Tag Archives: Halloween

Standing Bear Pointe

February 5, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Sprawling and quiet in northwestern Omaha, Standing Bear Pointe is tucked a stone’s throw away from the intersection of 144th and Fort streets. Commuters undoubtedly pass by the neighborhood each day, likely giving little thought to the homes, the people, and the stories that live just beyond the stately stone entrance and large trees that open Standing Bear Pointe to the outside world.

It’s possible that many find their way to Standing Bear Pointe quite literally by accident, looking instead for the neighboring Saddlebrook or Hillsborough neighborhoods. That’s exactly how Shelley Callahan found her future home, nestled in a neighborhood that, some 10 years later, she says she and her husband could reside in forever.

“Even if we won the lottery, we probably wouldn’t leave the neighborhood,” she says.

As an image consultant, Callahan had traveled all around Omaha meeting with clients. A wrong turn one day brought her unexpectedly to Standing Bear Pointe. At the time, she and her husband, Ty, had been shopping for a new home; but even after a two-year search, nothing had felt quite right.
Until Standing Bear Pointe.

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“I was drawn in by the size,” she recalls. “They were all custom-built homes, but with a uniqueness.”

The neighborhood’s approximately 125 completed homes (and its more than 480 residents) have easy access to the Standing Bear Lake Recreation Area: the water, the green space, the mature trees, and all that Mother Nature and her four seasons could offer within the boundaries of a suburban setting.

The couple returned to the neighborhood soon after their first visit, spending a mere 15 minutes walking through one of the homes for sale. It didn’t take long for them to decide that it would be the home where they would raise their future children.

“It was this feeling!” she says excitedly of their home. Something about the house itself and the nearby residences were all the confirmation they needed to stay for good.

In the 10 years since, the Callahans have welcomed two young sons—Montgomery and Marshall—and a 10-year-old fox terrier named Sam. But more than that, the family has developed deep connections with their fellow Standing Bear Pointe neighbors. Many of the residents moved into the neighborhood, raised their children, retired—and never left.

She cites the mixing of generations that has created such a strong sense of community among her neighbors. Unlike the stereotype of today’s subdivisions, where residents pull into their garages each night without paying much mind to their neighbors, Standing Bear Pointe, Callahan says, feels a lot like family.

The older families have bonded over the years, rearing children, retiring, and welcoming grandchildren—even great-grandchildren. The younger families also raise children together, often developing relationships through carpooling to school, walking the streets on Halloween, and visiting each other’s homes throughout the week simply to say hello. They have bonded during the annual block party and neighborhood garage sale, the impromptu backyard picnics that occur with little planning yet leave behind deepened friendships and fond memories.

“It takes time to develop that kind of neighborhood,” she says. “There is a culture of Standing Bear Pointe. It’s safe with a small-town feel.”

And while Callahan and her neighbors are a mere two minutes away from a Baker’s Grocery Store, Target, and the other modern conveniences that come with living in an urban environment, they find themselves routinely visited by wild turkeys, foxes, and even deer.

“Seeing the animals never gets old,” she says with a grin.

Homes in Standing Bear Pointe often sell fast, Callahan says. (Omaha annexed the area in 2015.)

New neighbors are routinely welcomed and join the family this community has created. Callahan points to a young man, a bachelor, who used to lived next door. He and the Callahans quickly became friends with a story to share: Shelley and Ty introduced their neighbor to his future wife. The couple eventually married.

“We truly feel blessed to have found this neighborhood,” she says.”

Visit standingbearpointe.org for more information.

standingbear3The Ponca Chief and the Area’s Name

Standing Bear Pointe and neighboring Standing Bear Lake are named for the Ponca leader Chief Standing Bear.

In Omaha in 1879, Standing Bear successfully argued that Native Americans are “persons within the meaning of the law.” The court decision came after Standing Bear and followers escaped from forced relocation to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma).

Standing Bear had sought to bury his late 16-year-old son on their ancestral land, near Ponca Creek and the Niobrara River. The federal government’s removal of the Ponca (also known as “The Ponca Trail of Tears”) took place in 1877.

