Ghosts hang in the Mile of Terror at Rio Rancho Events Center, formerly known as Santa Ana Star Center.
Photo Amy Byres / Observer

It is finally spooky season.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It is a time for tricks and treats and everything in between. This has always been a fun holiday for me, especially growing up.

My brother and I would make a haunted house for trick-or-treaters. My street took this holiday very seriously.

A few houses down was a family who went above and beyond every year, transforming their home and parts of the yard into the spookiest haunted house.

I remember being so scared to walk in after I saw kids run out screaming. I am terrified of haunted houses to this day.

My favorite part about Halloween is the costumes and makeup. For the haunted houses my brother and I built, I oversaw costumes and makeup. I am quite good at making fake cuts and bruises.

As my brother and I grew older, we stopped building a haunted house and wanted to go off with our friends for Halloween. I would do my friends’ makeup and show off what new gory skills I learned to give a frightening appearance.

Halloween is my favorite holiday to photograph because of the looks makeup artists can create. There is never a duplicate cut or gash.

This Halloween won’t be the same as others, given the pandemic. I will miss my friends and the fun I have creating gory makeup looks for haunted houses.

However, 2020 seems to be a scary year, and in the spirit of Halloween, I encourage families to share ghost stories with each other and still enjoy the holiday in a COVID-safe fashion. Because I cannot do any of the things I would normally do for Halloween this year, this month I am listening to true crime and paranormal podcasts.

I enjoy these kinds of podcasts year-round, but in October, there is an extra element of spookiness.

This month I will also watch new and old favorite horror movies. Some include “The Blair Witch Project,” “The Conjuring” and a classic, “Insidious.” On Halloween, I will watch my favorite horror movie, “Annabelle.”

I completely understand those who hate horror movies and being scared, but it is part of the fun for me.

Another COVID-safe thing to do is visit the Fall Festival at the Rio Rancho Events Center, the former Santa Ana Star Center, where there is a drive-thru haunted house called The Mile of Terror and a family-friendly pumpkin patch.

Halloween is about having fun. For one night out of the year, you can be anyone you want, and you can enjoy the spookier things in life and eat candy.

I wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween this year.