Fright night: Students share favorite memories of Halloweens past

My fondest memory of the best Halloween night I ever had was when I was 16. My best friend and I were in charge of our family haunted house; our main goal was to scare all of the children and at the end treat them with unlimited candy. I vividly remember what I was wearing — a Michael Myers costume — and my best friend wore an all-black Scream costume. 

Now what made this Halloween so fun and special wasn’t because of the candy or the costumes, but because of the fun and memories I shared with my best friend and my family. Of course, candy and everything else is a plus, but what mattered to me was the reactions of the children and that sense of thrill we all got from running around.

 — Pedro Perez-Soto

It was October 2016, and I was with all of my friends. We planned on trick-or-treating and then we went to a friends’ house for a party. This is how it started — we all got together and started to get the house decorated as well as getting dressed up. When it came night time, say around 7p.m., we, as a group, went to this section out near Alvernia where we got  a lot of treats. We went house to house, and some people gave hot chocolate and some gave out candy-covered apples as well as big bars of candy. There were a few of haunted houses we went in and let’s just say there were a bunch of people who screamed their life out.

We went back to the house and it was when the party started. We had Halloween songs playing and had Jell-O of a brain molded out, as well as hands and candy eyeballs. We played many games, and we had just finished a game of Cards Against Humanity, which is a ridiculous game that is not PG-13 per se. We watched many scary movies and we all cuddled with each other and just laughed at many things we all spoke about. We had a chance to get closer and I believe we did, which for me made it an amazing Halloween.

— Yennixeyz Oliveras

I remember a few years ago on Halloween night, I had to wear something very weird as a costume. My mother gave me a hairy afro to wear that was like five inches wide, my guess. She gave me a tribal African mask that had major brown coloring all over it and yellow and red stripes on it from the side. I wore black sweatpants to knock on doors and get candy. When the hosts opened the door, they said, “What are you exactly?” I replied ,with “I am the Afro Ninja.”

I went to at least 10 houses walking around in pitch black deep of night. I barely got any candy. I basically concluded to just stay home the rest of the night because I thought it was a waste of time. When I was back at my house, my dad was giving away snacks to more trick-or-treaters. After that I took a nap for several hours.

— Matthew Onwudinjo

Halloween is an American holiday that every year acquires more notoriety worldwide. The little ones make their own themed costumes at school and even celebrate a big party. In my country, this American tradition is not celebrated; therefore my idea of ​​Halloween was only what I saw in movies, children picking candy. I thought it was only for children until I moved to the United States and celebrated my first Halloween.

My most memorable Halloween was two years ago at my friend’s house. My friends knew that I never celebrated Halloween and they wanted to make me a party to have that experience that I never had. They bought candy and costumes just like in the movies. I left the house in disguise and on the way we saw several children passing by the houses collected sweets. My friend convinced me to go to collect sweets, and it was fun, and then we went to the party and everyone told me to enjoy my first Halloween. I felt that I experienced my desired Halloween and I now feel part of that beautiful American tradition.

— Heydy Pichardo Damiron

One of my memorable Halloweens was the time when I was 13. My family decided we were going to spend Halloween with our aunt, cousins, and grandparents. I remember for some reason I decided to dress up as a homeless person, so I just wore some old torn clothes and didn’t wear shoes, which was not a really good idea since it was really cold outside. My sisters, cousin and I  went around trick-or-treating while all the adults stayed inside. While we were walking around the block, we noticed this one really creepy house. A bunch of the neighborhood kids were surrounding the house, and we got really curious so we decided to check it out. When we got there we saw the creepy Michael Myers statue. At first we thought nothing of it, until we got close to it and it started moving. Then the guy started walking straight towards us and started following us. I got really scared and started running barefooted on the cold pavement as this person followed me. The man ended up following me for half a block before finally turning around and returned back to his house. Eventually, I returned to the house. My cousin and sister were still there and were having a conversation with the person dressed up as Michael Myers. I started talking to him, and he ended up giving me a bunch of candy for scaring me so much. After all that, my sisters, cousin and I left to continue our night of trick-or-treating.

