Despite Tricks, Halloween Still Remains A Sweet Treat For All to Enjoy

Ellie Retzlaff, Staff Writer

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Weeks before Halloween, department stores were lined with an assortment of costumes and bags of candy featuring the signature purple and orange. It’s true that this holiday largely survives on stores’ agendas who are trying to rake in candy revenue. But after interviewing peers at MHS and a Halloween enthusiast, I found a bigger reason for Halloween to be in the hearts of young and old alike: it brings people together.

Students Ilana Levine (‘19), Abby Lewis (‘20), and Anna-Grace Bricker (‘21) all agreed upon the fact that they went trick or treating as a youth, which is not much of surprise, as most kids do this. But what was surprising was that their reasons for going trick-or-treating all the way up to eighth grade were less about the candy (which was still a factor) but more about being with friends and trick-or-treating together. Levine and Lewis specifically remember trick-or-treating with their neighbors, racing from house to house. Bricker plans on trick or treating for a while because she thinks it is fun and a good way to get candy. These interviews all pointed to the fact that Halloween, which I had viewed as commercial, still has a charm to it. Halloween has the ability to unite people, even if candy is a huge factor in doing so.

As I continued to understand how this holiday was capable of bringing people together, I reached out to Halloween enthusiast Tim Spanganberg, a technology manager from Rochester, New York, for his view on the matter. Again, I was pleasantly surprised, but this time by the sheer positivity that Tim sees in Halloween. Spanganberg’s love for Halloween has led to extravagantly decorated displays, including mummies, tombs, mad scientist labs, aliens with flying saucers, pirate ships, and much more. He mentioned to me that he has always loved Halloween, and at age eleven he even stopped trick or treating and stayed home to create a Halloween display with dummies illuminated and hung in trees.

“I realized I loved being on the giving side much more than the candy side,” he said “the reaction I got from the neighborhood stuck with me. People seemed to appreciate the effort I made to make the holiday special.”

His unique and heartwarming view on the holiday shows that Halloween has a lot more to offer than candy. It’s a way to connect with others, which Spanganberg says his displays nowadays are able to do, bringing hundreds of visitors to his house on Halloween.

Whether it be trick-or-treating with your neighbors or decorating your house, Halloween has a way of uniting people. Although this holiday has become more commercialized over the years, it continues to thrive because of its ability to band neighbors, friends, and even strangers together.

As Spanganberg views it, “It’s an overwhelmingly positive thing that Halloween is now largely viewed as a community event,” I’d have to agree.

While I have always been a bit doubtful about the holiday, the community aspect of Halloween is something that cannot fail to be noticed. So come October 31st, make sure to get together with your friends or family to make this Halloween a special one.

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