Trick or Treat? Or maybe just a movie and a nap

Published 11:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2022

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By Jennie Guido

I’ll be honest. Halloween growing up with just one night a year where my sister and I were dressed in matching, homemade costumes. One year we were “little mermaids.” Another, we were “Miss Americas.” I can remember asking to be a bride and another year a Cathedral cheerleader. Mom was a wiz at the sewing machine, so any costume requested was usually whipped up in no time.

We also spent the Halloween season watching the classics: Hocus Pocus (the original on VHS); Double, Double, Toil and Trouble; Casper; and The Addams Family. I have yet to watch the second installment of Hocus Pocus, but there is always Halloween night after I finish watching Joe Burrow and the Bengals and passing out candy.

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Back to Halloween in the 90s though – I wasn’t into the scary stuff. I didn’t like haunted houses, and things that went bump in the night usually kept me (and my mom) up the rest of the night. I couldn’t shake seeing a scary movie or show for weeks until well into adulthood.

In college, some sorority sisters of mine thought it would be fun to make me watch all of the Saw movies in order during Halloween week. Mind you, at the time there were only four out that we could rent from Blockbuster and watch in the dorms. I was up for days. Everytime I fell asleep I had nightmares of that little creature on the tricycle asking to play a game. I also didn’t have a roommate at the time and had made a king-size bed out of the two twin beds in my room, so a slumber party was had in my room (with a lamp on) for a full week after that.

That same Halloween week, my sister came to visit for the weekend; and we dared to go to the annual haunted house hosted by a group on campus. Every year, the old and abandoned “Old Bayou” school was transformed into a scare the … well, you know… out of you experience – complete with chainsaws. We paid our five dollars, lined up in the old auditorium, and waited our turn.

We never made it into the haunted house though because some angry locals decided to hold us all hostage when they weren’t allowed in. Now, being in an old, abandoned school with the windows broken, the lights off, and scary decor was enough to drive me over the edge. We huddled on the floor, called the Sheriff’s office (who confirmed they were in route), and swore we’d never do this again. Thankfully, we were released unharmed and ushered back to our cars.

Was it all part of the experience? Maybe, but I did get my five dollars back that night.

After that, I wasn’t scared of scary movies or TV shows anymore. Now when Halloween rolls around, I decorate, I watch the scariest movies I can stream, and afterwards, I fall fast asleep.