— Kayla Richardon

When I was a child, I didn’t celebrate Halloween, but my parents will do anything to make my sister and me happy. I remember when my mother used to paint our faces just so we could have fun. My godmothers didn’t like it ether so she would do like a little get-together and have some candy for the kids so we didn’t have to go out. One year, I remember when I was like 12 years old, how the whole neighborhood children’s got together to go to all the houses nearby – obviously people that we knew —and we sang trick or trick and the people gave us candy or even  money, if they didn’t have candy, and it was so funny when a neighbor was waiting for us at the door and said, “ You guys have to sing first if you want to have some candy.”

It felt so emotional to me because where I come from, we all were like family and loved to have fun together.  We would go out to trick-or-treat without the worries that someone was going to do something bad to us or scare us. There was absolutely that person that will come with a mask on to try to scary us, but sometimes we didn’t even get scared because we already knew who it was. For me, Halloween was more about having fun and having some candy than trying to scare others.

— Alexia Santana-Gonzalez

I know most readers do not care for a sappy love story, but my most memorable Halloween was the night I started dating my girlfriend. My two friends I have known for quite a while made plans to go trick-or-treating, and as I was preparing for the night, I slipped on my curly afro wig and blue jeans to fulfill the role of Bob Ross. I decided to invite this girl I have been going on a few dates with named Megan to tag along since I was always looking for any excuse to spend more time with her. She dressed as a tree, with paper leaves taped all over her body to complement my costume of the famous painter of nature scenes. It was difficult to get the leaves to stick onto her black long-sleeve shirt, but after some effort, we managed to complete her costume. My friend Vinny dressed as Michael Myers, and he also brought a girl he liked in an attempt to spend more time with her as well. My other friend Gavin decided to dress up as Vinny by wearing a red and white Redhawks Jersey that Vinny wears often. After taking some pictures and having some fun at my house, my friends, Megan and I all left to the Wyomissing area for some trick-or-treating. 

 Once we arrived at our destination, we took just a few more pictures and then started right into the night. It was hot that night despite being in the middle of the fall. We went house to house, getting a decent amount of candy and encountering many kind people. People in one house were grilling hotdogs and handing them out to the crowds, which I thought was quite an odd yet refreshing choice. I remember having so much fun with Megan and being so happy that night, and I felt as though our somewhat date was going nicely. After we were done trick-or-treating, we all sat on a curb eating the candy we received, and Megan and I talked and laughed for a while. The entire night seemed so freeing and positive that it never fails to make me smile whenever I think about it now. After we got back home, seeing how much fun we had with each other and the chemistry between us over the last couple of dates, Megan and I decided to make our relationship official— this made Halloween the day of our anniversary. Overall, because of the fun that I had that night, mixed with the newfound meaning behind the holiday, that Halloween was by far my most memorable.

— Donald Tice

It was the night of Halloween in 2017. I worked a late shift that night at the go kart track; it was a hefty drive to get back home, about 35 minutes. I take the same route every day to work and back home, a route that avoids deer because where I live it’s all backroads except one road, Route183, and obviously no one wants to hit any deer. During my drive home I was passing the WaWa gas station in Wyomissing and a deer came from the field to the right and ran directly in front of my car and I absolutely demolished it, while also demolishing the front of my car. I stopped and checked my car to realize that my left headlight was missing and my front hood was smashed inwards. I had ended up just getting back in my car and driving home with no care. Once I got home it was late at night and kids were trick-or-treating while I was sitting in my driveway trying to clean up my car and get things looking proper. People walked down my driveways and asked me for candy and I felt so horrible saying that I don’t have any because I had no intentions of being out.I was just working on my car. That was about the worst Halloween I have ever had. 

