Hal­loween mak­ing a come­back

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Melissa Jenk­ins Melissa Jenk­ins is a reporter/ pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass news­pa­per in Car­bon­ear. She can be reached at melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc.

I have never bobbed for ap­ples.

For those that know me, it prob­a­bly isn’t that much of a sur­prise. I’ve al­ways thought it was a lit­tle gross — you could bite into an ap­ple some­one else had al­ready tried to pick up. Yuck.

But be­sides the old tra­di­tion of dunk­ing your head in a gi­ant bucket of wa­ter to at­tempt to fish out a de­li­cious Macin­tosh, Hal­loween has re­ally changed in the past two decades.

For years we’ve seen less trick-or-treaters at our doors and fewer homes dec­o­rated for the sea­son.

But a come­back of haunted house events has stirred some nos­tal­gic emo­tions for some lo­cals in the Car­bon­ear area, my­self in­cluded.

I have never been one for get­ting scared, but the age-old tra­di­tions of mis­chief and fright on Hal­loween goes with­out say­ing.

When I moved to New­found­land in 1997, I didn’t know how into Hal­loween peo­ple were.

I was in the sixth grade. The Grade 5 class was cho­sen to do a haunted house on our school stage.

I grew up in Toronto, where elab­o­rate dé­cor was the norm. But if some­one ap­proached you in a cos­tume that you didn’t know, it was the norm to turn away and find a grownup.

I liked the low-key style of Car­bon­ear though, be­cause it wasn’t as scary. And ev­ery­one knew ev­ery­one.

This first Hal­loween haunted house in New­found­land was a mem­o­rable one. Un­for­tu­nately, not for the rea­son many would think.

I wasn’t scared. Rather, in­trigued at the quaint set up of black garbage bags cre­at­ing a cave-like at­mos­phere. And all the stu­dents were in­volved.

But what hap­pens when you jump out at some­one who has been told to avoid peo­ple that have their faces cov­ered? Let’s just say the poor kid took a fist to the scream mask he was wear­ing. It was only af­ter I re­al­ized I wasn’t in Toronto any­more, and this poor kid was more scared as a par­tic­i­pant than I was as an ob­server.

I didn’t know for a few years who it was in the mask, whether it was a boy or girl, some­one I knew or not. When I found out, I did apol­o­gize. And I haven’t tak­ing a swing at a ghost or goblin since.

Over the years I have at­tended plenty of haunted houses, trick-or-treated at many doors and seen hun­dreds of cos­tumes.

And I feel there is a love for Hal­loween re­turn­ing that has started with th­ese haunted house events. So pre­pare for next year, there could be plenty of new and ex­cit­ing things to check out.

I just hope bob­bing for ap­ples never makes a come­back.

But what hap­pens when you jump out at some­one who has been told to avoid peo­ple that have their faces cov­ered? Let’s just say the poor kid took a fist to the scream mask he was wear­ing.

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