I’ve always loved fall. It’s probably my favorite time of year. The air gets a little cooler; the leaves begin to change, there are football games every weekend. I love it. With the fall season comes one of my favorite holidays: Halloween.
Ah yes, Halloween. That night when ghosts and goblins run amok in our neighborhoods searching for treats and playing more than a few tricks. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon after, All Saints’ Day incorporated some traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.
Today, Halloween, like many other holidays, has become a commercial enterprise where people load up on candy, costumes, and decorations, while stores ring up big sales. For me, in the midst of all this consumerism are many fond memories with family and friends. I can still remember going to the old Blairs Volunteer Fire Department Haunted House, which we’ve featured in this issue, as a kid and having a blast. I even have the memories, still, of my dad playing the latest (at that time) Bob Seger album The Fire Inside as we were riding out to the haunted house.
Over the years, my friends and I always went to different haunted houses throughout the region. I’ve probably been to two dozen, at least. I’ve always liked them, not so much because they’re scary. Usually, I end up laughing most of the time. But that’s really the point, to me. To spend time with your friends and family and just let go of all the other things that burden you throughout the day. Be scared. Laugh. Run. Just have fun!
And that’s what I’ve always tried to do around the Halloween season. Whether it was smashing pumpkins in a field at my friend’s house as a teenager (fun but messy), or meeting Kane Hodder from the Friday the 13th films at Spookywoods in High Point, I’ve always had fun around Halloween. And now I get to share that fun with my family.
Last year, the four of us decided to dress up as KISS for Halloween. It was actually Kingston’s idea, I swear. We went to the big Halloween event downtown and then trick-or-treating around the local neighborhoods. This was certainly a more low-key Halloween than some of those I’ve had in the past, but nonetheless, it was fun. And more than that, we were creating new memories. New stories that I’ll remember for years to come, and hopefully, the kids will too. Who knows, maybe Ava or Kingston will be writing a column like this in twenty years.
Let me hear from you. What are some of your favorite Halloween memories? Send me a line Lee Vogler