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Halloween evokes trick-or-treat nostalgia

Katherine+Walsh%2C+a+freshman+in+the+College+of+Arts+%26+Sciences%2C+gets+ready+to+trick-or-treat+as+a+young+child.+
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Halloween evokes trick-or-treat nostalgia

Katherine Walsh, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, gets ready to trick-or-treat as a young child.

Katherine Walsh, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, gets ready to trick-or-treat as a young child.

Photo by courtesy of Katherine Walsh

Katherine Walsh, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, gets ready to trick-or-treat as a young child.

Photo by courtesy of Katherine Walsh

Photo by courtesy of Katherine Walsh

Katherine Walsh, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, gets ready to trick-or-treat as a young child.

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For many, the arrival of Halloween brings both anticipation for festivities on campus and nostalgia for Halloweens past.

For Katherine Walsh, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences who grew up in Madison, trick-or-treating was always a big deal.

As a young child, her trick-or-treating festivities usually began before dinner around 4:30 or 5 p.m. Walsh said she would typically go around the neighborhood with other neighbor kids. As Walsh and her friends got older, they began trick-or-treating later and traveling to different neighborhoods farther away.

Altering the route in order to maximize candy intake was not the only improvement in Walsh’s trick-or-treating over time. Her costumes improved, too.

“I was Medusa one year … I had green face paint with small braids and wires in the braids,” she said.

Among Walsh’s favorite childhood Halloween memories were when her parish priest who lived nearby handed out king-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and when she saw her fifth grade teacher dress up and hand out candy.

Trick-or-treating for Walsh stopped around eighth grade. After that, she said she and her friends started getting together to watch spooky movies. Not much has changed since then, as she helped organize a Halloween movie night for Straz Tower. Walsh said she will be volunteering for HALL-oween, where she will hand out candy to kids who trick-or-treat in Straz.

Walsh was not the only one with fond memories of neighborhood Halloween.

When Joey O’Connor, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, thinks of Halloween, he said he thinks of Suwanee, the suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, where he lived as a child.

As a child, O’Connor would dress up with his brother and the two of them trick-or-treated in a cul-de-sac that had 10 other houses.

“It just ranged from whatever we were feeling that year, … we were the Blues Brothers one year,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor said part of the fun of trick-or-treating came after they returned from walking around the neighborhood.

“We’d go back to the house and break down what we had … then we’d hide it from my dad because he’d eat it all,” O’Connor said.

He said one of his favorite Halloween memories was when his mom made a Halloween-themed dinner that included black noodles and meatballs as eyes. Halloween was a time to come together with people, he said, and that still has not changed for him.

Paige Bintz, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, agreed that the excitement of Halloween lies in finding ways to celebrate the holiday with others.

This Halloween, Bintz said she plans on attending a couple of parties, spending time with friends, watching scary movies, making Halloween treats and eating caramel apple pops.

Bintz grew up in the rural area of West Bend, Wisconsin. This meant that traveling to different neighborhoods was always the better option when it came to obtaining the best candy during trick-or-treating.

“It was fun … we went every year. … My sisters are much older, and they would take me and my friends and go trick-or-treating,” Bintz said.

Along with trick-or-treating, Bintz said she remembered the costume days that her school would hold, when everyone would walk around to different classrooms, showing off their ensembles.

When it comes to Halloween festivities, Bintz said she thinks in college there is a shift in terms of what is fun.

“It’s definitely different … Halloween grew up with us,” Bintz said. “When you get older, it becomes more of spooky movies and fall activities like pumpkin patches and apple picking.”

Though the activities perceived as fun may be different as the years go by, a lingering spirit of Halloween reminds many of what it was like to be a goofy kid again.

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