— Christian Arias

I uncomfortably stood in my living room, greatly overheated while sweat dripped down from the underside of my ponytail into the layers of purple woolen sweaters I sported. I felt like Violet from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” when she transformed into an overflowing plum-colored mass, for my entire body was adorned with round purple balloons. Miniscule safety pins held the appendage of the balloons into place, but a lack of delicacy resulted in a sharp fingertip piercing. I continued my look with leggings to match the shade of my balloons and a tall, hairy green hat that stretched up towards the sky. For Halloween 2009, I dressed up as a bunch of dark grapes, strongly derived from my favorite fruit at that time. My mom invested much creativity into my costume and was quite eager to snap pictures of me, although it was quite difficult to pose surrounded from head-to-toe by spheres. I stepped outside of my house and a crisp wind blew across my skin, one that continuously brought me back to the joyful memories of the autumnal season. I heard the crunching of leaves under shoes and whipped my head around to spot my friends running down my steep driveway. We interrupted our squeals of excitement with compliments about each other’s costumes. The night had not even begun yet, but our energy was already there. All of a sudden, we set off, each of us attempting to be the first to arrive at my neighbors’ house. I sprinted, my balloons slapping me in the face, but managed to land on the porches’ front steps while my friends weaved in and out of the pack. I rang the doorbell with much excitement and anticipated the load of candy I was about to receive at the end of the evening. A fragile old lady peeked through the door, exclaiming with delight when she saw my costume. I noticed her curly white hair and nightgown detailed with pumpkins and candy apples, when a large black cauldron appeared in her hands. She graciously presented it towards me and I dug in, pulling my hands out to find packages of peanut butter cups, the yummiest candy combination. I could not bear to wait, so I indulged on the candy. While unwrapping it, I discovered a $10 bill folded up in the wrapper. What a surprise! We both shared a large smile with each other before my friends grabbed their candy and we departed. My heart soared when I walked out onto the gravel road and looked up at the bright moon. Halloween has always felt magical and uninhibited, and the moon just happened to be full that night.

— Katarina Brown

My favorite Halloween memory is from my childhood. I was nine years old, the second oldest of eight children. We lived in a neighborhood of row houses, perfect for trick-or-treating. That year was as lean as all the years before, so having a pillow case full of candy was a super big deal. We could hardly eat our dinner; all we did was run to the windows to check to see if it was dark enough to go out. We all kept hoping that someone would come early so our parents would let us out. This was the last time I remember enjoying Halloween.

I can still remember the feel of the neighborhood being alive that night. Almost every porch light on and front doors open. I loved how the whole neighborhood was out on their porches and kids running around everywhere. It was the only night of the year that the whole neighborhood opened their doors. It was like one big happy family for a couple hours. Despite the hot plastic mask, being scared of the “creepy” costumes, and lugging a huge pillow case full of candy, I thought it was a great night! That night will always make me smile as I remember what it felt like to be a small part of a whole neighborhood welcoming their neighbors into their own private world, even if only for a couple hours.   

— Christine Paton

In 2018 I had the most memorable Halloween. My best friend of 14 years had come to my house for that night.  As we got ready for what would be our last year of trick-or-treating, we decided my new puppy would join us for his first Halloween. I decided to dye him orange and put green makeup on his head to become a pumpkin. Since it was cold, we had also put a cute pumpkin shirt on him. My friend had dressed up as a witch and I had just painted my face as a skull. The sun set rather early that night and the temperature was below 30 degrees. However, we were ready to battle the night.

 At the beginning we had not much intention in staying out long, though to our surprise time flew by. Every house we went to adored my dog and gave us extra candy because of it. To my surprise, a lot of the places also had dog treats. My puppy was so happy that night as he had at least ten different treats. About two hours in we had decided to walk home and just hit the houses we didn’t get, on our way back. When we got home my dog got his bath and then instantly fell asleep. The night was not over for my friend and I, though; we had checked our candy piles, traded and continued to laugh and watch scary movies. Throughout the movies, we both were so exhausted, we fell asleep. It was a great way to end our childhood years.

