I celebrated my first Halloween at the age of seven, and I do not remember what I was for it. I can't remember the costume or the trick-or-treating. What I remember so clearly, though, is the feeling of autumnal nights and a fully-decorated house exciting kids from around the entire neighborhood.

As new of a kid as I was to the area, my parents helped me make some new friends through the basic decoration of our house for Halloween. It was never expected to grow the way that it did, but the props grew and grew, and our place was decked out with cobwebs and roof-floats. I fell in love immediately. My imagination ran wild with the thoughts of witches, ghosts, and vampires running around on Halloween night. It was that day, with the house open to all my friends, and everyone losing it over the spookiness, that Halloween became my favorite holiday.

Since then, I have experimented with various horrifying props and even hand-making some of my own. I took a certain pride in making my own Halloween costumes from scratch. I have perfected the art of draping and stretching spider-webs. I often joke, with complete truth, that for what I lack in every-day make-up I compensate with Halloween cosmetics.

The greatest joy that I have had has been my yearly home decoration, which our neighbors' kids look forward to every year. The first time that I had a trick-or-treater come up and tell me that this is his favorite place to come every time, I lost it. The annual stress and planning of the haunted house were completely rewarded at that moment.

Halloween will always have a special place in my heart, and I am so excited for the haunted festivities that I'll be getting up to this year!