It’s that time of year again: Halloween is coming

By Elizabeth Sherwood | October 11, 2012

Halloween is coming! As a kid at heart, I cannot think of autumn without thinking of Halloween. I will always love the spirit of the holiday and the mystery of it all. Anything can happen.

My Halloween tastes have changed over the years, however. First, in my selection of candy. Instead of blindly grabbing at bowls of candy while I went trick-or-treating, as I grew older I would pick and choose my favorite pieces. I knew which family had the best treats every year. I would skip past the Three Musketeers and Hot Tamales and go straight for the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Year after year, my plastic jack-o’-lantern would have fewer pieces of candy until I stopped trick-or-treating altogether and was very sad about it. Now I can buy my own candy and use the excuse that it will go stale if I don’t eat it.

Another major change is in my appreciation of costumes. I always used to love the homemade costumes because that is just how we did it in my family. But there was always that cool girl who bought her Dorothy costume and looked like she came straight out of Kansas. I used to be jealous, but now I am not. While characters are classic costume ideas, I think the greatest costumes are the ones that involve some sort of pun and/or really elaborate accoutrement, probably made of paper-mache. An example would be dressing up as a fire hydrant with an attachable dog peeing on your shoe. It has been done. Or dressing in a slip and slapping on a beard. Voila! A Freudian slip.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize some of my favorite Halloween TV episodes. I polled a few friends and included some of our favorites. “Tales from the Public Domain,” one of my favorite Simpsons episodes, has a short segment called “Do the Bard, Man” where the entire cast took on Hamlet. You really cannot beat Ralph Wiggum, as Laertes, stabbing himself. And who could forget Lizzie McGuire’s “Night of the Day of the Dead” when I was legitimately scared and learned about Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday that Miranda celebrated. Abed from Community should really double as Batman at least once an episode. I constantly reference Jim Halpert’s “Bookface” costume on The Office. And I was also told that there are some great Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes, but I have never seen that show. I was told that I should feel bad about that.

As for movies, the list goes on. However, Hocus Pocus is worth a re-watch. Maybe Bette Midler won’t terrify as much now. Eh, who am I kidding? She will. But “I Put A Spell on You” is one of the greatest impromptu musical numbers in a movie. And, of course, Casper is a classic. I love when Kat gets to dance with Casper in human form!

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown has got to be my favorite Halloween movie. There is something so innocent about Linus waiting long into the night for The Great Pumpkin. And Charlie Brown getting rocks when he goes trick-or-treating.

The best part, however, is seeing everybody get into the holiday. I love guessing what people are wearing as much as I love explaining to people what my costume means. You also have to love that one family on your street that goes all out with decorations. Halloween is something the whole community can enjoy. We are all our alter egos for a night, so why not live it up (accent on “live”)?

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