Growing Up Alaska: Halloween at 30 Below

By the end of October we’d have snow on the ground, it was getting dark early and it was often cold in Central, Alaska. Halloween was also made interesting that there were few kids and everyone was spread out over a large area making trick-or-treating difficult. So, we often met at one of the local businesses or school for Halloween fun.

Another challenge was costumes. Since we didn’t have a regular store available, the closest costumes were in Fairbanks, and back then, they didn’t start putting out Halloween stuff until the month of October, of by which time, most families had done their fall/winter shopping. Which meant we had to create most of our costumes.

The biggest challenge was not figuring out which cool creature of the night to be, but how to make a costume that could be worn over all your winter gear. It was pointless to show up only to have your awesome costume covered up.

And not only did it have to go over your snow gear, but also had to fit when you changed out of your snow gear. Otherwise, the cool, fearsome werewolf suddenly turned into a sagging creature that looked more like it was melting than menacing.

This limited your choices and you wanted to make sure that no two people dressed up as the same thing. Like the one year that three people showed up as a mummy which was always a classic since it was so easy to put together, but was a challenge to change from your snow gear.

But I always had fond memories of going home with bags of candy, being spooked by the shadows and the harvest moon, of hiding my candy so my brothers didn’t eat it and imagining what I might be the next year.

Author: matthewlasley

I am a school teacher and an author. I like to write picture books, middle grade, science fiction and short stories. I live in Alaska and I love history, so those two things often influence my creative writing.

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