Growing up our house was decked out in all manner of Halloween characters and pumpkins. Specifically frightening: a realistic looking skeleton which hung on the inside of the front door. I hated it because I feared it. I recall the feeling of its eyes staring at mine as I went down the stairs towards it, and then the inevitable turn, where I would have to turn my back to get to my bedroom. Was it still watching me? A quick turn revealed that it was. I started going down the stairs sideways - so I could always see what it was doing. If I was always watching it, it could not become real and hurl its bony body at me. I would lay awake in my solitary basement bedroom trying to fall asleep, even though I was fairly certain that a vampire was waiting in the shadows, waiting for my eyes to close, waiting to pounce.
As a teenager my mother purchased a motion activated plastic head covered in black cloth. When it was awakened the eyes would light up with red anger, saying "oooo" and shaking. A novelty item, but no less frightening. I would try to sneak past it, trying not to move while moving, holding my breath. And when you're a teenager - everyone wants to go to a fucking haunted house. It's hard to say to your friends that you're deathly afraid and that you don't want to go, because you don't want to be left out or miss out on gossip and fun...if you call scaring yourself fun.
I know many people think it's fun to be scared, and lots of people love Halloween, but October, to me, means fear. The costumes, the scary movies, the haunted houses. Nothing but a month of looking over my shoulder and pretending that I'm not frightened.