Halloween is fast approaching, and as the students prepare their costumes and put final touches on decorations, the ECHO asked faculty to reflect on their years of Halloween traditions
As a child, social studies teacher, Jon Petter, trick-or-treated every year almost always as a Batman related character, and was in particular a big fan of the 1960s “Batman” television show. Petter especially liked Burgess Meredith’s character, Penguin, but never had the opportunity to dress up as Penguin because his older brother did. Although as a child Petter was upset, he never got to dress up as one of his favorite Batman characters, he didn’t let that spoil the holiday.
Petter thinks it’s “great to watch” his own children experience Halloween and shares his “funniest” run in with the holiday involving his son Gabe.
“[Gabe] was so excited to trick or treat that year that he kept running ahead to houses. Next thing we know, he is at a house that was having a Halloween party that wasn’t quite ready for trick or treaters, but Gabe slammed open their front door, and we saw them all jump up and scream through their living room window. Nothing funnier than an Olaf breaking and entering story,” Petter said
Music teacher Leah Poe’s funniest Halloween story happened in 2013, her first year teaching at the high school.
“Five years ago I was the new kid on the block and was coming from Steger and Hixson, where the staff loves to dress up and do themes. I came in on my first Halloween at WGHS dressed as Snow White complete with the red hair bow and was just about the only person here dressed up. I embraced it and had a good time but have since toned down my school attire on Halloween,” Poe said.
“My dorky, musical-loving tween self decided to dress as the Phantom of the Opera, complete with cape and mask,” Poe said about her favorite childhood costume.
Poe’s overall favorite costume was in adulthood rather than in her middle school glory. “My absolute favorite was when my daughter and I dressed as Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen.’”
“I graciously allowed her to be Elsa,” Poe said.
“I did trick or treat as a kid. My thoughts as an adult is this is very creepy middle school blackmail of your neighbors. Taking candy from strangers — who does this anymore?” social studies teacher Nicholas Kirschman said about the holiday. “Today, I tend to hide in a restaurant Halloween night to avoid the trick-or-treaters.”
About his own trick-or-treating experience, Kirschman said, “I stopped trick-or-treating when a very intoxicated couple invited a group of us into their living room to perform. I had no interest after that.”
Most people, when asked of all of the things that they remember most vividly about their childhood, will include memories of their best and worst Halloween costumes. English teacher, Sarah Gray, is no exception.
When reflecting, Gray said her worst costume was “last minute,” and she had “…cut two holes in a sheet and went as a ghost.”
As well, this costume presented young Gray with its own obstacles. “I was too short and the sheet kept dragging on the ground,” she said.
On the other hand, some costumes just work out a lot better.
“My favorite [costume] has to be Raggedy Ann. My grandma sewed the dress and apron and made a yarn wig for me. I wore red tights with masking tape for the white stripes,” Gray said.
There’s more to Halloween than just the costumes, and some of our early Halloween memories are so vivid because of where and with whom we spent them.
“[My most memorable Halloween was the year] I lived with my grandma, who had a house in the woods with, like, three neighbors nearby. She drove me to my friend’s place. Her family lived in a trailer park a few miles away. It was the fastest trick-or-treating ever,” Gray said.
Some people trick or treat on Halloween, but German teacher, Brent Mackey enjoys using the holiday as an excuse to play practical jokes on friends.
“My friends and I TP-ed someone’s house, forked their yard and Saran-wrapped their car.”
“We used over 90 rolls of toilet paper. It took us several hours.”
Unfortunately the prank, although well executed, did not go as planned.
“Later, we found out the family wasn’t even home, and their neighbors had to clean it up for them,” Mackey said.
Mackey has put trick-or-treating far behind him, and thinks that teenagers need to too.
“I’d say tweens are pushing it. If you’re older than that, you need to mow someone’s lawn and buy your own candy,” Mackey said.
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