Halloween Hype and Parade

The smell of pumpkins fills the air. The sound of leaves crushed under Timbs and L.L. Bean boots reverberates throughout our humble campus. The sight of students hiding under fuzzy blankets and spilling their popcorn in fear of Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger is commonplace in every dorm. The scrumptious season of spooks and scares has arrived! Whether it is the gory glory of horror movies or the Instagrammable appearance of those Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, the Halloween season has something appealing for everyone.

Naturally, my own infatuation with such a beautiful season originated in bribery. As a child, I loved venturing out into the deep, dark depths of the nearby neighborhood on a mission to capture my greatest love: candy, or really anything that was sweet and chocolaty. I armed myself against the adults with my cuteness, my secret weapon. The adults would easily fall victim to my battle cry of “Trick or Treat!” They would be rendered useless against my skills and would submit candy in tribute to my glorious victory. Some would try to avoid my wrath by providing healthy snacks, but my grubby toddler hands would not take those blasphemous offers. By means of this easy acquisition of candy, I began to fall deeply in love with the season that provided me with such an easily won battle.

As I grew, my cuteness faded, and with it, my greatest weapon. I was forced to find a new way to spend my Halloweens. Thus, I entered the era of horror movies! At the ripe young age of 13, I was able to venture into the world of R-rated jump scares. Evenings of trick-or-treating metamorphosed into nights of binge watching famous horror movies with my friends and chowing down on popcorn filled with screams. While some movies sorely disappointed me (such as Children of the Corn), others gave me nightmares for weeks (looking at you, Human Centipede).

While traditions change every year, there are so many associated with Halloween that it is impossible to not participate in at least one.

Marcella Bangkong ’19 notes that her favorite Halloween tradition is pumpkin carving: “I love the freedom of expressing my deepest thoughts and fears with a simple knife and a humble, shiny orange pumpkin. I can truly relieve my stress via pumpkin carving.” History Department member Oksana Eiben reveals that she has not had the opportunity to expand her Halloween experiences beyond pumpkin carving as she has not lived in the United States for long. Ananya Chetia ’20 says her favorite tradition from back home in Saudi Arabia is watching Disney Channel original movies such as Twitches and Halloweentown with her friends and eating lots of candy. From across the globe, members of the WRA community have begun to fall in love and celebrate Halloween.

While I cannot overstate my general infatuation with the holiday, I think the my love for it comes from the overall appeal. It falls right in the midst of the changing seasons and is a generally beautiful, crisp, perfectly chilly day. While not officially the “start of winter,” Halloween tends to hold this title in Northeast Ohio where the seasons are skewed, with many daring to call November 1st the start of Christmas. Halloween, and the fall season, have something in store for everyone, whether it be spooky, scary or sweet.

– Hanley Jefferis ’19

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