In 1966, I was 5 years old.
I never could sleep the night before Halloween because I was too excited. The thought of all the candy dancing in my head and my awesome princess costume hanging in the closet kept me up all night.
My brother, Jeff, and I had large pillowcases for bags instead of those cheap plastic pumpkins. People gave us candy apples, popcorn balls, money and all types of strange things. That pillowcase was so heavy by the end of the night that there were holes in the bottom from dragging it home.
Those were the days.
That year in particular was the most memorable.
My mother took our treats and looked thoroughly at everything to make sure we had no razor blades hidden the apples. She told us we could pick three things to eat that evening.
The next day after we came home from school, the candy was gone. She put it somewhere so we wouldn't eat it all and she couldn't remember where she put it.
We were heartbroken.
I think she baked us a cake or cookies to make up for it. We walked for miles that Halloween night and my brother and I still tease my mother about it.
Years later when we were moving from New England to Tennessee, my mother found that candy she hid away in that very safe place. She was laughing, "Oh, look kids, I found your Halloween candy from four years ago."
There it was hidden in a cupboard above the refrigerator in a big can of Charlie's Chips. Of course, none of it could be salvaged at that point, but we had learned from that experience to hide our candy before she got a hold of it.
Now, 40 years later, I spend approximately $80 for candy.
I sit up the night before carefully placing three pieces of candy in each little Halloween bag.
Last year I made over150 bags and had 3 leftover. I turn my front light off at 9:30 pm and hope it's over.
So many things have changed over the years. It's not so much fun anymore since we can't go trick or treating ourselves. Nowadays parents take their children to a church or mall party because they have little or no trust. I can't say I blame them. I'm always looking for something to do besides a costume contest or party. So what else can we do that would be different and little spooky?
If you want a thrill and don't have the cash for the big theme park events, you should think about Cassadaga.
Perhaps a tour through a real haunted house or a look into the paranormal would be more interesting.
Cassadaga is on the National Register of Historic Places and was founded in 1894. Though it may not be too scary or spooky, there are plenty of things to do there. If you'd like to see some orbs or talk to a deceased loved one, this would be the place.
If you believe in the paranormal, you should definitely take the short trip to Cassadaga in West Volusia.
Cassadaga will hold its fourth Annual Halloween "Haunted Walk" tonight from 6 -11 p.m., and again Saturday at the same time.
You'll be escorted by ghoulish guides through the spooky streets of this spiritual community, passing several old homes to the House on Haunted Hill. There will be certified mediums available for readings.
Cassadaga is located between the towns of Lake Helen and Orange City in Volusia County.
Please call (386) 228-3171 for more information. You can also get directions online at www.cassadaga.org.