Halloween Memories by Tim Haunter

I must have been going out as a Shriner.

I must have been going out as a Shriner.


If I were to write the history of Halloween based on my lifetime, it would be a small but entertaining window.  So, I think I will.

I grew up back at a time when our only costume options were slinky one-piece outfits and molded plastic masks that you really couldn’t see out of very easily.  They were also very inconvenient if you liked breathing.

As a child, I somehow developed a love of monsters and scary movies.  Of course, back then, movies were just scary and not blood-splattered slaughter-fests.  Friday nights, Channel 9 in Los Angeles had Sci Fi theater where all the b-movies hung out.  “Man from Planet X”, “Frankenstein’s Daughter” and the rest.  After searching for years, I finally found the music they played every Friday night during breaks in the movie.  You can hear it here.

Of course, I loved all the Universal Studios classics and watched  them every time they were shown on TV. (remember , this was back before VCR’s and DVD’s and when movies like the “Wizard of Oz” was shown once a year, it was an event) .  I not only watched “Frankenstein”, “Dracula”, “The Wolfman” and “The Mummy”, but I also bought the models you could build and paint.  They decorated my room for years.

I remember the year that I became too old to trick or treat.  Oh, it seems like kids do it until they’re in their mid-20s these days, but back then, your parents would announce that this is your last year so you had 365 days to embrace the concept by next year.  By then, you had built it up in your mind that trick or treating was just for kids.

Because of radio station promotions and being a fan of the holiday, I’ve always loved Halloween.  Maybe it’s that feeling that, for just one night, you’re a kid again.  OK, a kid who drinks Scotch, but still, a kid. I’ve been a vampire, a zombie, “Hunter Man” (yep, found a Superhero outfit at Value Village with an H on the front) and I can’t tell you how many years I’ve answer the door with one of those plastic knives that appear like it’s going through my head.

The stores are already pushing it out of the way so they can get in more Christmas stuff.  We went to a fun Halloween party last Saturday at a completely decked-out home in North Bend, we’re having a costume party at work during lunch and then it’s head home to hand out the candy.  Of all the facets of Halloween, seeing those young faces marvel at how our home is decorated and their look of disbelief that people will actually just give you candy is priceless.

So, enjoy the day.  Don’t overthink it.  If nothing else, remember the life lesson that Linus taught us all—don’t waste an entire night in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Picking out the most sincere one is impossible.

Tim Hunter

One thought on “Halloween Memories by Tim Haunter

  1. You wrote MY life story, it is that close to mine. Ditto on nearly everything regarding Halloween. Those masks were really the worst with their cheap rubber band and staple. Seeing and breathing was near impossible so I would take it off and put it on once we reached the door. Smart, huh? A pillow case for my treats and I recall emptying that case at least three times before calling it a night. Back in the 60s nearly every house gave out candy so it didn’t take long to fill that sack. The mound of candy went fast and soon was reduced to suckers, hard candy, and gum. Any caramel apples or popcorn balls were quickly chucked into the night sky as soon as possible so as not to contaminate our “real” candy. The next day, at school, it was a trading frenzy as candy exchanged hands and friends were made. Ah, yes, good times indeed!


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