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Halloween Memories – Chainsaws, Jawas and Trick Or Treating in College

RMB Celebrates HalloweenHappy Halloween Reno Mamas! As a special Halloween treat, the RMB Moms are sharing some of their favorite Halloween memories. So steal some of the kid’s candy and settle in for some sweet and scary stories before it is time to do the whole Switch Witch thing.

Let me preface my story by saying that I grew up trick or treating in the 70s and early 80s. It was a different time, a time right before people took their kids to the mall to trick or treat. During the month of October, my cousin, Robyn, and I would take breaks from playing CHiPs on our bikes with the banana seats (I was Ponch, she was John) to plan, think maps and color coded routes.

This was the year Star Wars came out and that Southern California Halloween evening had cooled to a balmy 65 degrees. We had finally convinced by mom that it was dark enough to start to our hunt after our traditional meal of hot dogs and tater tots. It seemed liked there were hundreds of kids out that night. We had circled around the block with our flashlights as we started up the sidewalk of our neighbor’s house. The house was dark, but we knew them and had seen other kids walking away with candy, so it was fair game. My mom waited on the sidewalk watching Robyn, her little brother, Eric, and I marching up to the front door, bags and costumes rustling as we walked. We knocked and waited for the door to open with that Halloween vibration kids get as the sugar and excitement hit at the exact same time.

You can make your own Jawa costume by going to Far Away Creations. Just don't come to my house. Freaking Alice and those eyes!
You can make your own Jawa costume by using the amazing tutorial at Far Away Creations. Just don’t come to my house. Freaking Alice and those eyes!

The door slowly opens to reveal a dark entryway and Alice, the older teenage sister dressed in a hooded Jawa costume with two glowing red eyes, which I think were really mini flashlights with little red lightbulbs. That is when the screaming started. All three of us, in horror turn in one choreographed motion and ran back to my mom, terror on our faces. Poor Alice,  who had known me from the day I was born, was following right on our heals, trying to yell over us, “Mrs. Murach, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare them that much!” I still remember my mom laughing until she cried. My mom loved Halloween, and I so do I. So tonight, I’ll be handing out candy, but I swear if a Jawa comes to my house…

Jenny Petty‪: So I grew up in Elko, and it was almost a guarantee that it would snow on Halloween. I remember wearing a snow jacket over my costume every year.

Because I great up in a rural neighborhood, my friends and I would pile into my friend Sally’s mom’s mini van and she would take us into town. Once there we would go to “Snob Hill,” which in Elko was just a pretty normal neighborhood that happened to be on a golf course. We would always work our way to the biggest house on the hill, which was owned by the owners of Blohm Jewelers. The rumour was that they had the really big candy bars.‬

Jessica Grundy‪: I grew up in Ohio. Thinking back on Halloween, my memories of it are so magical. The crunchy leaves, the bright moons, the excitement! Our tradition was carving pumpkins after school at our kitchen table. We’d then have dinner. My mom always had cute candles she would light – a witch, a pumpkin and a ghost. I loved those candles for some reason. Weird, because I have not thought about them until now.

We then would get dressed and take pictures in the yard. I can still feel the excitement. My dad always stayed and handed out candy and my mom would take us. We would meet up with my best friend and her mom who lived down the street and we were off. I think our mothers might have drank wine and/or beer as we walked!

When we were done, I remember being exhausted, but then we would dump out our candy on the floor and separate it while our parents examined it. I grew up during the time when there was the big scare about bad things being in our candy. Anyhow, my brother and I would barter with each other and exchange candies we didn’t like for ones we did like. I’m pretty sure my dad ate a lot of our candy. Anyhow, thinking back, it was all so simple and maybe that’s what made it so wonderful .‬

This is what College Sophomores look like before Trick or Treating.
This is what College Sophomores look like before Trick or Treating. NO SHAME! Photo courtesy of Lynnette Bellin.

Lynnette Bellin: Two memories come to mind of my favorite Halloweens. The first is when I spent a weekend volunteering in a haunted house with my then boyfriend, his twin brother, and my friend that was dating his twin brother. We had an absolute blast scaring the pants off of kids.

My second favorite memory is from my sophmore year in college when a group of my friends and I dressed up and went trick or treating. We thought it was hilarious!  But it was also an absolute BLAST!  People were really welcoming to us, even though we were definitely too old to be trick or treating, so I keep that memory in mind when the flood of teenagers come to my door each year.‬

Bethany Drysdale‪: My sisters and I weren’t allowed to trick-or-treat when we were young. We went to Harvest Festivals at church or school, which were fun when we were little.

When we were finally allowed to trick-or-treat, I was probably 11 or so, it became all about the candy. I hardly remember the costumes (all homemade because my mom wouldn’t buy us new costumes, and we couldn’t be anything scary like witches or zombies), it was just about the candy. When my sisters and I got home, we’d spend an hour going through our candy, separating out our favorites, swapping what we didn’t like, hiding the Double Bubble from my dad and the Hershey bars from my mom (but offering them a couple pieces just to be nice).

We would put the candy in special boxes in our room, and that was TREASURE as long as it lasted. It was always a sad day when the last piece of candy was finally gone.‬

Jennifer Woodbury Duval‪: Halloween was my parents’ favorite holiday. My Mom spent hours – days – decorating our front yard and side deck with mock spider webs, headstones, severed heads, scattered leaves, and scary jack-o-lanterns , all of which led to the door where trick-or-treaters came knocking. She used to create her own recording of screams, banging chains, and loud banging noises to play on Halloween night. I grew up in the Northeast and our yard and neighborhood was heavily wooded. There were no fences where I grew up so trick-or-treaters would cut through our dark back yard to get to the street behind our house.

One year, my Dad removed the chain from his chainsaw, put on a scary mask, and hid behind the shed. When trick-or-treaters would pass by him, he would jump out from behind the shed, start up the chainsaw, and chase the trick-or-treaters through the yard, which was just shy of one acre. I honestly can’t imagine anything close to this happening today. Today, people – parents – would freak out. But it was the 80s and that’s how we rolled in the 80s. It was fun. No one got hurt, but everyone got scared!

Do you have a Halloween memory to share? Post it below.


About Shelle Murach

Shelle Murach
Shelle Murach has been an Aunt since 1985. She specializes in saying things like, “Should that child be doing that to her brother?” “Where did that juice box go?” "Can Aunt Shelle have some of your Cheez-its?” She is an expert at attending dance recitals, soccer games and ice skating competitions all while clapping or cheering at the appropriate moments.While she is very good at passing out cake at birthday parties, due to an unfortunate incident with a stick, her husband has made her promise to never again help with piñatas. Something about lawsuits and personal injury nonsense. She precariously balances being a full-time Aunt with a career in PR and has found that many of her client management skills can also be used on her various nieces and nephews. She is very excited to be part of Reno Mom’s Blog where she will focus on the Reno food and events scene, booster seats and face paint are optional. You can check out her blog at Care & Feeding in Reno, where she desperately needs to post some new stories and recipes. Trust me, she knows, it is on the list.

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