Halloween In The '90s Was Kind Of Weird

by Megan Grant

The child in some of us never grows up, which might explain why I started thinking about Halloween this year... right after Halloween night ended last year. Each and every year, I try to bring back the best memories of my childhood — although I have to admit, there were certain things about Halloween in the '90s that were actually pretty weird. Your favorite candy, Hocus Pocus, and decorations scattered around the house and yard is one thing, but bowls of "brains" is something entirely else.

Before anyone gets all worked up, let me be straight with you: Nothing will ever take away my love for Halloween. If I could still fit into the witch costume my mom made me in elementary school, I'd probably be wearing it right now. Overall, I think our '90s traditions were harmless and all in the name of good fun. But as an adult, I look back on some of the things that we did, and I think, "What... Wait... How... Why?????" We were odd little creatures indeed, weren't we?

I know the times have changed. These days, we don't have the same sense of security or comfort that we once had. And while I'll defend the '90s until I'm blue in the face. I just don't think we could get away with these things anymore.

1. Taking Candy From Strangers

Maybe we didn't think it was weird at the time. That's how Halloween is supposed to work. I guess it gives me a laugh now because we're so scared of each other. You have to check to make sure the candy is properly wrapped, not tampered with, fresh, not a total choking hazard, teeth friendly, and organic. But back in my day, I just hoped no one slipped me any Lemonheads.

2. Neighbors Who Gave Out Money Instead Of Candy

Did this happen to anyone else? Anyone else find it weird? I was always so confused when a neighbor handed me a quarter or a handful of pennies. I don't want your spare change. I can't eat this. Where are the Kit Kat bars?

3. Having To "Perform" To Receive Your Treat

That's the whole history behind trick-or-treating: People would dress up, go door to door, perform, and ask for treats. Somehow, that later translated to the rhyme we so affectionately sang: "Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care. I'll pull down your underwear." Where did we even get that from? We were weird. And I'd like to note that I never saw a child pull down a neighbor's underwear. #emptythreats

4. Those Neighbors Who Pretended They Weren't Home

Let's get one thing straight: I know your porch light is off. I know your house looks dark. I also know that you're inside watching Oprah reruns and praying for the trick-or-treaters to go to bed. Don't think I'll forget this moment.

5. Trick-Or-Treating Without A Costume

There was always that one neighborhood kid who went around the block in his hoodie and expected to be rewarded. Where's your sense of adventure? Where's the spirit of Halloween? RESPECT THE HOLIDAY.

6. Trick-Or-Treaters Well Beyond Their High School Years

I'll never forget seeing that one trick-or-treater (sans costume) old enough to apply for a home loan. If you're getting mail from the AARP, you're too old to be trick-or-treating.

7. The Number Of People Who Dressed Up As Britney Spears

I'm Team Britney all the way — don't get me wrong. Looking back, I'm just surprised that so many of our parents were OK with us walking around in the dark wearing pigtails with fuzzball hairbands, white crop tops, knee-highs, heels, and plaid skirts. Maybe they were cooler than we gave them credit for.

8. Halloween Games That Probably Wouldn't Fly Today

A popular game when I was a kid was sticking your hand in a brown paper bag without knowing what was inside. It would turn out to be something disgusting, like eyeballs (peeled grapes) or brains (cold, cooked spaghetti). But with today's gluten allergies, I just can't see this happening.

9. The Number Of Times Jamie Lee Curtis Escaped Michael Myers

The Halloween franchise continued through the '90s, giving us Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later. But can we all agree that realistically, Laurie Strode never would have survived this long?

Images: Buena Vista Pictures; Giphy (9)