On Halloween, the sun hides under the covers as monsters, robots and princesses emerge from their homes. It is a day of extremes, of fake blood and candied apples, but above all, it is a day when memories are born.
As Etsy’s social media intern, I am fascinated with the way that social media is fast becoming the leading platform for people to share personal stories. A few weeks ago, we invited our Facebook followers to share their own Halloween story, asking them: “What did your favorite childhood Halloween costume look like?” While we were certainly excited to read what people shared, we were surprised by how sentimental the stories were.
There were memories of superhero mothers making the costume of their children’s dreams:
“My mom, Karen of Cheshire Farm, made it! I was Storm from the X-Men! It was super amazing — I had the white outfit, the cape that hooked to my wrists, and even HUGE clip-on lightning bolt earrings. All the boys thought I was the coolest.” — Bekah of Amplified People
“My mom turned her prom dress into a fairy princess dress for me, crown, wand and all!” — Jennifer of Epoch Creations Photography
“My mother made me a Raggedy-Ann costume from scratch, wig and all. I wore it for 3 consecutive Halloweens.” — Karen of Karina Grace Jewelry
And stories of costumes transformed into family heirlooms:
“My 100% handmade Rainbow Brite costume that my grandma made for me when I was about 5. Still have it, saving it for my daughter someday…” — Tiffany of A Tender Yen
“I was a clown one year when I was about 6 years old. My mom had made it out of old potato sacks and remnants of colored cloth. I won a prize — a book I still hang on to.” — Marilyn of KrazzyCloset
There were also memories of people making do with whatever resources they had, and still having a great time:
“A cheetah costume that my mom dyed bright orange for me and I colored the spots on with a Sharpie! I wore it so much that the tail she’d made fell off.” — Laura of allora619
“A homemade skeleton! It was a black garbage bag that my dad put masking tape bones on and cute holes for my head and arms to go through. Absolutely the best (and cheapest) costume ever!” — Rachel of Joel Green
“All of my childhood costumes had to fit over a snowsuit as it was often very cold by Oct 31st. One year it was -30?C but hey, we went out anyways. So the safest bet was to wear a tiara with a pink scarf and claim to be a princess.” — Mel of Epic Stitching
And, of course, there were tales of hilarious trickery that became family traditions:
“We would save up our costumes from years before and then go trick-or-treating, come home, change into another and go again. It was the best childhood memory I ever had. We did it every year until we were too old. Now, I trick-or-treat with my kids and they do the same thing. I didn’t even teach them to do it!” — Marie of BeausoleilsBows
And while we’re sharing Halloween memories, here’s one I’ll never forget!
My most vivid Halloween memory was not on Halloween at all — well, not to me, anyway. Growing up in a deeply religious family, I was never allowed to celebrate Halloween. We had “Hallelujah Night” (real title), a time where the kids from my church dressed up as Bible characters and hung out in the church basement with candy and soda. When I was around 8, I dressed up as Jesus (white bedsheet, red tablecloth and gold curtain tie). My dad had recently purchased a motorcycle that my brothers and I were dying to ride, but since I was the youngest and smallest, I was never given a chance. On this fateful night, I begged so persistently that my dad finally relented and said he would take me to Hallelujah Night on the motorcycle. Incredibly excited, I hopped on.
Everything was going great, until the newness of it all started to wear thin and my little 8 year-old self got sleepy. My eyes started to close and my head began to droop to one side. My dad felt my grip loosen, and quickly reached back to hold me with one hand while driving with the other. His frantic attempts to wake me up were useless. Miraculously, he reached the nearest exit, stopped in a parking lot and tied an extra-long belt he had in his bag around the both of us. I was fully awake when we reached the front of the church building, and ended up having a great time at the party. My poor, traumatized father, however, never took me on a motorcycle ride again.
We want to know your story. Tell us: What did your favorite childhood Halloween costume look like?