I love Halloween. Always have. It was a night of perfect freedom - freedom to roam the neighborhood past dark, to run across yards and bang on strangers' doors, to dress up and to eat an outrageous amount of candy. Grown-up Halloween is decidedly disappointing in comparison, but even Halloween for kids today is not what it was for me - anxiety is winning. Kid Halloween is becoming an increasingly controlled event, and the madcap magic is being drained away.
Fortunately, I have my memories. And I like to take Halloween night wrap in their cozy embrace - to wear too many sweaters and funny socks, and curl up on the couch with blankets and a stack of DVDs (this list is a good place to start) - whatever is old and creepy. But scary movies aren't the key to capturing the spirit of Halloweens past - it's Tootsie Rolls. Whenever I bite one, I'm ten again with a candy-laden pillowcase banging at my shins, deliciously spooked at the dark neighborhood streets.