6 Distinct Emotional Stages You’ll Only Recognize If You Celebrated Halloween In The ’90s


Nothing quite compared to Halloween in the ’90s. Before we had to care about taxes, laundry, and regular gyno appointments, all we cared about was having the best costume in school, getting the candy we wanted from the neighbors, and convincing our parents to let us skip school the next day so we could stay up even later watching scary movies. These were the emotional stages of Halloween in the ’90s; and for some of us, the feelings haven’t worn off.

At 26 years old (29, but who’s counting?), I still get the tinglies in my heart when Michael’s brings out the Halloween decorations. I have no qualms about stores displaying the seasonal candy long before summer has ended. I’m all about DIY costumes and make-up, and I love passing out candy to the neighborhood kids, mainly because it means I get to park my posterior on the couch with a bowl of chocolates.

How could anyone not love Halloween?

And if the holiday is fun for us grown-ups, I’m sure we can all remember how off-the-charts incredible it is for the little ones. Any child of the ’90s remembers what Halloween felt like as a kid — because it’s impossible to forget.

Mom starts putting up the Halloween directions. Planning for a killer costume is underway. You want to go as Freddie Krueger, but no one is allowed to wear masks at school ever since that kid got his head caught in one. You find this incredibly frustrating (and slightly offensive, because you’re way too smart to get your head caught in a mask), but you brush it off and move on. You’re a Halloween pro. You got this.

The suspense is building. Tension is on the rise. You wonder what other people will dress as and what kinds of Halloween movie marathons will be on TV. But what you’re most curious about is… what kind of candy will the neighbors be packing?

You know things are getting serious because the teachers are starting to play Halloween movies instead of actually teaching, and they all seem to have a bag of M&Ms in their hands already. You begged Mom to let you into the candy stash that you know she’s hiding on the top of the refrigerator, but she’s playing dumb. Does she think you’re some kind of amateur? She doesn’t know who she’s dealing with.

You brain is already in Halloween mode, and you’re so ready to do this; but you have to keep it together for one more week. Must… hold… on…

THIS IS IT. This is not a drill. It’s the night before Halloween, and you can’t hold it in anymore. Your costume is hanging front and center in your closet. You’ve confirmed that there is a bowl of candy on top of the refrigerator, and there are definitely king size candy bars in it. Repeat: we have king size candy bars. Your anxiety is nearing its peak, you need a Twix bar in your hands pronto.

You already know tomorrow at school is going to be 100 percent lacking of any sort of educating. It’s going to be Hocus Pocus, Casper, goodie bags, and a never-ending costume parade with every student in school. Bring. It. On. You were born for this.

You’re so happy but you have too many feelings and you can’t really handle it. You ended up winning the costume contest, which means you get to take home a five-pound peanut butter cup that you know your mom is definitely going to make you share with the family. Your goodie bags won’t even fit into your backpack, and you’re already experiencing the most epic of sugar highs.

And the fun hasn’t even really started yet.

The stress is really taking a toll on you, so you have to go home and take a quick cat nap before the real action begins. It’s hard being this good at Halloween, but with great power comes great responsibility.

IT’S HERE. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Winning the costume contest pales in comparison to the joy you feel going house to house with your McDonald’s Halloween bucket (or a pillow case) and collecting candy from each of your neighbors — except for that old guy who gives out pennies. What’s his problem, anyway?

Your costume is definitely better than the neighborhood kids’. Some of them wore the same thing as last year. #Lame. Where’s the creativity? Where’s the innovation? Where’s the passion? If you can’t handle the pressure, stay at home, people!

You come home at the end of the night exhausted, a little sweaty, and totally satisfied. A cup of hot chocolate and The Blair Witch Project are in order. Life has never felt so peaceful.

You don’t sleep a wink that night. Maybe it was the fourth bag of Skittles. Maybe you shouldn’t have watched The Sixth Sense right before bed. But you have no regrets. This Halloween was even better than the last.

You wake up the next morning refusing to believe it’s already over — that the greatest holiday of all is already done for another year. But it’s true. It’s over. The only thing you have is your memories, an impressing stash of candy, and a stomach ache from eating too many Runts.

Life isn’t fair. You already knew. You’ll simply have to make peace with the fact that Halloween is over… and start getting ready for Christmas.


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