Memories of Halloween


Halloween is probably one of the things that baffled me the most when I came to Canada. The concept of having a holiday – or festival, whatever the difference is – all about scaring people is mind boggling. As a person, I’ve never understood the desire to be scared. I don’t like being scared.
Thankfully, I grew up in a loving family who made sure I was not unnecessarily scared. For example, whenever there was a monster scene or a ghost story in the fairytales I was reading, my parent or grandparent would kindly remind me that “Ghosts aren’t real. Monsters aren’t real. Those things were made up to scare little children by sick-minded adults who are entertained by wicked delusions. Oh, fairies aren’t real either, they are imagined up by the authors because they had a detest for real humans. Of course, Santa Claus is the most hideous lie ever told with the ill intention of spreading the evils of western capitalism.” As a result, I grew up happy and content without being contaminated by idiotic lies other children may be exposed to.
When my family first moved to Scarborough, we lived in the basement of a house near a road by the name of Huntingwood Drive. Of course, my father pronounced the word to be “Hauntingwood”. Every time I walked to school along this road, I thought about being haunted. The rational side of me know very well that ghosts aren’t real, so the feeling of being haunted is more likely due to not having finished last night’s homework and not having replied to that boy who sent me a love letter. Still, I felt haunted every time I walked on Huntingwood Drive. Perhaps when I get some experience in actual hunting, I can get out of this dilemma.
Near the end of Huntingwood Drive, there’s a small forest in the middle of the boring monotonous town, and it’s called Brimley Woods. Now the word Brimley rhymes with grimly, which is a lot more descriptive of this forest than its actual name. Grimly woods was a fun place for teenage lovers to go canoodling after school. The floor of the forest was filled with fresh fallen leaves, rotten fallen leaves, and used condoms. This all sort of came to an end when the principal of my high school spoke on the PA system one day telling us to never go to Brimley Woods without accompanying adults; some guy got stabbed in there by someone trying to rob him of his PSP.
Anyway, the actual neighbourhood was not very festive, and there wasn’t a lot of people celebrating Halloween as they are mostly Asian immigrants who, presumably like my parents and grandparents, did not believe that scaring little children can be somewhat fun. Only one or two houses on each block would maybe have a fake carved pumpkin on their door step. Therefore, I never actually went trick-or-treating. I don’t regret anything though; grownups always told me that candy isn’t good for me anyway.