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Get the feeling back

October 30, 2007|By DYLAN THACKSTON / Pulse Correspondent

Pumpkins, candy, ghouls, ghosts, beasts and demons - all of these things were the guidelines to the magic of Halloween when I was a kid.

These things contributed to the overwhelming sense of spooky joy, and the feeling I had that all the sprits were dancing around me as I happily marched from house to house getting all kinds of tooth-rotting treats. The magic of Halloween night is a joy unexceeded by any other, except maybe Christmas.

But for a lot of people - most kids I talk to - the wonder of the night has long since faded. I know that I have not felt the same tingling crawling up my spine as I did when I was younger - not for at least three years now.

So how can we relight those feelings of glee and euphoria that we once lived by when we were kids?

There seem to be many answers to this question, for different people love different qualities of the holiday. I know for example that my mother gets the spirit of Halloween by doing traditions that celebrate family, such as setting an extra dinner plate when we sit down for supper, and setting out lighted candles next to pictures of family members who have died. Some people probably get that feeling from just celebrating the holiday by going to parties, or staying up all night with friends watching scary movies.

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I know for me the only way to relive the magic of Halloween is to re-experience smells, sights and textures as I did when I was a kid. Things such as certain decorations, the smell of pumpkin pie, the sight of our living room strung with hundreds of orange lights, and driving past the neighborhood where I used to trick-or-treat.

This year, I am, for the first time in three years, going trick-or-treating again with some friends, and I'm excited to see whether just the act of going up to a door and saying the magic words, "Trick or treat?" will rekindle any of the old goose bumps that covered me constantly on Halloween nights of old.

I know that some people still feel that Halloween excitement, even though they are getting into their mid-teens. I have a friend, for example, who turned 15 the other day. She still feels the way she did when she was young. She said the candy and costumes are what do it for her.

Whether it is from old family traditions, Halloween poems, songs, movies or even just a bag of candy - I wish Halloween blessing on everyone. Because nothing compares to that moment when the sun goes down and you feel the spirits come to life, the veil between the worlds thins and loved ones come to check on you in a night of pure fun.

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