Halloween then and now: how the holiday changes as we grow older

Michael Crater, staff writer

Halloween, the holiday of fear, candy, and parties, is an ever-changing event as one grows older. From trick or treating with your parents to going to high-school Halloween parties, teens have different experiences each Oct. 31.

Costumes on Halloween originated as a Celtic tradition for Samhain to ward off ghosts the night before the celebration of the saints. Now costumes are used to scare friends or get a laugh. The costumes develop as one grows up, from animals and cartoon characters, to dressing up as modern TV icons and musicians. “For like three consecutive years I was Snow White, from 3rd to 5th grade,” sophomore Elissa Sybesma said. “I would just reuse the costumes because I didn’t care.” Many kids enjoyed switching up costumes each year, while others just stuck with the one they really liked. “I was a skateboarder one year, and [the next year] I was a skeleton,” sophomore Quentin Loxtercamp said. He enjoyed coming up with new costumes each year.

As a young kid, Halloween is a night to be running around with friends and collecting heaping bags of candy. “We would go to the neighborhoods that we knew had the biggest houses because we knew they would have the king size candy bars and that was like the most important thing,” Sybesma said. Every year, kids go racing door to door to be the first ones to get the biggest amounts of candy, the pride going to the kid with the biggest haul.

While growing up, people also change how they celebrate. While some still trick-or-treat, others may start going to parties. Some may even do both, as many party attendees decide to go trick-or-treating together. In a recent Zephyrus Twitter poll, 85% of respondents said they don’t trick-or-treat anymore. “I do not [trick-or-treat] anymore… it has nothing to do with me being a senior in high school,” Senior Luke Berge said.

At parties, people spend time eating food and watching scary movies. “No I don’t trick-or-treat anymore because it’s kind of weird for a high schooler to trick-or-treat, I’m going to a party,” Quentin’s older sister, senior Sabrina Loxtercamp said. Many kids feel too mature to trick-or-treat, so they enjoy spending time with friends.

“I’ll sometimes hang out with friends and watch Scream or Halloween,” freshman Lauren Collins said. “I normally go to my grandpa’s house and he has this scarecrow thing and I hide behind it and scare people.”

Collins is among many older kids who enjoy scaring trick-or-treaters. As kids get older they enjoy scaring kids and handing out candy like adults. “I pass out candy at my house and at about seven I turn off the lights, go downstairs, and eat the rest,” Quentin Loxtercamp said.