The 1879 case, Standing Bear v. Crook, lasted just 12 days. Judge Elmer S. Dundy in the U.S. District Court in Omaha ruled that Standing Bear and other Native people were lawfully allowed to enjoy the rights of other Americans. OmahaHome

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Queen of the Nerds

January 27, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Amanda Fehlner has some opinions about superheroes wearing spandex.

“You’re about to go into battle, and what are you going to put on? A spandex suit? That’s not going to help you at all. So, I made the Rogue [costume] out of leather,” says the Omaha costume designer, explaining how she constructed a bodysuit for the X-Men character.

Fehlner says it was one of her earliest forays into the increasingly popular world of cosplay.

“First of all, cosplay is just a combination of two words. It’s costume-play. So it’s really any opportunity that you as a person get to dress up as someone that you’re not, and you get to play while you’re in that [costume] and have fun with it,” she explains.

amandafehlner3Fehlner is more than a hobbyist. She’s an associate costume designer at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Skills useful for her day job benefit her hobby, while the reverse is also true. For instance, a cosplayer might work with plastic to fabricate armor—techniques that translate to theater.

Cosplayers are typically spotted in places that celebrate nerd culture, such as comic book or sci-fi conventions. Fehlner explains that cosplay is similar to attending Renaissance fairs in costume or dressing in genre-inspired outfits such as goth or steampunk, but that cosplayers tend to portray specific characters in movies, comic books, cartoons, or Japanese anime.

On Facebook, where she goes by the name “Ezmeralda Von Katz,” there are photos of Fehlner’s diverse creations including an elaborate Ursula costume from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and the computer game character Carmen Sandiego. Because of her theater background, Fehlner explains that she sometimes enjoys getting into character when she’s in costume, but it isn’t required.

Her passion for constructing costumes started early. While growing up in Tabor, Iowa, she learned to sew Halloween costumes to meet her exacting specifications and participated in theater at Fremont-Mills High School.

“It started with Halloween. It was my very favorite holiday, still is my very favorite holiday, but as a kid that was my big thing,” she says.

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Before heading off to study theater and anthropology at the University of South Dakota, Fehlner was cast in a Mills Masquers community theater production of  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She begged them to let her make the coat.

“Of course being in theater now, I’m sure they were like, ‘Some person just wants to do this, and we don’t have to handle it. Done, done, and done!’”  Fehlner says with a laugh.

She likes a good challenge; her latest cosplay projects include an elaborate ball gown for a character from the anime series Vampire Hunter D and a hand-stitched Sally costume from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Not to mention the spring productions at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

“I’ll be working on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, so I’ll get to do some fun Western stuff,” Fehlner says. “Of course, our closer is Beauty and the Beast. It’s exciting and a little terrifying at the same time.”

Fortunately for the playhouse team, Fehlner says she has already been experimenting with a Beast costume thanks to her cosplay side projects.

Visit omahaplayhouse.com for more information.

Clay Lidgett

August 5, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

When Clay Lidgett was about 5 years old, he was already dressing up in Ghostbusters outfits. While other kids pretended to be Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or He-Man, Lidgett wanted to be Egon Spengler.

Like most childhood obsessions, his passion faded over time. He grew up, took on responsibility, and Ghostbusters fell to the wayside. Until just over a year ago. That’s when Lidgett stumbled upon a website devoted to all things Ghostbusters: cartoons, games, discussion forums, and yes, information on how to build your very own proton pack.

“I found out it was actually possible to build one of these myself. I didn’t know of the entire Ghostbusters community out there,” he says.

Lidgett set out to build the famous contraption designed to hold negatively charged ectoplasmic entities (i.e., ghosts). Over the course of one year, from March 2015 to 2016, Lidgett devoted five to six hours a week to soldering, gluing, screwing, and fitting together the roughly 100 pieces required to make an authentic Ghostbusters proton pack.

“There is an extremely vast amount of detailed information that is available. All of the exact measurements that you need, the exact part numbers, everything that you need is on the internet.”

