Social Question

Symbeline's avatar

What was Halloween like for you as a kid?

Asked by Symbeline (30483 points ) October 2nd, 2012

Pretty simple question. Here are some starter questions.
Did you go trick or treating, or did you celebrate it some other way? Did you even celebrate it? I know that a lot of places don’t celebrate the holiday.
If you went trick or treating, what did you usually go as? Or was it a different costume every time? What kind of treats did you enjoy best?
Tell any story, happy stories, horror stories…Halloween anecdotes that happened to you as a kid. Things that you fondly remember, or perhaps not so much. What about as a teen? What was it like/is it like? Tell us your childhood Halloween stories.

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30 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We were total vandals on Halloween. You name it, we did it.

chyna's avatar

I love this question! I love Halloween!
I was just thinking about this the other day. In grade school we would go home at lunch and put on our costumes and have a parade around the neighborhood. We also had the best costume prize for each class. My middle brother and I had the tow headed white hair back then and my mom put a temporary black dye in our hair and I had the prettiest “I dream of Jeannie” costume with a mask. They could not figure out who I was because I had black hair. I won and he won that year.
We also would take pillow cases out to collect candy and we would be out for hours!

Symbeline's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Haha, we had that in Winnipeg, called ’‘Gate Night’’. This is the night before Halloween, where people would run around causing trouble in the neighborhood. Some of it was bad, like serious vandalism. The neighborhood conveniently set up this thing called ’‘bump in the night’’ on Gate Night, where kids would travel from store to store on one of the main streets, collecting candy from the clerks, then there was this free dinner at the social center. There were games and prizes too.
It helped stop some of the trouble making, and added security in the streets for those who still intended to mess around.
So any details about what you guys did? :p

Symbeline's avatar

@chyna Whoa, you went as Jeannie?? That’s awesome! wish I could see a pic of that :D Yeah, pillow cases. I used those too. Way sturdier than those wussy bags the school gave out. XD

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I never burned anything or hurt anyone, but I was a wild child. I nailed the police car with eggs, helped dump an outhouse and a school bus and a load of pumpkins in the center of town. Just a few random acts.

Symbeline's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe …helped dump an outhouse and a school bus and a load of pumpkins in the center of town. Just a few random acts.

omg bro :O LOL that cracks me up. XD You were wild indeed lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline It was a dump truck load of pumpkins. It was nuts.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Halloween was awesome! This was back in the 60s-70s in the US. I’d go trick-or-treating with either an older sibling or friends. The neighborhood and candy was safe. Costume-wise, we children were responsible for our own. Most came out of a dress-up box in the attic.

There are two fond memories about the holiday. One is that my sister and I would make a paper chain out of black and orange construction paper. The colors were alternated by each link. Then it was hung from the light fixture above the kitchen table. Each morning, we would tear one of the links off. The last link remaining meant that it was Halloween day!

The other memory is going to pick out a pumpkin to carve into a Jack-o’-lantern. We would decide on how to carve it each year. Then newspaper was spread out on the kitchen table, the pattern was sketched on the pumpkin, and we’d carve away. The seeds were set aside for the birds. Once the holiday was over, Mom would steam the pumpkin and use it for Thanksgiving pies.

Good memories. It’s a shame that it isn’t like this anymore.

Symbeline's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer All cool memories. I love the idea of the paper chain, that’s cool.
But maybe Halloween is still like that, for kids today? We’re all grown up and boring now, so maybe the magic is no longer available to us.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I know at least one of my younger (half)brothers did celebrate halloween, I went with him. He was dressed up as the devil, went trick or treating, knocked on someone’s door, this kid answered it and pretty much (probably) pooped his pants – if he didn’t he certainly wailed his head off and scrammed in the opposite direction. It was mildly amusing.
I’ve been fortunate enough to know people who “celebrate” halloween for very different reasons.
I think the UK being the way it is today, depends on where you live as to how you celebrate it – or even if you celebrate it at all.
As for me, I don’t think I ever really did celebrate it. I think also that my parents’ Christian take on Halloween kind of prevented me from being able to celebrate it at all in the way most kids would have done during the 80s.
Now I can do what I like, I don’t see Halloween in the same way, but being too old to dress up in silly outfits (or just being too down to earth I dunno), I tend to just stick to candles and glow in the dark spiders – I skip on the skeletons and skulls. There’s enough death in the world to warrant the absence of them in my home!

