My name is Eric Watkins, and I am a Halloweenie.
I admit it. I come from a long line of dyed-in-the wool, Ichabod-Crane-loving, harvest-moon-worshipping, weirdos that considered Halloween on par, if not slightly more important, than every other holiday. My grandparents owned a costume shop and my father was chairman of a “haunted” something every year – so being scared, scaring others and coming up with inventive ways to accomplish both WHILE eating a metric ton of candy was just the way it was towards the end of October. Over the years, I became less and less enthusiastic, but the urge to carve a pumpkin or dress-up like a zombie-werewolf-thing at the first sign of fall never really left me.
So, when I moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles this year I wondered – how do Californians handle Halloween? I know what it is like for Northeastern ‘Weeners, but what was it like for kids growing up in LA?
Being the great folks they are, my fellow SLSrs took a few minutes out of their busy day to clue me in. I started with a simple question – As a kid, what did you most look forward to on Halloween?
Kaylen “Jr. Mint” Eguchi – Kaylen really enjoyed wearing the handmade costumes her Mom created for her every year. Nicely played Mama Eguchi! Scariest childhood movie – ’13 Ghosts.’
Victor “Reeses Piece” Espejel – Like many kids, Victor loved getting to stay out late and run around the neighborhood collecting candy. And like many adults, he thought ‘The Exorcist’ was absolutely terrifying.
Melissa “Sixlets” Picciuto – For Mel, and every kid who was keeping score, Halloween costume parades at school meant one thing – getting out of class. Whooo! And like most sane children, she thought ‘The Dark Crystal’ and ‘Labyrinth’ were the scariest movies of all time.
Leti “Fruit-By-The-Foot” Perez – Leti loved spending time with her Mom on Halloween, building her costume and trick-or-treating. She really enjoyed the holiday, so long as it didn’t involve watching scariest movie EVER – ‘Gremlins’
Thomas “Crunch-Bar” Lee – Was a big trick-or-treater as a kid, but had no love for those who handed out apples, healthy snacks or moral guidance – especially the kind found in ‘The Exorcist’.
Rachael “Reeses Peanut Butter Cups” Jones – Rachael loved carving pumpkins with an excessively large knife. She still keeps one knife ready for the ‘Leprechaun’ waiting at the end of her hallway….
Taylor “Three Musketeers” Plenn – As a kid, Taylor loved the giant bowls of candy – reaching in, digging around and pulling out the best stuff. However, the super sweet Disney comedy ‘Freaky Friday’ scared him to death. Now that is scary stuff!
Susan “Heath Bar” Sipe – It should come as no shock that Susan loved being with her family and friends during Halloween – building DIY costumes, trick-or-treating and trading candy like it was the stock market. What is shocking? The original Halloween was filmed in her town, making it #1 on her terrifying movie list – for good reason!
Ronnie “Kit-Kat” Gee – Have you seen the ‘Sixthth Sense’? Ronnie has and he dares you to find a scarier movie about a kid who sees Bruce Willis everywhere he goes.
Scott “Skittles or Starbursts” Simpson – Scott loved haunted houses, especially the D.I.Y. horror mazes his neighbors would erect in their yard. On the other hand, the labyrinth-like tour of the Queen Mary’s haunted lower deck terrifies him to this day.
Frank “Pop-Rocks” Lopez – On Halloween, young Frank was always itching to go trick-or-treating at the first sign of dusk. But after watching an “eye-witness” documentary about Big-Foot he thought twice about running out the door at night.
Now it’s your turn! Visit our SLS Facebook Page and answer the question: As a kid, what did you most look forward to on Halloween? Feel free to share a picture of your favorite costume as well!