Still enjoying Halloween

Trick-or-treating is out of the picture for some teens, but costumes still are cool

Trick-or-treating is out of the picture for some teens, but costumes still are cool

October 28, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

Teens often get a bad rap for Halloween. They're the ones who usually get blamed for smashing pumpkins and other dirty tricks, after all. But some Tri-State area teenagers say they'll spend their haunted holiday having fun that doesn't wreak havoc - going to parties, playing sports, handing out candy, even trick-or-treating.

The cutoff age for that Halloween tradition was an issue that divided teens interviewed recently at Valley Mall in Hagerstown and the surrounding area.

"Whatever floats your boat," says Whitney Wolfensberger, 16, of Clear Spring. She plans to kick back at home with friends to watch scary movies and eat popcorn, she says.


"I'm not going trick-or-treating - I'm too old," says Joseph Bender, 12, of Hagerstown. Unlike many of his peers, Joseph says he never really got into dressing up and asking for treats. He has no big plans for this Halloween, he says.

"I don't dress up anymore," says Amanda Rice, 15, of Boonsboro. Instead, Amanda will spend her Halloween handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, she says. She might also check out neighbors' Halloween decorations, and go to a holiday dance, she says.

Amanda might forego the costume this year, but her younger sister plans to dress up as a basketball player to bag some candy.

"I don't think you can be too old to trick-or-treat," says Stacy Rice, 13, a freshman at Boonsboro High School. She does think trick-or-treaters should wear costumes.

"That's what trick-or-treating's for," Stacy says. "Some of my friends don't dress up. They just go for the candy."

Elora Welsh thinks those unwritten trick-or-treating age limits should be banned.

"I think adults should be able to go trick-or-treating if they want to," says Elora, 14, of Halfway. She's dressing up as a vampire to go trick-or-treating with her friends and some younger kids in the neighborhood, she says.

April Luhn doesn't see any problem with teens trick-or-treating, "as long as they don't take too much candy," she says. April, 15, of Hagerstown, won't go herself, but she will dress up as a Renaissance woman to attend a Halloween party.

Staci Grabill doesn't think it's right for teens to go trick-or-treating.

"They're taking away from the younger kids," says Staci, 17, of Williamsport. She hung up her Halloween costume when she hit high school - and she'll spend part of this Halloween night there. Staci will participate in a volleyball game at Williamsport High School on Friday, she says.

Kristine Donato, 16, of Boonsboro, and Becky Jefferies, 17, of Hagerstown, will dress up as angelic cheerleaders for Halloween. The girls will add angel wings to their Boonsboro High School cheerleading outfits to psyche up their team and the crowd during a football game on Halloween night, they say. Then they'll go to a party.

Jennifer Simms will meet her boyfriend, Jon Danville, at a Halloween party after Jon finishes handing out candy to youngsters in Martinsburg, W.Va. Jon, 16, of Martinsburg, will dress up as the Grim Reaper to fill trick-or-treaters' bags, he says. His girlfriend doesn't plan to alter her appearance.

"I'll leave that to the little kids - and Jon," laughs Jennifer, 17, of Martinsburg.

"I'm partying for Halloween," says Jared Mann, 17, of Boonsboro.

Matthew Toone also will go to a Halloween party. It'll probably be fun - but it won't be as profitable as trick-or-treating used to be, he says.

"I miss it," says Matthew, 15, of Williamsport. "I liked getting the candy."

Now in eighth grade, Mike Welsh also is going to miss hitting the streets for candy this Halloween. He ended his trick-or-treating career last year.

"I have to buy all the candy myself now," says Mike, 14, of Hagerstown. But he'll still dress up for Halloween to hand out candy. "I'll probably dress up like a ghost or something and scare the kids," Mike says.

Kaitlyn Bishop, 12, plans to don vampire fangs to dole out candy to trick-or-treaters at her family's Hagerstown home, she says. Her younger sister, Kylie Bishop, 8, says she might have to keep Kaitlyn out of the candy she scores while trick-or-treating as an alien.

Chad Shank, 16, of Hagerstown, depends upon his younger siblings' Halloween goodie bags for his candy fix.

"My little brothers and sisters go trick-or-treating and I get candy from them," says Chad, who plans to get his Halloween scares at the haunted house in Leitersburg.

Brad Semler, 17, of Boonsboro, might spark some fear of his own with the "mask or something" he's thinking about wearing while he goes out with his friends for Halloween, he says.

McConnellsburg, Pa., residents Erin Barlow, 15, and her sister Christine Barlow, 13, will wear costumes to help run a Halloween party for younger kids at their church, they say. The girls' Halloween treat is a trip to a Toby Mac concert in Pennsylvania.

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