mangeons's avatar

When I was younger, I’d insist on being something “scary” every year, and I could never be something that I’d already been a previous year!

I still went trick or treating last year (I don’t know if I’m going this year), but I usually tend to go towards cuter costumes now, rather than “scarier” ones.

There’s a Halloween party that our neighbors across the street throw, and I’ve stopped by there for at least a little bit every year for every Halloween that I can remember.

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JLeslie's avatar

In elementary in Maryland school we would wear our costumes to school. I don’t remember if I did it when I was younger living in NY.

I went trick or treating with my sister. When I was litle we lived in an apartment building, and we would go floor to floor and knock on the doors and get candy. On one floor a neighbor used to sit out in the hall and give out thinks like homemade caramel apples. My mom made my costumes. I was a butterfly one year, then a bee another year. I don’t remember what else.

In fifth grade I moved to Maryland and we lived in a townhouse. My sister and I would trick or treat around the neighborhood,there were tons of kids out going door to door. We would come home halfway through the night and give the candy we didn’t like to my mom so she could give it out. She did buy some candy to give away, but not a ton of it. We didn’t have much money when I was little, so my mom came up with that idea to be a little frugal.

The next day we would trade candy between my sister and me and with friends.

gailcalled's avatar

Fun and very safe in suburban Larchmont, Ny in the late forties and early fifties. We were allowed to go out without grownups because everyone knew everyone else. The few meanies kept their houses dark.

We also carried the little orange cardboard boxes for money for UNICEF. And no one gave out apples, raisins or other boring treats. It was a lovely and low-key time. The costumes were very uninventive and uncompetitive.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, we carried the UNICEF boxes also.

Sunny2's avatar

We’d get all dressed up in costumes to go trick or treating and then have to put on heavy coats which covered up the costumes. It’s damn cold in Wisconsin on October 31.

DominicX's avatar

Halloween was always a lot of fun. Usually my siblings and I would go trick-or-treating with my dad when we were younger (and my mom would stay home and hand out candy) and then we started going out with friends. I remember I had a cat-head shaped candy bucket; and then when we’d get home, I’d give my brother all the Tootsie Rolls I got and he’d give me all the SweeTarts he got. :P I also loved carving pumpkins earlier in the day; that’s something we’d all do as a family.

The only negative thing I remember is Halloween ‘01, when, because of 9/11, there was almost no one out that night; it was very strange. I still went anyway.

ucme's avatar

When I was a kid halloween wasn’t that big a deal, it’s gotten more popular here in englandtown over the years & I took my kids out trick or treating when they were little.
I did look forward to the movie coming on on the night itself which was always pretty much guaranteed.

Argonon's avatar

When I was a kid, they always had some fall festival down by the firehouse on Halloween where you can wear you costumes and play games for prizes and they had a haunted house and hayrides and what not. It was quite the adventure, but I kinda grew out of that so now I just chill at home watching specials on tv..

Earthgirl's avatar

We loved Halloween in my family! My Mom always knew we’d be too excited to eat a real dinner on Halloween so her kid friendly Halloween dinner was date bread and fruit salad. My mother sewed almost all of our costumes and they were well made so as we grew we would fit into some of the hand me down costumes. Far from not wanting to wear an old costume we looked forward to it. I think my favorite costume was the gypsy costume. It had a really full skirt with all different colors of ric rac all over it. The top was a full white peasant blouse. Of course it had a headscarf and a gold earring. One year my sister was a devil and I was an angel. That was fun. My halo was made of tin foil and I looked totally cute. My sister had a scary devil mask and when my friend Annmarie’s mom opened the door and Annmarie saw my sister she ran screaming in terror! I was about 6 years old then.

