By William Ferreira

The fall season hadn't even begun when I noticed pumpkins, Halloween decorations, and autumn leaf drawings all over the place. I recall the moment of seeing it for the first time. It was still September, and I was with my friend Jackson at the Saxbys cafe on campus. We walked in and noticed a sign that said, "the pumpkin flavors are back." “Yess! "This is my favorite time of year," Jackson declared right away. I thought he was going to make a point about the fall season, but it turns out he was referring to the spooky scary season that comes with it: Halloween.

I've always been fascinated by Halloween culture. I grew up watching Halloween movies, and they were among my childhood favorites. I learned from them about how North Americans enjoy dressing up in costumes, watching scary movies, attending Halloween festivals, decorating pumpkins, and pranking their friends at this time of year. In addition, who hasn't heard of "Trick or Treat"? This is the time of year when children and adolescents knock on strangers' doors and ask for candy. That is a classic! And now, after growing up watching it all on television, I'm in the United States, about to celebrate Halloween for the first time.

The official Halloween date of celebration is in October 31, but everything related to it starts way before that. Early in the month, people here were already planning their costumes and talking about parties. I’m planning to be a wizard, but I’m still not sure.

The theaters were already showing horror movies such as Smile and Halloween Ends. And I've already seen them all.

Spirit, a well-known store in Center City, opened exclusively for the Halloween season, and my friends said it happens every year. By the way, I walked in quickly to check the prices, and believe me, it's a big place with tons of costumes and various Halloween decorations.

Aside from that, I attended an event called "Halloween Nights" at the Eastern State Penitentiary, one of Philadelphia's most famous historical sites. It was an incredible experience, and it was almost like we see in movies. There were haunted houses, creepy performances, marshmallows on the bonfire, dark stories, people in costume, and, of course, pumpkins. In fact, I made a vlog about this event for Global Programs, which you can watch here.

With that, all I wanted to say is that the little William, who loved to watch Halloween movies and was fascinated by witches and vampires, has finally had the opportunity to experience American Halloween culture - and the holiday hasn't even arrived yet!