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TRICKS AND TREATS WHAT MAKES A GREAT HALLOWEEN?
“When witches go riding and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘'Tis near Halloween.’” –Unknown When I was a kid, the best part of Halloween was getting together with my friends. There was always a group of 10–15 that got dressed up and went trick-or-treating together. As we got a little older, we started to look forward to Mischief Eve even more than Halloween. Mischief Eve took place the night before Halloween, and it’s when all us hooligans would go pull pranks. We did small things, like putting soap or shaving cream on car windows or covering the neighbor’s trees with toilet paper. It was innocent fun, but I think it’s probably a good thing most kids today have never heard of Mischief Eve. It’s more fun for everyone to just attend the big Halloween parade instead.
For as long as I can remember, my family has spent every Halloween at my aunt’s house in Bayville. The younger kids go trick-or-treating, supervised by some older family members, and the rest of us hang out at the house to hand out candy and eat pizza and chicken wings. There are usually at least 30 of us, so we have to order quite the feast. When the kids get back, we all snack on candy and watch a movie together. We usually put in a scary movie, though my favorite Halloween movie is “Halloweentown.” I love our family-oriented Halloween traditions. It’s so much fun to hang out and spend time together, so I look forward to it every year. As Genna already mentioned, our family spends Halloween night at our aunt’s house. Our aunt lives in a neighborhood full of kids, so the trick-or-treating there is always the best. In fact, it’s the first place I ever went trick-or-treating. Last year, I got to relive those memories with my niece. It was her first Halloween, and she dressed like Minnie Mouse. It was so much fun to take her trick-or-treating for the first time in the same place where I spent my first Halloween. I got to see the tradition pass on to the next generation. –Genna Aguiar This year, my niece is walking and talking, so she’ll be able to have even more fun with the other kids on Halloween. I’m excited to take her trick-or-treating again and make fun memories together.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! Between the costumes, decorations, and candy, what’s not to love? When I was a kid, one of my really good friends lived in Toms River. Even back then, the Halloween parade in Toms River was so big that everyone in town went trick-or-treating the night before Halloween. One year, my parents let me go trick-or-treating with my friend in her neighborhood on Oct. 30, and then she came over to do the same with us on Halloween. As a kid, trick-or-treating twice was the dream. These days, I can buy my own treats, so my Halloween fun is all about the tricks. Every year, we try to find the scariest haunted attraction. We have some pretty great haunted houses, haunted mazes, and haunted hayrides nearby. During the week leading up to Halloween, I break out the horror movies. The original “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th” are still my favorites. I’ve seen them dozens of times, but something about these terrifying classics makes me feel like a 17-year-old watching them in the movie theater for the first time.
–Peter B. McHugh
This Halloween, we hope your candy bags are heavy and your hearts are light with fun.
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