As a teen I stopped going out trick or treating. I wasn’t into it. I would love to go to a really luxe masquerade ball some day. I love costume history. I’d love to dress up Victorian style or be Marie Antoinette for a day.

I know you like the horror stuff @Symbeline but I am not really into it. I don’t watch horror movies in general so I only know the famous ones like Halloween and Psycho and Friday the 13th. I son’t get the current fascination with zombies at all. I just don’t get it. What hell hath Michael Jackson wrought!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Senior year in high school, not long after Animal House came out a bunch of us wore togas made of sheets to school. We went out for fast food breakfast and drank brandy before going into school. There’s a picture of us in the yearbook. I had forgot about that.

Leanne1986's avatar

Pretty uneventful. I don’t think I have ever actually been trick or treating to be honest although I seem to recxall my brother did a couple of times. Halloween isn’t as much of a big deal over in the UK as it is in the US (when I was in the States recently I notice that there were whole big stores just dedicated to Halloween!) but we still get a few kids knocking on the doors. I can’t remember mum ever getting sweets in especially for trick or treaters, I assume she just gave them whatever she couold find in the house if they did come knocking! Where I live now I don’t seem to get trick or treaters as my door is quite hidden so no one knows where to knock!!

ragingloli's avatar

We do not do that here. Thank the gods for that.

Symbeline's avatar

Ha, UNICEF. I had that too. Near the end of the Halloween run, the boxes always got so full and heavy around the neck, so eventually I just carried it in my hands and presented it along with the bag.

@lightsourcetrickster True about the death around the world. But Halloween skeletons are always so cute looking. They look all happy and stuff lol. Glow in the dark spiders though, that’s always cool.

@JLeslie You were a butterfly? Ha that’s pretty original. What did the wings look like?

@gailcalled LOL ’‘boring treats’’. I got apples and oranges sometimes. And plenty of those small red boxes of raisins, but I liked those. It was like chewing on brains mwgraagag lulz.

@DominicX Lol a cat shaped bucket. that sounds kinda cute

@ucme Yeah it’s probably a given that the movie plays just about every Halloween, and probably by now, a lot of the sequels too. Years ago I remember them doing a marathon of the series but it played too late and my dad didn’t let me watch them.

@Argonon That sounds nice. Halloween parties and games. And a homemade haunted house? What was that like?

@mangeons So what was the scariest costume you ever had? (or which was the cutest, for that matter)

@Earthgirl That’s two stories about devil costumes freaking people out. XD The Gypsy costume sounds really neat. Homemade costumes are always pretty damn cool when done well, I remmeber seeing some amazing ones. Man I wish you guys had pics haha.
Also zombie fascination is not current. It’s much older than Thriller. :p And I’d totally attend a masquerade ball too, although I’d have no idea where to find where one’s at unless it was widely announced…but Victorian fashion FTW bro.

@Adirondackwannabe LOL did you guys get in trouble for going into the school all tanked?

@Leanne1986 Yeah lots of places in Europe don’t practice Halloween, which I always thought a bit odd, since it originates from there. Although I’m not entirely sure in which place exactly, and the beliefs so radically changed from that to just a beliefless holiday…I wonder how it even survived the Americas, I mean it’s hard to imagine early Christians approving of something like this.
But if you want kids to find your door, you need to put a jack o lantern up! Unless you live in an apartment, that’s not always easy. :/

@ragingloli On Halloween, there are no gods to thank! ’‘flails arms in the air’’ Blaaaawrahahahghaghalol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline The sub teacher said he smelled wine. We said no way. He let us slide.

jonsblond's avatar

Halloween is my favorite holiday thanks to my mom’s love of the season. She enjoyed decorating our yard with ghoulish decorations and she made many of our costumes. The cartoonish inflatable pumpkins and ghosts everyone has now makes me sad and missing the good old days of realistic decorations.