ClayLidgett2His labor of love and rekindled passion for Ghostbusters coincided with announcements that a new Ghostbusters film would be released in 2016: “I started this before I knew the new movie was coming out. It was complete coincidence.”

His wife was supportive of his project, though their two children were the most excited. Lidgett actually purchased a proton pack for his children just like the one he had when he was a kid. This Halloween, he plans to create elaborate costumes with his children.

But when it comes to building another proton pack, Lidgett says, “No more packs…well, at least not as of right now.” He found a person who sells pieces for an exact replica of the original proton pack at 40 percent scale, and he has considered making them for his children.

Because of the support he received and the community he found in the process, Lidgett is quick to offer support to anyone else interested in creating their own proton pack or organizing to celebrate their love of Ghostbusters.

“I have been in contact with a lot of people who have been very, very helpful throughout the process. All of them have been very cool, very generous with their time,” he says.

In particular, Lidgett struck up a friendship with another fan from Michigan who helped guide him through the tedious construction process. Once Lidgett finished his outfit—he didn’t just build a proton pack; he also crafted his very own costume, complete with exact replica boots and a jumper with his name on the patch—the friend sent him a pin to celebrate his accomplishment and commemorate the late Harold Ramis, the actor who originally played Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters.

Come Halloween, Lidgett will be gearing up. His proton pack illuminates with flashing lights and hums like a radioactive generator. The pack also features a hidden speaker controlled by his proton gun. It blasts the Ghostbusters theme song, a warning to potential nefarious spirits: “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”

Visit gbfans.com for more information. Omaha Magazine

The Old Market Business Association

March 25, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Potential business owners often dream of being independent and making their own decisions. Businesses in Omaha’s Old Market district have that freedom.

“We’re not in a mall where one management company organizes us,” says Troy Davis, the group’s president. Davis has owned Curb Appeal Salon & Spa at 10th and Jackson streets for 17 years.

At the same time, the business owners are not isolated. The common thread between these independent companies is the Old Market Business Association (OMBA).

The OMBA has neither office nor staff. But the nonprofit does have 50 members who meet monthly and share information about what’s going on in the historical business district. There are two member categories. An active member must have a business located at either side of 10th to 14th streets and Leavenworth to Farnam streets. Businesses outside the area can join as associate members.

Troy Davis

Troy Davis

They’ve got each other’s backs. In January, when a fire destroyed M’s Pub and devastated nearby businesses, the OMBA immediately jumped into action. Member David Kerr of The Tavern started a crowd funding page for the displaced employees within 12 hours of the disaster. Members called an emergency meeting and discussed how they would help.

“We’ve always been a tight-knit group, but it really shows in times of tragedy,” says Davis. “The whole Old Market community came together for the businesses, their employees, residents, and everybody who was touched by the tragedy.”

Shoplifters in the Old Market also face a band of brothers and sisters. “Within minutes, the police department notifies the Old Market Business Association, and we immediately notify members,” says Davis.

Sharing information at the group’s monthly meetings are representatives from the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau, MECA, the Downtown Improvement District, and the City of Omaha. Representatives from major events, such as concerts or conferences, also attend.

“We learn what groups are coming to Omaha, where they are staying, the demographics and how many [people], so we can be better equipped to take care of those people,” says Davis.

Another major member benefit is the website—oldmarket.com—which collected more than 170,000 visits last year. The website is a perk for members who can advertise their business and promote specials.

The group’s largest and best-known event is the annual “Old Market Trick or Treat.” Held the Sunday before Halloween, the event is a partnership with Metro Area Transit, Metro Community College, the Literacy Council, and a private donor. It provides children a safe place to trick or treat.  A unique event-within-the-event is “Books Are A Treat.” In October 2015, 12,000 new books—all from a private donor—were handed out to families.

Independent but united through the Old Market Business Association, the active businesses are an eclectic group ranging from galleries to restaurants. Contributing to this independence is the decision by property owners not to rent to franchises in the Old Market district, except those that are locally owned or businesses that started in Omaha.