— Avionna Hersey

The crisp air of the windy Halloween night was cold in my lungs. My mom gave me one gigantic pillow bag, as my friends and I were off to trick-or-treating. My cleats clunked against the hard cement sidewalk, and I felt as if I were actually Chase Utley walking up to the plate. I was the first to sprint to each and every door, making it a competition with my friends to see who could get to the candy the fastest.

The night began to come to a close quickly.  My legs were tired, and my teeth were already needing a cleaning. I dumped my candy out on the kitchen table and let my mom inspect before I could take my two pieces for the night. My warm blankets comforted me as I fell asleep, my belly full and my body tired. 

— Willem Matheson

Growing up, I never celebrated Halloween because my family are Christian we don’t celebrate Halloween. They believe God is a God of life, but Halloween focuses on death. I stayed home on Halloween and spent time with my family. We turned off the porch light and spent the evening together. The joy of it has become our own family tradition.

— Aaron Rahim

For Halloween 2018, a tight-knit group of friends from my senior class decided to spend the evening together doing various fall activities. Before we went out to do these activities, we decided we would dress up in different costumes. I went as Post Malone and my best friend went as a jack-o-lantern. Unfortunately, we did not get the memo that the other girls in our group were going as cute characters like cheerleaders, go-go dancers, and a fox. We definitely stood out.

The girls in the group all met together to ride to a local corn maze in which we would meet up with the guys in our group. Once we arrived at the corn maze, the brisk air soon became too much for the girls, who were dressed more cute, so we sat around a warm campfire with hot apple cider in hand. After everyone had warmed up, we started our journey into the maze. Even though my group contained the valedictorian and salutatorian,  we quickly became lost and confused in the maze. Of course, this only added to the fun as we walked and talked and laughed at ourselves. After finally getting out of the maze, we carved pumpkins and discussed what we wanted to take away from senior year. This is both my favorite memory from Halloween, and one of my favorite memories from senior year.

— Samantha Bartle

The best Halloween I had was last year. It was my first Halloween celebration and that of my brothers, too. That day, when I finished working, I felt a little tired I arrived at my house ready to go to sleep, and my younger brothers were waiting for me so that we could pick up candy. They had a “Come on!” face and I couldn’t say no. They put in costume and we went out to all the neighbors We went door to door to around a hundred houses or more in search of sweets. My little brothers were happy. When the night ended, we arrived at the house tired but with two bags full of sweets. In truth, sharing the first Halloween with my younger brothers was the best because I felt their joy and they transferred it to me.

— Viadys Batista

The most memorable Halloween I have experienced would be when I went to a Halloween attraction called Reapers Revenge. I have always loved Halloween ever since I was little, but this experience made me think twice about going to Halloween attractions. 

It was a crisp cold night. There weren’t any clouds in the night sky, but the full moon was shining bright. I was with my mom and we were walking through the woods. We finally reached the attraction called Pitch Black. It is a building that you walk through where you cannot see anything. My mom and I were walking into the attraction and the light from outside started to fade. We saw nothing. The only thing we could do was feel the walls to escape the pitch-black maze.  I can remember the smell like it was yesterday. It smelled like a cellar filled with old food. Hands were grabbing at my ankles. The only thing I could hear was the screams of my mom fading away. All of a sudden I heard nothing but my voice calling out for her. I was now alone in the darkness. Every turn I made was wrong. I could not find my way out. I was starting to panic. Sweat was starting to fall out my pores, even though it was freezing inside the maze. Hands were still touching me, which caused me to freak out even more. After what felt like twenty minutes, I finally saw light from outside and I found my mom. I was never more happy to feel the leaves beneath my feet. 

— Taryn Boyer

Halloween is such a unique time, a time of the year to celebrate and be reminded of our fears. This Idea can best be stated by Robert California, played by James Spader, of NBC’s “The Office”: ”Fear plays an interesting role in our lives. How dare we let it motivate us. How dare we let it into our decision making. Into our livelihood. Into our relationships. It’s funny isn’t it? We take a day every year to dress up in costume and celebrate fear.” My most memorable Halloween is not filled with fear, but of content. 