My trick-or-treating years were in the mid-70s to mid-80s in Las Vegas. I don’t remember being chaperoned, but I’m sure I was during the first few years. I only remember spending the entire evening walking the neighborhood with a pillowcase full of candy and wanting the night to never end. We had a few years when we walked a few extra blocks to knock on the gate to Liberace’s property. His doorman would hand out sandwich bags full of pennies. We thought that was awesome.

My daughter is 8 and I’m very happy I get to take her trick-or-treating on Halloween. I love looking at the decorations on all the houses and enjoy every minute of the experience. I’ll be sad when I can’t do this anymore.

Kardamom's avatar

Halloween for my brother and our friends was pretty much exactly like the Charlie Brown Halloween special. First we we had a party in our classroom, with cupcakes and punch. Then we ran home after school and put on our homemade costumes (I was a ghost, a black cat multiple times, a Poylnesian dancer for my first Halloween in 1966, and Casper the friendly ghost for my only store bought costume) Then we ran back to school with our parents for a fun carnival with games (where we won plastic bracelets and rubber monsters) and a huge bakesale complete with brownies, fudge and cookies, and a cake walk and a haunted house (the hall where we lined up). And a parade of costumes.

After it got dark, if we were lucky, we were invited to a neighborhood Halloween party, with snacks and games (like bobbing for apples) then we went trick or treating.

When we were really little, up until about aged 7, we had to go with parents in tow, after that, we were allowed to go in groups up until about 9 PM. It would have been considered pretty lame to have parents along after aged 7. Now, if parents aren’t around until about aged 12 or 13 it’s considered criminal. I wouldn’t dare let my nephew out of my sight until he’s at least 12 or 13.

The scariest houses had a green light added to their porch light, or maybe somebody set up a mannequin. Nowadays if you don’t have video and ultimate haunted houses, you’re considered a dud. That bums me out. : (

Of course, there’s always the jack-o-lantern carving. It should always be done the night before Halloween, not earlier. And the seeds should always be roasted, because they are so yummy.

We’ve made it a ritual to go to our local pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin, or 2 or 6 for my nephew.. When I was a kid, each kid got one pumpkin each and that was it. And it was thrilling for us to design and cut out our pumpkins with parental subervision. The first year that I discovered that you could roast the seeds, at about aged 10, I was mesermierized by the potential of it all.

But I was bound and determined that A Charlie Brown Halloween, otherwise known as The great Pumpkin, was going to be the Halloween Paradigm for my family.

JLeslie's avatar

@Symbeline I was dressed in a black leotard and black tights and the wings were made from oak tag/construction paper. They were pink and had some dots and lines for decoration. I also had a pink mask over my eyes and little antennae on my head that were yellow I think? Probably made from pipe cleaners.

Only138's avatar

I LOVE Halloween! I used to have a different costume every year. I dressed as Gene Simmons (store bought) and Peter Criss (home made) from KISS, Frankenstein, Dracula, Darth Vader and Chewbacca from Star wars….a Pirate, King Kong and A Clown. I still dress up when I can. I own a “Scream” costume that I dress in to hand out candy. When I was 21, I dressed up as a gangster with a false face when I was working a resturant. I ran to drop off money at the bank and my fake gun fell out of my car when I was returning to my car. 5 minutes later I was being questioned my the police at my work. LOL I also made a very kick ass Darth Maul costume, that consisted of custom contacts, prosthetic horns, black shit to make my teeth look rotted and a 3 hour make up job. Too cool. I also have custom made vampire fangs that I will wear to work sometimes at Halloween to scare the shit out of some unsuspecting fucker. Ha ha, and I don’t sparkle neither! :)

Some_Ghost's avatar

These days, this subject is a tad touchy for me, don’t y know. ^^

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