“Unique, small, independently owned businesses are what makes the Old Market have the charm it has,” says Davis.

“That’s why the Old Market is cool. And the place to be.”

Visit oldmarket.com for more information.

Monster Stuffed Peppers

Photography by @Baldwin Publishing, Inc.

A simple spaghetti and marinara sauce gets a new look in these fun Monster Stuffed Peppers. Make the sauce the night before so it’s ready for dinner before the kids head out for some treats.

Find more great recipes at HealthyKohlsKids.com. The Healthy Kohl’s Kids program is a partnership between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Kohl’s Department Stores to educate children and parents about healthy nutrition and fitness. 

Ingredients

8 large bell peppers (assorted colors)

2 tsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

10 oz multigrain spaghetti
or other pasta

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Cut the tops off the bell peppers and reserve. Carefully scoop out the seeds and ribs of the bell peppers.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bell peppers and their tops and boil them for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just softened. Remove the peppers and tops with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl of ice water.

Remove the peppers and tops from the ice water and let them dry. With a paring knife, cut out 2 triangles for the eyes and a jagged mouth on each pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is softened.

Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender. In a colander, drain pasta and return to pot.

Add 1/4 cup tomato sauce to pasta and toss to coat.

Transfer pasta to bell peppers, with some sticking out of the “head.” Top with some of the remaining sauce, cheese, and additional parsley, if desired. Top with the bell pepper top.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 Stuffed Bell Pepper; Calories: 348; Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 0; Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 381mg; Carbohydrates: 69g; Fiber: 10g; Protein: 19g
Yield: 8 servings

MonsterPeppers

Alex Kava

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Sure, Alex Kava is a best-selling mystery author, but as an aspiring writer she faced insecurities. Even now, with a six-figure contract from Putnam, there are uncertainties in this brave new world
of publishing.

Growing up in rural Silver Creek, Nebraska, her working-class parents considered writing frivolous. Word-struck Alex secretly spun stories from her imagination and committed them to the back pages of used grain co-op calendars, squirreling away the scrawled tales in a shoe box under her bed.

Convinced writing fiction couldn’t support her, she followed an advertising-marketing-public relations career path that, while successful, left her unfulfilled and burned-out. It didn’t help when her first novel-length manuscript received 116 rejection letters.

Kava may never have become the author of the long-running Maggie O’Dell and new Ryder Creed series had she not left her PR job to commit herself to writing at 38.

“There was too many hours, too many meetings. I really was at a crossroads in my life and I decided that while I’m figuring out what it is I want to do with the rest of my life, I’ll try writing. I told myself if I wasn’t published by 40 I would give it up.”

While completing the book, expenses for home and car repairs mounted. She went through her savings. She took a paper route to make ends meet.

She just squeaked under the self-imposed deadline when, three days before her 40th birthday, she signed advance reader copies of her debut novel, A Perfect Evil. Her 2000 portrait of a community traumatized by a serial killer was extrapolated from the actual terror that befell Bellevue and Papillion in the early 1980s when John Joubert murdered two boys there. Kava worked for the Papillion Times at the time.

“What surprised me,” she says in revisiting those events years later, “was that I could remember those feelings of panic that had taken over that community.”

Her stand-alone One False Move was another instance of real-life crime influencing her work. When the 2002 Norfolk, Nebraska, bank robbery gone fatally bad eerily followed a plot she was developing, she used evidence from the actual crimes to inform her novel.

Forensics expert and profiler Maggie O’Dell was among multiple characters on the case in A Perfect Evil, but Kava’s publisher pushed to make O’Dell the subject of a series. Kava resisted. A dozen O’Dell books later, she and Maggie are fixtures in the mystery-thriller genre.

Kava admits she didn’t like O’Dell at first. “We’re both very stubborn and slow to trust.” On the advice of a go-to expert, former Douglas County prosecutor and now district judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, Kava gave O’Dell shared interests in dogs and college football.

“Those two little things actually made it easier for me to relate to her,” Kava says. “The series grew, and I grew, and Maggie O’Dell grew. I love that character. She and I have been through so much together.”

