the Simpsons was actually good. The annual Halloween episode was always a big thing.

Once when I was around five or six we went up to this house with a big gorilla as part of the decorations. After I got my candy it turned out it was actually a man in a suit. He jumped at me and scared me to death. I don’t think we went back to that house. Looking back on it it was great though. Halloween should be scary, not this sterilized day you see now. How many cherubish decorations are out there? I want to see rotting hands popping out of the ground, and monsters falling from trees. Let’s turn the neighborhood into Silent Hill.

One of our local grocery stores for a few years had a haunted house set up outside. It wasn’t anything fancy. I seem to remember it being made of connected boxes and spider webs.

I went as Batman one year, and a ninja three times. Same costume. My grandmother made me a clown outfit once.

We’d have Halloween parties in elementary school. Those were fun. We’d get to wear our costumes for the day and bring candy that got mixed together and given out, and I remember all of the speeches about not taking certain kinds of treats cause it might be poisoned. My goodness. Really, is there anyone out there wanting to poison hundreds of kids?

Happy Halloween.

Now have some dancing zombies: