After losing two years of Halloween, Hopatcong children and teens alike are finally going to be able to celebrate. Over the last two years, the town has been hit by two storms, Hurricane Sandy and a snowstorm the year before that left an annoying few inches of snow on the ground.
Hurricane Sandy hit three days before Halloween last year and caused enough damage that even once it dissipated, people were still stuck in their homes. Hopatcong was so devastated by the storm that the high school served as a shelter for Hopatcong and surrounding areas.
HHS Spanish teacher and mother, Alexa McLean, recalled last year’s Halloween: “It was kind of depressing since we had no power, but they [my children]had fun; we went to the shelter. They had fun. Then we had a little bit of Halloween at my mom’s house.”
Recalling the snowy Halloween of 2011, freshman Maria Schwartz said, “The year of the snow storm, I still went; it was just awful.”
This year, Hopatcong will most likely see a larger teen turnout on Halloween. Schwarz said, “I feel like we lost our last two years of childhood.”
Halloween—also known as All Hallows’ Eve—dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season. The Celts believed that on Halloween the boundaries between worlds blurred, letting the dead rise and damage crops. They believed the presence of spirits made it easier for Celtic priests (Druids) to see the future.
Although Hopatcong residents won’t be seeing any Druids this Halloween, they will most likely be seeing—and enjoying— more Halloween Trick-or-treating.