Her new protagonist, Ryder Creed, is a K-9 search and rescue dog handler. He teams with investigators like O’Dell to help crack cases.

“I love Ryder Creed because he has this passion for dogs and I can really connect to that.”

Kava says it’s a relief after “so many years writing about something I don’t know—murder,” to write about her four-legged friends. She’s dedicated books to her pets, Molly and Scout, the latter named after Kava’s favorite literary character, Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.

Kava’s steeped herself in the CSI-law enforcement milieu, even presiding over her own “crime scene dinner club” of attorneys, detectives, and techs who voluntarily plied her with case file details.

“I really do love the research. I’ve never had any problem with people opening up. I’m not sure why they do.”

She admires her expert sources.

“I’ve always looked at law enforcement officers in awe. I could never do what they do and stay sane.”

She’s toured the FBI’s Quantico facility in Virginia, interviewing behavioral science wonks there. She’s turned down opportunities to visit crime scenes and view autopsies. “Some of those things it’s best for me to leave to my imagination.”

Kava, who did a spring book tour for her latest work, Breaking Creed, is grateful for her success. But in this new age of ebooks, publishing mergers, and tenuous contracts, nothing’s guaranteed.

“There’s so much more for readers to choose from, and I think that added choice is great. At the same time it makes it more of a challenge for us as authors to figure out how to get those readers and stay in front of them. I’m now writing two books a year so I can stay in front and say, ‘Here’s the next one, and I’ve got another one coming out, and another one after that.’ You don’t want them to
forget you.”

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Rebels

October 20, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In this issue we are taking inspiration from all things Wes Anderson! The masked characters on our cover were inspired by the strange, large painting hanging above the couch in the 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums. The masks themselves were inspired by the disguises worn to hide from adults in Anderson’s 2012 Moonrise Kingdom. Whether you are a grown man posing intimidatingly on a four-wheeler, or a 12-year-old running from consequences, a good mask ignites adventure and makes you feel like you can get away with anything.

What You’ll Need:

  • Felt (assorted colors)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Spray adhesive
  • 1/4” elastic band

Directions

  1. If you are not naturally gifted at visualizing shapes to build a critter, there are all kinds of great templates that you can find and print out on Pinterest or Etsy.
  2. Cut out shapes from paper, then place them on a piece of felt of the same color. Lightly trace around the shape with a pen, and cut out that piece of felt with scissors.
  3. Continue this until you have all of the shapes cut to form an entire mask. I doubled the felt for any piece of the mask considered to be a “base” in order to make the mask a bit sturdier by spraying one layer with an adhesive, laying it on top of another piece, and cutting my shape out of both pieces at once.
  4. When layering the mask together, flip over cut-out pieces so that you do not see any pen marks that you have made. Keep in mind that the mask will look backwards compared to your template, but the result will be much cleaner.
  5. Make sure that all of the pieces are in order before hot-glueing each piece in its place.
  6. Cut a hole on either side of the mask and feed the elastic band through the holes. Tie the elastics to the masks, and you are ready for a night as a woodland critter!

DIY-Kristen

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“The Talk”

October 23, 2014 by

Last year’s battle of Halloween was the kids’ standoff to replace their trick-or-treat buckets for pillow cases. Because, “Mom, you can hold way more candy in a pillow case!”

I knew this meant an equal quest for cavities and independence. I couldn’t even convince them to bring their holiday-specific, over-priced buckets back and dump them into a pillowcase, and then go back out. They wanted to go out for one candy run. The catch—they’re not coming back until the pillowcase is full.

I’m trying to remember how it is that there is a designated day of the year when all us parents lose our minds, dress up our kids (sometimes in drag), and then send them out in the dark to go knock on strangers’ doors for candy.

And yet, I send them on their merry way to collect as much candy as they can possibly fit in the pillowcase. They don’t believe me at how heavy that can get and when they’re that far away. It’ll be blocks away, and I won’t hear it, but in the dark of the night, with their burning biceps and candy weighing them down—they’ll whisper, “Mom was right.”

