What scares me most this Halloween.png

Illustration by Diana Ortega

I have never been a huge fan of Halloween, even as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, the candy was delicious, and it was exciting to trade it at lunch during school. The holiday was all about who got the most or who got the biggest candy bar, but as I grew up, I got more suspicious of Halloween.

It is a day that is supposed to bring exciting fear and spooky spice into people’s lives. I started to realize the fear most parents have is unjustified, and that college students need to be more careful at the parties they attend.

Halloween is a night that lands in the middle of the semester. College students are trying to blow off steam from their midterms and are looking to go have fun with their friends at parties. They are looking to drink and forget about stress for the night until they have to wake up the next morning and do it again.

During these parties, college students dress up in obscene costumes to impress each other. They usually want to get a cute person’s attention.

Halloween comes during a time when sexual assault rates rise significantly, especially on college campuses, according to a study from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. The website stated, “More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November.”

I believe that everyone should dress however they want to feel attractive for the momentous night. Just because someone is dressed sexy does not mean they are trying to have a one night stand with you.

One tool to help students stay safe is to always be with a group of friends and make sure they don’t walk home alone. Even though it’s a fun night and people are dressed up that doesn’t mean participants should let their guards down.

Halloween has always been a time for parents to let their kids dress up as superheroes, princesses, a favorite athlete or role model. It is an opportunity for their imagination to wander and to believe that, for one night, they are someone incredible.

A misconception parents have about Halloween is that it is one of the more likely nights for kidnappings to occur. Most states have laws for individuals who have been placed on the sex offender list to indicate safety in residential areas and prevent from such kidnappings in neighborhoods.

According to the Sex Crimes Attorney, a private law practice in California, states like North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, California and Tennessee have restrictions known as No Candy laws. These laws mandate that individuals on this list are not allowed to participate in giving out candy and must have signs that tell kids not to come up to the door. The practice states on its website that “the laws fall into one of two main categories: specific restrictions on registered sex offenders or restrictions on individuals on conditional release programs or paroled sex offenders.”

In Arizona, there are a handful of rules applicable to sex offenders on Halloween night, but they have not been voted on as state law. According to the Phoenix private law practice Castillo Law, “Common restrictions for sex offenders on Halloween night may include but are not limited to the following: No passing out candy, no driving after dark, no wearing costumes or masks, no visiting haunted houses or mazes and no visiting any location primarily used by children.”

What I personally fear is the possibility of criminals lurking around to find anything they can vandalize or steal, and that my possessions might get caught in the crossfire.

Most families leave their homes unattended and leave their lights out for the night. They go out with their adorable kids to watch them enjoy one of the most exciting holidays for children to experience. When people are away from their homes, it is the best time for criminals to strike.

It makes sense that criminals think Halloween is the perfect night to go shopping on other people’s properties. They know homeowners are most likely gone if their lights are out. People can dress up in whatever they want, and no one will know who they are. People will not be suspicious of a person in all black wearing a scary mask. They could continue on with their journey down the neighborhood without thinking of the consequences.

Everyone should prepare for the worst case scenario to prevent crime from striking in their homes.

I strongly urge that this holiday season, Halloween participants make sure to leave all house lights on, double check that everything is locked and valuables put away.

Halloween is an exciting time to celebrate, but no one knows when it could be Black Friday for a criminal.