(Note: I am aware that Halloween means different things to different folks, and it isn’t all fun and candy. People use the evening for all kinds of foolishness [and, at times, evil]. So, please recognize that this post focuses on a specific expression.)
I have fond memories tied to Halloween, perhaps as many as I do Christmas. When I was young, I would often go to Evan’s house to trick-or-treat because he had a friendly neighborhood for that (i.e., lots of candy). One of those years we found a lost dog and made $2.00 each for returning it. I can recall watching Disney’s Halloween Treat with my siblings. When I was in fourth grade, my mom made the most amazing amateur haunted house in the world (at least that’s how my fourth grade brain remembers it). The haunted house was made with black plastic, black lights, dark corners, fake walls, spaghetti noodles, and a window where Uncle Jon would scare people as they exited.
In about that same time frame, the church I went to had a haunted house/fall fest type thing. I remember feeling peeled grapes and being told they were eyeballs. (I still often eat grapes by first peeling the skin off—forever being influenced by that church.) As I got older, I used my stage makeup (non-)skills (making bruises, open wounds, and stuff like that) to try and make scary costumes. Even in college, I vividly remember coming back to the dorm where Evan and I lived and seeing him lying on his bed covered in fake blood. (I still bought him bottles of fake blood even on into adulthood.)
Yes, I loved it as a kid, but It wasn’t until seminary that I was given a new perspective on Halloween.