My most memorable Halloween occurred three years ago. I did not own a car nor the connections to actually be invited to a party. I did, however, have some friends in my neighborhood who also had nothing going on, so I came to them with the idea to just go out and screw around. The only semblance of costumes were three skull masks and one Donald Trump mask as a joke, and surprisingly, the older folks had some good laughs about it. We walked around the area  just trying to get some free candy, but we mainly received odd looks. Afterwards, we just headed back to my house to watch “Beetlejuice” and play Cards Against Humanity. To date, this has been my most memorable and favorite Halloween, but I intend to have better and even more memorable Halloweens down the road.

— Zachary Buchter

The most memorable Halloween I had experienced so far was in 2009 when the majority of Reading was in the Halloween spirit., by decorating their houses with bright lights and dressing up as the scariest monsters they can imagine. Around that time, my relatives came to visit. They decided to join the festivities, and they also dressed up as monsters of the night. When I was a child I was told that on the night of Halloween the real monsters come out to play and to not get hurt ourselves, we had to disguise ourselves as monsters. Therefore, that’s what we did, dress up as monsters that we would normally fear, such as a creepy clown, a ghost, a scarecrow, and my personal favorite, a witch. We dressed up as these horrific monsters just for a small glimpse of pleasure, to experience what is truly a monster. Even though we also sometimes changed the style of the monster to better our taste, we still walked in the dead of night, and instead of collecting souls, we collected treats. What I found most memorable about this particular Halloween was not only did my relatives come to visit, but the weather simply was just right, and we could wear our costumes without a coat and sweater on top. Moreover, the amount of candy I received that night was much more than I would in later years. That’s what made this Halloween of 2009 most memorable.

— Alma Colon

Personally, my favorite Halloween memory was when we first started our yearly Halloween party at my sister Miranda’s house. This was back in 2015 and my sister Miranda was like, “Hey, do you guys want to come up to my house for a Halloween party? We could eat the remainder of candy left over when the night ends.” We all were psyched and said yes and then we were planning our Halloween costumes for the occasion. My one sister Caleigh went the lazy route, which was a tiger onesie but she wore makeup. My older sister Valerie did a cute couples costume of Minnie and Mickey Mouse. My oldest sister was a scary monster. My older brother and his girlfriend at the time were two characters from the show “Firefly.”  My mom was a nurse, because she couldn’t get off that night, and my dad was a WW2 Army soldier. Finally I was an insane nurse with a fake cleaver.

So the night began and we played with lights and took pictures together. We had our laughs and jokes but something was missing. Miranda and I looked at each other and smiled. We decided to put me in the shadows of her front yard pretending to be a mannequin. A few kids were creeped out and didn’t even come up to the front yard of her house until their parents drug them, but I didn’t scare them — no, I scared people who deserved it. There was a huge group of teenagers who happened to coordinate a theme for their costumes, which was MarioKart. At this moment I really wanted to scare these kids so I stayed completely still and did not blink; some of them came up to me and looked at me thinking that I was real or fake, while the others stared at me but didn’t say anything. I didn’t move until Miranda opened the door and I scared them so well. I was so happy that I got them and then I went inside because I was growing cold. It was a really long night and we just sat and ate the extra candy that was left over and watched a horror film together, so that made a nice closing to the night. That is the most memorable Halloween that I’ve had with my family.

— Allison Fasig

Right around the age of twelve or thirteen, I distinctly remember trick-or-treating with my friends late at night. We would roam the streets of my friend’s neighborhood, eagerly anticipating the candy that awaited us. My parents dropped me off at Nate’s house, and I rushed to his front door, with giddy excitement. The frigid cold only seemed to rial us up, causing even more of a ruckus in the hills of Spring Township. After the whole group arrived, we all set out on our hunt for candy. I was dressed up as Captain America, and several of my friends were dressed as other marvel characters. 

