The not so sweet side of Halloween

The not so sweet side of Halloween

Jillian Spaulding


When I was a little girl, Halloween was my favorite time of the year. I adored the feeling of being afraid (in a controlled environment, of course): Houses-decked out in spooky decorations, ABC Family/Freeform’s “13 Nights of Halloween” movie marathons played when you got home from class, and parties consisting of spider cupcakes and skeleton cookies.  It was a time when my parents turned our front yard into a maze that rivaled those of Universal Studios. A time when my very serious, responsible parents would dress up like witches and monsters and let Jeffrey, my older brother, and I stay up all night long eating candy. It was reusing the same two princess dresses for four years in a row because I refused to be anything else. It was a time when I no longer had to be Jillian Spaulding, who liked to read and had a severe stutter, because I was a pirate, a princess, or an ant. This was the one night a year where there was nothing to be afraid of because you were not you anymore. However, this all changed as I entered adulthood. 

Halloween as an adult can be tiring and a little scandalous.  COURTESY OF  THIS WEEK IN WORCHESTER

Halloween as an adult can be tiring and a little scandalous. COURTESY OF THIS WEEK IN WORCHESTER

There are no more class parties because now, you are lucky if you do not have a paper due or a midterm the day of Halloween. I was lucky enough to have a professor who dressed up as a quidditch player, and it was the most spirit I had seen in my three years at Whittier. For the average college student, costumes are no longer running away from your identity. Candy makes you fat, and your parents no longer feel the need to do anything because you are “all grown up.”  Basically, as a twenty-year-old, I’m here to tell you: Halloween sucks when you grow up. The movies may still play and give you a spooky thrill, but the magic has worn off.

In college, especially on this campus, people either have no idea the holiday has arrived, or they are just using it as another excuse to get blackout drunk. Though Program Board has cute activities set up for us, this spooky holiday revolves around children, and if you don’t have a kid, the magic seems to be misplaced for you. 

Instead, you get “Fall activities,” such as apple picking and visiting pumpkin patches. Maybe you are like me, and you tried to keep the traditions alive and carve a pumpkin, but three days later you were crushed when the California sun shriveled and decayed your masterpiece. So, you turn to more adult activities. I, myself, went to a concert where I was surrounded by scantily dressed cops, nurses, and firefighters, and no candy allowed inside. 

Though this is my idea of a great night, it is far from my childhood traditions of filling up a pillowcase to the brim with candy and sneaking out pieces before my mom could check them. Halloween has changed for us all, but maybe the magic will creep back up on some of us soon as we venture out into our adult lives. For some, this may be through having children of their own to dress up with, but for others, maybe it will be watching trick-or-treaters marvel at your decorating skills as you pass out candy.