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When is Halloween not a scream anymore?

October 29, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

"Witches, pumpkinheads and black cats, scary spooks and black bats - oh it's Halloween."

Those are the lyrics of a fall holiday song from days - years - gone by.

Sung in a minor key, the song could set a little kid's mood for the scary excitement of walking the streets after dark and the eager anticipation of a bag full of candy.

How long does the excitement of Halloween last? When does the holiday lose its luster for kids, for teens?

Several middle and high school students were at the Waynesboro Area YMCA after school on a recent afternoon. The kids can pick up a game of basketball, play games or watch television in the recreation area. They shared some thoughts about Halloween:

Joe Ecker, 12, a Waynesboro Middle School seventh-grader, says he kind of didn't want to trick-or-treat two years ago, but he did, joining his whole family.

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Last year he stayed at home and handed out candy to the kids who came to his door, and he plans to do the same this year.

He won't dress up, but his little sister, Missy, a third-grader, plans to wear his old football uniform for a Halloween costume this year.

"I just wore camo," says seventh-grader Benjamin Eyler, 12, of last Halloween. He trick-or-treated with cousins and friends.

And this year?

"I might walk around," he says.

Is he excited about Halloween?

"The candy," he grins.

Twelve-year-old Melissa Wagaman carved a pumpkin for Halloween this year. She cut out a cat, ghost and pumpkins, and planned to light it with a strobe light. She put her jack-o'-lantern in the window, went outside to adjust it and - Halloween horror of horrors - the pumpkin smashed to the floor inside.

The Waynesboro Middle School seventh grader went trick-or-treating last Halloween with her then 4-year-old niece. She hadn't planned to go out this year until her 17-year-old sister asked her to come along.

"I'm going to dress up as "Scream" (the movie) so no one can see me," she says.

Jessie Front, 15, fondly remembers marching around and around her elementary school parking lot - in costume - when she was in third grade. Now, as a Waynesboro Area Senior High School 10th grader, "We don't get to do anything," she says with an exaggerated pout.

She probably won't dress up.

Does she still get excited about Halloween?

"Of course," she says.

Fourteen-year-old Kati Masters recalls dressing as a butterfly when she was in fourth or fifth grade. She last trick-or-treated a couple of years ago, dressed as a Hawaiian tourist.

She probably won't go out - trick-or-treating - for Halloween, but says she might go to a party.

Kati has been to the Leitersburg Haunted House. She says she likes to be scared.

Does she still get excited about Halloween?

Her answer is an emphatic "Yes."

Nathan Pipher, 12, says his excitement about trick-or-treating started to fade last year. He went around the neighborhood, just wearing "camo," he says.

But the October holiday still holds some excitement for the Waynesboro Middle School seventh-grader.

"I get excited about decorating," he says. His family goes all out making scarecrows and using black lights. They hang spider lanterns and carve pumpkins, too.

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