Halloween is definitely one of the most popular of our holidays, with activities such as trick-or-treating, ghost tours, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses”, carving jack-o-lanterns, and watching horror movies. 

I asked my colleagues how they plan to celebrate Halloween.

Young adult librarian Donna replied:  “We usually stay home so we can answer the door for trick-or-treaters.  We dress up in simple costumes and always have the house and yard decorated.  We carve pumpkins (often in interesting designs), line the walk with luminaries and put out a witch and ghost windsocks.”

Library page Fredericka replied:  “My mother never purchased costumes, she made everything while we were young.  As we became older, she made us decide and create our own costumes (she would sometimes suggest ideas and help).  As much as I might try to ignore these holidays, somehow I spring into action and enjoy the adrenaline of making foods, decoration, and making my own costume.”

Circulation clerk Carmin said:  “This is the first Halloween in a while that I don’t have clas at night, so I am getting dressed up and going to a party!  All of my friends are going and there will be a costume contest and a lot of good food, and of course, we’ll be giving out candy!”

Library page Bill said:  “We normally make an early dinner and wait for the kids to show up at the door.  We don’t have to make up the house or anything, as there is a large tree in front that is pretty scary itself, and it hides the light from the street light on the corner.  We do make a great deal out of the kids that do get to come out, and if there are known neighbors, they get more than their share of treats at the door.”

As for me, I like to help my husband hand out candies to neighborhood children, after making sure that the cat is indoors for the evening.  Between answering the door, we watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 

Some of the movies available through the Alameda County Library system that I think are good for Halloween watching are:

Time Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas

The Exorcist



The Shining

The Birds

Silence of the Lambs

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)


Rosemary’s Baby

No matter how you plan to celebrate Halloween, you are continuing a very old tradition of what was originally viewed as the start of a new year.  Happy Halloween!