Halloween is Back from the Dead in NJ

For many children, two years have passed since there was a typical Halloween due to nature’s fury.  A snow storm the first year followed by the terror of Superstorm Sandy last year put a damper on trick-or-treaters.

Freshman Jenn Urmston said one year she was able to celebrate the day twice in a row.  “Well, it was kind of funny actually. The year that it snowed they cancelled Halloween in my town, but rescheduled it for the next day. My neighborhood decided to celebrate it on Halloween, and then the next day we went to other neighborhoods. So we actually ended up having two Halloweens!”

She continued, “I’m so excited for Halloween to be back this year. The weather didn’t cooperate the past few years. I’m hoping it holds out this time.”

Freshman Lexy Snyder feels the same way.  “I love Halloween and can’t wait to go out this year.”

For Sophomore Jennifer Young, Halloween this year will be both a time of excitement and sadness as she was also directly impacted by Superstom Sandy.  Her house in North Jersey sustained moderate to severe damage.  While she is happy for Halloween to be back, she feels it more important to reflect that she and her family came together during this difficult time for NJ.

“Sandy really hit hard for me considering I personally know people that fell victim to the hurricane’s destruction.  It was tough being without power for nine days as well as not being able to go anywhere considering gas was in extremely high demand.  I clearly remember waiting on line at the gas station for two hours to get gas with my friend and we thought that was like waiting no time at all,” said Young.  

She added, “But I really cannot complain because my family came out of it unharmed.  Unfortunately, it did take a toll on our house considering it put a gaping hole in the roof of my house, as well as the roof of my dad’s car.  But besides that, we were alright.  Even though Halloween was cancelled for the second year in a row in my town, a majority of my town survived the storm.  I consider myself and my family truly blessed considering the destruction that it caused to so many families that I know.”

For people further south, the storm did not have much of an impact at all.  Freshman Noel Labb can’t wait for her first Halloween at the University and said that the storms did not dampen her plans for either year.  “I’m happy Halloween is back. It’s one of my favorite times of the year because I really enjoy fall weather and doing things with my friends during this time of year,” she said.

“Sandy didn’t really affect me where I’m from. I live in South Jersey, so it was just a hard rain storm, but Halloween did get postponed in my hometown. I hope people who were affected by it are doing better and can finally enjoy Halloween this year,” said Labb.

This will be an important first step in returning to normalcy one year after nature’s monster took a toll on the state.

Even though Halloween did get postponed and she was not directly affected, Labb is taking a moment to think about those who were and are still coping with losses.

Tom McCarthy, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services said this year there is an amount of normalcy that is returning to campus, particularly for those who were in their first year here when the storm hit. “I do believe that getting back to a normal routine is a positive following a  traumatic event, which Sandy has been for some people,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy added, “For many of us, Halloween is part of our normal routines at the end of October  each year. Although I think people will remember the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, not overly focusing on the day, and instead being focused on what in the past has been part of our American culture. Halloween can be very helpful.”

This year Halloween seems to be a bittersweet one, filled with times of joy and reflection on the tragic event of Sandy  last year.

IMAGE TAKEN from ilovemykidsblog.net