We’ve reached a turning point of Halloween. My kids are 11 now. And although you may think that’s still young enough to trick-or-treat, the other element is they stand taller than most adults. We can’t find age appropriate costumes in their size either. But mostly, if their quest for candy is their big desire, then it’s just time to let them pass on the torch to the 5-year-olds they may inadvertently knock over as they run from door to door.

So, we have The Talk. Consider it the Geneva Negotiations of Halloween 2014. It’s time to retire from trick-or-treating. In return for my demands, my precious tweens have made their own: take the money I spend on their costumes and buy them all of their favorite candy. I tack on a few toothbrushes and floss. With a few nods and pinky promises, we agree. As we all grieve a rite of passage for a kid—trick-or-treating, we bid farewell.

Turtle Power

October 21, 2014 by
Photography by Sarah Lemke

As fall arrives in Omaha there is much to get excited about. Pumpkin patches and haunted houses open for a screaming good time and, of course, costumes must be planned.

Though there are costume shops as far as the eye can see, they can be quite pricey. Even supermarkets can ask a little too much for a piece of fabric and a mask, just so that your child can have the same outfit as 10 of his or her classmates.

In light of this predicament and the recent debut of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, here is a DIY that is sure to impress.

Tools to become a ninja:

  • Two paint brushes, small and large
  • Black and green acrylic paint (acrylic is easiest to fix mistakes with because it dries quickly and it’s opaque)
  • One can of a medium-tone green spray paint
  • One blue felt square (we created Leonardo. Feel free to substitute other color).
  • One aluminum-roasting pan (some have rounded edges. We opted for grooved).
  • One adult cardboard shirt form
  • One piece of thick brown ribbon or old leather belt
  • Velcro and green felt strips

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Too Soon?

October 6, 2014 by
Photography by Sarah Lemke

At what age did you first think it was entertaining to have a seven-foot-tall psychopath in a hockey mask leap out in front of you wielding a shrieking, smoke-belching 80cc chainsaw? Six? College age? Never?

While many parents dress their children up starting at a young age, there does come a time when your child may need to be “prepared” for the upcoming All Hallows Eve as well as its associated events.

As a parent, you’ve determined the readiness of your child in many ways. Going out for the soccer team, starting preschool, and even potty training are just a few examples. According to Holly Roberts, a child psychologist in the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, a parent should take cues from their child to determine which Halloween activities—haunted houses, trick-or-treating, and more—are appropriate. “Children around the age of seven sometimes up to about 10 are magical thinkers. They don’t have the ability to rationalize a situation,” she says. Therefore, it’s very important to expose your children to scary things when they are ready.

Roberts shares that Halloween is designed to be a fun event for children and families. But, there’s no doubt there are those that approach the holiday with the intent to frighten or terrorize others. Fear, Roberts insists, is both powerful and instinctual—protecting humans from harm.

Fear obviously isn’t just confined to Halloween—it will arise regardless of the time of year. As a parent, it is important to anticipate opportunities that will allow you to teach your child about fear, she says. That’s when Halloween can actually be helpful to a child’s development.

The more exposure to “safe fear” that a child experiences with a trusted parent or guardian, the less fear they will likely experience on days dedicated to the possibility, such as Halloween.

There are many ways that you can expose your child to fear in a safe environment. If your child is requesting to watch a scary movie and it seems appropriate to proceed, introduce them to a somewhat scary movie during daylight hours. Another opportunity Roberts suggests is to visit a store around Halloween with your child to try on different masks and costumes. The masks can be funny or scary and should always be lifted to reveal the face beneath them.

If your child seems to be handling the fear of Halloween well and is interested in participating in activities such as visiting a pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, or walking through a haunted house, arrange it when you and a trusted friend or sibling can go, too. “Feeling safe should always be the first thing a child feels with a parent or a caregiver. They will follow that lead,” Roberts says. The more people present that a child feels safe with, the better.

Most important is to remember that not all children are ready at the same time. Halloween is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, especially for kids.