By HAMZAH ALAM
Halloween is one of the only times of the year when someone can go out as a scary clown, a favorite superhero or even as something as simple as a sheet of paper, without feeling out of place. The free candy and creativity involved in in the holiday has made it one of the most beloved of both children and adults alike, although adults lean more toward the “social interactions” side of things rather than the candy.
Halloween culture can be seen as two extremes in teenagers. On one hand, there are people who prepare extensively for the night, decorating and modifying their costumes to make them of the highest quality possible, while others may seem to care less about celebrating it. An example of the former is Jamie Kim (Jr.), who has worn zombie costumes twice.
“I spend about an hour making them,” she said. “Buying the supplies included, it takes me around 2 hours.”
She made her costume in tandem with her friend. “My friend did a…zombie face with a zipper running down it, basically showing the insides of the zombie,” she recalled.
A notable feature on her costumes is fake blood. “It really is the main part of my costume,” Kim said. “I don’t put on makeup that often, so I don’t know how to use it as well, and the colors don’t come out as well, so I just use fake blood. It’s also the cheapest material I can buy.”
An example of the opposite, however, is Saman Patrick Namazian (Jr.), who has not celebrated Halloween for a long time.
“The last time I dressed up, I was in eighth grade,” he said. “Ever since then, I really haven’t had the time to go trick-or-treating. High school has taken over my life, and between homework and studying for all of my AP courses, there’s no time for me at all to make a costume, much less go trick-or-treating.”
However, he has dressed up for Halloween several times before. “In sixth grade, I dressed up as a hippie. The main thing that made it a hippie costume was my afro that I bought from Party City. I didn’t spend much time making the costume, just about 5 minutes looking for the afro in the store.”
Students aren’t the only ones getting in on the fun of dressing up. Mrs. Valerie Thompson (Science Dept.) is one of many teachers who also dress up every year for Halloween.
“My main theme for the holiday is dead stuff,” she said. “Whenever I dress up, I always aim for being scary. In fact, when my two boys were younger, I had to do all the make up for my costume and leave for school early in the morning before they woke up for school, or else they’d be too scared for the rest of the day.”
Along with her costume, Mrs. Thompson also does landscaping decorations in her backyard, turning it into a graveyard every Halloween.
“It’s just a very fun thing for me to do,” she said. “I basically make piles of dirt to represent graves, and I already have pre-made fake gravestones, so I use them to add a little creativity to my setup. My whole neighborhood gets in on it, too, so it’s very interesting seeing all the decorations every year. Also, as a result, we get a lot of trick-or-treaters in the area.”
Trick-or-treating is an aspect of Halloween that attracts many young children and teenagers alike.
“I just recently moved here in eighth grade, so I was fascinated by this idea that people could just walk around and ask for free candy, and they’d get it,” said Kareem Farran (Sr.). “I have gone trick-or-treating in eighth, ninth and tenth grade with a couple of my friends. Last year, we stayed at home, bought a pack of candy, and watched a scary movie in the night instead of trick-or-treating, but it was fun in its own way. I might go again this year, I’m not sure yet.”
Trick-or-treating is meant for little children to some people, but to others, the age limit varies.
“I think that when you graduate high school is when you should stop trick-or-treating, because you don’t want a full-grown man standing outside your door, asking for candy,” said Farran. “A high school student might be able to pull it off because people might look at you and go, ‘Oh, he’s a high school student, it’s ok.’ But after high school, it’s pushing it.”
Some students believe that there is no age limit for trick-or-treating. “I feel like anyone can go trick-or-treating at any age,” said Yuchen Fan (Sr.). “As long as they take it seriously and dress up, of course.”
Finally, there are some people with a very specific age in mind.
“Twelve,” said Mrs. Thompson. “That should be the age that children start passing out candy rather than receiving it. I have a twelve-year-old and I know what shenanigans he’ll pull when he goes out with his friends, and it’s usually not good stuff, so I have him stay home and help me pass out candy.”
However, her children don’t miss out on the free candy. “They get a tip of candy at the very end.”
However old a person may be, Halloween is bound to be an enjoyable time, from decorating houses and yards to making scary costumes, sometimes from scratch. As previously stated, Halloween is one of the only days in the whole year where people can dress up as anything and not feel out of place. Therefore, it’s good to enjoy the holiday, if not by trick-or-treating, then by hanging out with friends. It only happens once a year, so don’t miss out.