Halloween Is a Real Horror For Sensory and Sensitive Kids

4 years ago

To say I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween is like saying Niagara Falls doesn’t have a lot of water. The very thought of Halloween makes me cringe. Why would people choose to display death-related, gory and stomach-churning visuals smack dab in the middle of their front lawns? I find it down right strange.


Halloween has become the most popular holiday afterChristmas. Halloween of all events! At this time of year, I feel like the odd person out. Even as a child, friends talked about their costumes and dressing up. I never felt comfortable putting on a costume and pretending I wasn’t actually me. Then add on the freakiness of the holiday, and I was done.

My son, Vman, has Sensory Processing Disorder, and I’ve often wondered if he inherited it from me. Although I don’t believe I have SPD, I do know that I’ve always been a highly sensitive person. When all of my friends were watching Freddy Kruger movies, I gladly excused myself from the gathering. As an adult, I have yet to watch a single CSI episode. That show gives me nightmares. I’ve even stopped watching the nightly news and only read what’s happening in the world because it gives me bad dreams. So I actually dread when Halloween comes around.

Vman is showing the same trepidation of Halloween. Even the sight of a happy Halloween decoration upsets him. And the adult stuff… well, let’s not go there. He had a crying spell because he was so spooked as people brought out their ghouls, ghosts and goblins.

I think it’s reasonable to wonder if his fear of Halloween is because of his SPD or because he is a sensitive dude. He may not display his emotions often, but calm waters run deep in this guy. We’ve learned that often his emotions are too much for him to process, so he shuts down or decides to not address them. It would be too scary.

My husband, on the other hand, can’t get enough of Halloween. Our house would be decked out with red shining lights, cackling sound tracks and flying witches if it was up to him. There are a lot of parents that get wrapped up in Halloween just like he does. But I think many of those parents don’t understand just how frightening Halloween can be to some kids. It’s not just about being scared. It’s about being truly terrified for some of these children.

So this Halloween, please remember Halloween isn’t necessarily a celebration of the spooky. For some of us, it’s absolute horror come alive.



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