Halloween Then vs Halloween Now

Oct 24, 2016

As you visit store after store to shell out $50 for that must have costume of the season, decorate both the inside and outside of your house, and carve a watermelon to look like a brain as a festive snack, it hits you: things sure have changed since you were a kid. 

Costumes Then

May I remind you that most of them kinda sucked? We threw a sheet over our head, scribbled on a magic-marker moustache, or donned one of those toxic store-bought costumes. Remember how for a few bucks at Bi-Way, you too could be a plastic Spider Man or a Cabbage Patch Kid?

Costumes Now

These days, kids have never-ending choices of high quality costumes, wigs, and prosthetics — enough stuff to transform them into any princess, zombie or emoji they dare dream to be.

Candy Haul Then

Remember back in the day, when you'd dance like this when you got a chocolate bar in your bag and it was a HUGE score among the suckers, Tootsie Rolls, and those rock–hard orange-wrapped candies no one actually ate?

Candy Haul Now

Today we buy mini chocolate bars and bags of chips in bulk. Sure, sometimes you got some cool candy apple or someone’s granny-made caramels, back in the day, but does that really compare to a bag full of KIT KATS?

Halloween Planning Then

Remember when we were kids and we sometimes didn’t know what we were going to be until we frantically ran home from school and raided our parent’s closet? By the time we finally dressed up as a pirate in our mother’s puffy blouse or a cowgirl in the dog’s bandana, the night was practically over!

Halloween Planning Now

Now Halloween has pre- and post activities. When you shell out that $50 for your child’s costume, at least you know they’re going to get A LOT of wear out of it. Kids have Halloween themed parties, dances, and even pumpkin parades after the big night. It's a large-scale production.

Decorations Then

You crudely carved a pumpkin with triangle eyes, and it was considered A+ decor.

Decorations Now

The moment Labour Day hits, stores are brimming with orange indoor/outdoor lights, display skeletons, motion-detecting screaming baby dolls, and pyrotechincs to adorn your home.

The Role of Parents Then

When we were kids, most parents put candy in a bowl on the stoop and retired to watch the news.

The Role of Parents Now

Today, it’s not enough to simply decorate your home. You are also expected to animate it. You must dress up, jump out of coffins, or even perform scary interactive monologues for every little monster that darkens your door.

What else has changed about Halloween for kids or parents? I’ll let you think on that as you stand in line to buy this year's artisan pumpkin-carving tool set.

Article Author Laura Mullin
Laura Mullin

Read more from Laura here.

Laura Mullin is a published playwright and writer and the Co-Artistic Director of the award-winning company, Expect Theatre. She is also the Co-Host and Producer of PlayME, a podcast that transforms plays into audio dramas now on CBC. She has worked in theatre, film, and television and lives in Toronto with her writer/producer husband and pre-teen daughter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @expectlaura.

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