Halloween used to be fun and scary. It was fun because you got to dress in a costume - any costume. I don't remember ever being restricted. Maybe I was not savvy enough to consider the political, feminist and social agendas I could incorporate into my costume back in the day. As a kid, I'd grab my closest friends and take off down the street. Guaranteed, we knew the exact hour that our community declared "trick or treat time." We wouldn't miss a minute of it and we'd go as far as we could and hit every house on every block.
Most of the houses were well lit and welcoming. A few got into the spirit with over the top decorations, but nothing like what you might see today. I know people who decorate for Halloween as much as they do for Christmas! Virtual haunted houses are recreated in their yards and you just know something is going to jump out at you...it's just a matter of time.
The scary part of the Halloween of my youth was when we found ourselves far from our homes and near empty lots or dark wooded areas. Initially, we would try to scare each other and pretend we heard strange noises. We'd make sudden movements, and shout "What was that!!"
More than once, however, we did think something was moving in the bushes...leaves rustled as if someone walked just slightly behind us. The loud mouth bunch of the neighborhood could get very quiet when under duress. It had to be our runaway imaginations, right? RIGHT? Strange lights flickered in the trees or maybe we actually heard a weird noise. All of a sudden the thought occurred to us that we might die dressed as Batman, Dracula, a Hobo and a Hillbilly. Now tell me that isn't scary??
We loved getting a good scare.
Tragically, I still risk life and limb for candy - depending on whether or not chocolate is involved.