The majority of the night was spent trekking through the neighborhood and stacking up as much candy as possible. By about midnight we began to head home, tired and cold.  Upon our return it was always a tradition to dump our candy on the floor and trade with everyone else for what we wanted. Although it sometimes the candy swap would get little heated, we always had a great time, and enjoyed spending halloween with our friends. All six of us spent the night at Nate’s house, and feasted on our candy for the following week.

— Alex Gemmell

I have two memories of Halloween when I was around 6 years old. They were pretty fun and memorable. One was a party. It was a family party in New York City where most of my family are from. We were all dressed up in our costumes. I believe I dressed up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I had a great time that Halloween night because I was surrounded by family. There were drinks and food being served and we went trick-or-treating in our building on our street. I just had a fun time being surrounded by my family. 

Another time is when I went to a Haunted House when I was around 11 years old. I don’t quite remember the name of the place but it was a scary experience because at the time I was afraid of being in the dark and in the Haunted House, one part was completely dark, and I was very scared to go in. In the end, the my siblings convinced me to go in, so I did and I went through it but it was still a very scary experience because of that all out dark part inside.   

— Denys Hernandez

Halloween is not something I was allowed to celebrate, I was told it was against our religion. I have never dressed or pretended to be someone I wasn’t. But I always wanted to. My dad always brought me candy for Halloween. I think It was because he felt bad, but he didn’t want me to miss out completely. When I was in middle school, my family moved into a house; previously we lived in apartment. When Halloween came around, my dad asked me if I wanted to give out candy/snacks for Halloween, to which I said yes. I thought since I wasn’t allowed to go trick-or-treating, I could at least have fun and watch some movies and eat some snacks with my stepmom.  Of course, I saved the best snacks/candy for me.  That night my stepmom said we were going to watch a scary movie. I told her several times that I don’t like scary movies. She made me watch Freddy Krueger, “Scream” and “Halloween.” I have watched a bunch of other movies I just can’t remember. So during school I told my friends that I was giving out candy, and  I had to get up every few minutes to answer the door. I am happy I did because that night my stepmom turned every light off in the house and closed the blinds. So it was dark as a movie theater. She really enjoyed scaring me, not just on Halloween.   

— Courtney Lewis-White

Ever since I was a young girl. Halloween has been my favorite time of the year. I enjoy the scent of pumpkin that runs through my house when my mom lights a candle or the ear-piercing screams of the actors when watching my favorite horror movie series, “Halloween.” I grew up watching these thrillers, mostly because my father is a fan of the fictional serial killer named Michael Myers. Almost every year for Halloween, my father would disguise himself as the fictitious character. He always would wear a pitch-black jumpsuit, black rubber boots, and of course the mask. The mask perfectly fit my father’s head; it was a pasty white color with orange tinted hair that smelt like burnt rubber as if it was just made in the factory.  As if this costume wasn’t scary enough, he also carried a fake butcher knife that dripped fake blood. Before he left the house, my father gave me a kiss on the cheek and said when he got back it would be time for bed since I was done trick-or-treating for the night.

As he walked out the door I ran and jumped onto the couch so I could watch him through the window. If you have ever watched the Halloween movies then you are aware that Michael Myers does not speak. My father stood on the corner of the street and just titled his head from left to right while staring at the fearful bystanders. Once that got boring, he would start to follow behind the fellow trick-or-treaters until they turned around and screamed in fear. This Halloween night was different from all the other years, though. While I was watching through the window, red and blue flashing lights appeared. My mother abruptly got up to see what was happening. Someone was talking to my father. One of the strangers my dad frightened called the police on him because they thought he was carrying a real knife. My father had to stay in for the night and stop his act so the community would feel safe. 

This is definitely my most memorable Halloween because my father got in trouble with the police when it was just supposed to be a fun night. At least we know that he did a good job, though, Happy Halloween! 

— Elyse Essick

Categories: Art, Entertainment, & Lifestyle, Lifestyle

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