We are too cynical for Halloween

Halloween is a holiday for dressing up in costumes, watching scary movies, going trick-or-treating and gorging on sweets. Yet it seems that as people grow older, the spirit of Halloween changes drastically or completely disappears.

One reason that the Halloween spirit is apparently disappearing is that there are more important things going on which prevent people from spending a night trick-or-treating, partying or going out in general. This is especially true since Halloween falls on a Monday this year, and many schools and colleges, including Guilford, do not give a day off.

“My plans for Halloween are probably staying in my room and doing work,” said Lakshmi Premysler, a sophomore.

Another reason is that a number of us have simply grown out of some of the more typical Halloween activities. Trick-or-treating, something many people did for Halloween when they were younger, is certainly dying off. It’s now something to look back on affectionately, not something to actually continue doing.

“I miss trick-or-treating with my friends from home, I guess,” said Tay Bomstein, a first-year. “But it’s not something that I really really miss. It’s just more of a fond memory.”

Whether people are going out and trick-or-treating anymore or not, it is certainly something that people miss. Seeing other people’s costumes, getting candy and spending time with people in the neighborhood were staples of many childhood Halloweens.

“What I actually miss is kinda the whole suspense about seeing different costumes and also the community-building with my neighbors, who I didn’t see on a regular basis,” said Hannah Brewer-Jensen, a senior.

Instead of going out and trick-or-treating, many students are either partying or staying in and spending time with friends. Some are wary about Halloween in general because of the more dangerous aspects of going out for the holiday.

“(I’ll be) probably partying on Friday and then staying indoors over the weekend because there are creepy people out during Halloween,” said Premysler.

Creepy people and safety worries affect more than just college students. Children also seem to be trick-or-treating less and less, further dampening Halloween spirits.

“In my neighborhood, every year, there have been fewer and fewer trick-or-treaters,” said Mylène Dressler, assistant professor of English and creative writing. “My plan is always to get scads of candy and sit outside my house and hand candy out to the kids. And every year, I buy the same amount of candy, and every year, there are fewer kids.”

It’s easy to assume that safety is one of the primary reasons that fewer children are trick-or-treating, which is an understandable concern. It could also point toward a growing trend of cynicism toward Halloween among many adults, however.

The cynicism might be understandable, given how trick-or-treating makes up the majority of children’s Halloween plans and experiences. For many college students and other adults, it becomes just another holiday for drinking and partying, the only difference being that some people wear costumes for it.

But that doesn’t mean that people have to get over the Halloween spirit of the past. Though it might be changing, there is still the opportunity to go out, meet friends and make great memories during this holiday that so many used to consider their favorite.