By the time the little ghouls and goblins make their way to decorated doors tonight, most of their older brothers and sisters will have already begun their Halloween celebration.
With Halloween falling midweek, many teens started their Halloween celebrations Friday.
"Like a Halloween weekend," said Alexandra Levin, 17, a senior at John S. Davidson Fine Arts School. "My friends and I (were) doing a whole bunch of stuff."
From going to the fair to taking a Halloween-theme shopping spree, Alexandra said she wasn't wasting any time to observe her favorite holiday.
"If we didn't have school on Wednesday, that would make my day. That it's not on a weekend, you can't celebrate it to its full potential. But you make the most of it."
That appears to be the sentiment among local teens and most Americans.
According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, more people are celebrating Halloween. This year, 63.8 percent of those surveyed were going to do something in observance of the holiday compared to 52.5 percent last year.
Timothy Rapp, 19, will spend tonight as he spent the past four days: decked out in a werewolf costume scaring patrons at Aiken's Hole in One Miniature Golf Halloween Spooktacular event, a mix of miniature golf and haunted house.
The Aiken Technical College freshman said most of the people he knows who have plans for Halloween will be trying to do something scary.
Some people want the fright, he said.
"I've caused many, many screams," he said. "I enjoy it, that's why I come out each year. It's hard work, but seeing people running away from you, it's worth it."
Still, not everyone uses Halloween for a chance to get spooked.
For one, there are the sweets coming from trick-or-treating or smuggled while standing watch at the door waiting for costumed visitors.
And then there's the socializing.
Anu Pillai, 17, a senior at Lakeside High School, said she and her five friends played host to more than 50 classmates Saturday for a Halloween costume party.
"We've been doing these since 10th grade," she said. It's just a get-together with a whole bunch of friends. School can just get so stressful, it's nice to have parties where people can mingle and chill out a bit."
She and her friends were chilling while dressed as Disney princesses or wearing fairy wings, but that's the best part, Anu said.
"The costumes, that's what makes the Halloween party different than the rest of them," she said.
Alexandra agreed that Halloween is a little less about monsters and spirits for many teens.
"We don't really do the scary thing. It's social for us. For me at least, it's just another reason to get together," she said. "A lot of my friends, we don't do scary. We're chickens at heart. It's a wonder we like Halloween at all."
Teen Board members Lauren Ellis, Brandi Freeman and Mili Shah contributed to this report.
Reach Kamille Bostick at (706) 823-3223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRICKS AND TREATS
Looking for Halloween events beyond the monster-movie marathon and trick-or-treating? Try these:
What: Golf and Scares, The Halloween Spooktacular featuring a frightening game of miniature golf
Where: Hole In One Miniature Golf, 3197 Whiskey Road, Aiken
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $8, benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Aiken
Call: (803) 643-1715
What: Frightmares haunted house
Where: 851 Broad St., next to Augusta Common
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: $10, benefits AMBUCS
Call: (706) 650-9510
What: Chamber of Horrors Haunted House
Where: Corner of Eighth and Greene streets
Time: 7:30 p.m. until
Cost: $10, benefits the Ali Bruker Scholarship Fund
What: Harlem haunts, cemetery with zombies, evil clowns, full-size faade of cabin where Jason lurks
Where: 210 W. Forrest St., Harlem
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Cost: Free. Donations accepted for Harlem police and fire departments
Call: (706) 825-8073
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