Everyone has that one Halloween they remember -- sleeping with one eye open after a terrifying movie, gorging yourself on trick-or-treating loot and that one embarrassing childhood costume you just can't get over. Here are some tales from the WESA and WYEP offices of Halloweens past.
When your dad's inability to use tools is the scariest thing about Halloween
“Halloween was sort of our family holiday. You know, we would decorate a little for Christmas, but we went all out for Halloween … all of these adventures invariably involved power tools and a trip to the hospital.”
After years of lollipop ghosts, Tim Taylor-style injuries and fights over plywood tombstone philosophies, the Harris family decided to make a full-size coffin.
“Sometimes we would put on big black cloaks and other things that we’d collected through the years during Halloween evening and carry it across the yard or through other people’s yards to scare them. None of this was ever a good idea. All of those decorations factored into our outdoor experience, where we would set everything up. There were a lot of decorations and a lot of interesting memories that went with those.”
When your mom stuffs your pants with straw
“When I was a kid, my mom used to make all of our Halloween costumes. And so, to her, I guess that meant that she also got to choose what we were. So, I never got to choose what I was going to be for Halloween. And I remember one year, she dressed me up as a scarecrow, which sounds really cute, right? A little kid scarecrow walking around. But she put me in thermal underwear, a long sleeved shirt and pants, on top of that put my flannel and overalls and she stuffed actual straw in between. So the whole day at school and that night at my friend’s house at the party, I’m like so itchy.”
Don't watch "Children of the Corn" in a cornfield
“When I was in middle school, a big night out in the fall in central Illinois normally consisted of going to a high school football game and then toilet papering someone’s house and then going to spend the night at someone’s house and watch a scary movie. I remember one night, a friend convinced us to watch ‘Children of the Corn,’ which was in her house … surrounded by corn fields and I was terrified throughout the whole thing.”
But when her friends weren’t scared, Sarah tried to play it off and pretend that it wasn’t affecting her.
“Until the movie ended and in the movie, you know, the kids kill the adults and it’s really scary. And the wind was thrashing the corn against the windows of her house and it was awful. And everyone went to sleep and I stayed up the whole night terrified that these children were going to come in the house. Come to find out, the next morning we woke up really early and everyone was very scared too and we had to have our parents come get us because we weren’t going to walk home in the corn.”
When your song is on a scary show, you have to watch
Pittsburgh musician Brooke Annibale is not a fan of scary things or Halloween.
But, when her song “You Don’t Know” was going to play on the show “Vampire Diaries,” airing Halloween Night, she had to watch.
“It was kind of the perfect excuse to watch something that might scare me,” she said.
Fortunately she wasn’t too scared, it aired in the first 10 minutes.