CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea (Nov. 3, 2021) – As the night grew dark, ghouls and goblins from all over Camp Humphreys crept out of trunks, poured onto the streets, and lurked in the dark corners of the neighborhood. On this day, Oct. 28, all scares broke loose as the Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation office teamed up with Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers to host the annual Humphreys Spooktacular weekend.
For the past 13 years, volunteers have been terrifying the skittles out of Humphrey’s youth and then filling their candy buckets back up.
“Since I’ve been here in 2007, BOSS has been conducting the “House of Fears” and “Trunk or Treat,” said Lorenzo Ranches, the FMWR BOSS coordinator and Guam native. “Every year, Humphreys’ population has gotten bigger, and so our Spooktacular is growing too.”
This year was the biggest with 35 trunks for the Trunk or Treat and 40 volunteers helping out with the House of Fears. The scary part was that the person you least expected was jumping out to stop your heart.
“We had high school students volunteering, spouses, civilians, and service members,” said Pfc. Austin Gano, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys BOSS representative and Newcomerstown, Ohio, native. “If the civilians were under 18, they had to get a waiver signed. Other than that, they were good to go.”
For those who did not want their dreams filled with ghosts and zombies, there was a lighter side to the House of Fears. When asked the difference between the family hours and the haunted terrors, both Gano and Ranches answered, “Lights on.”
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the lights were on and the volunteers waved and high-fived children as they traveled through the House of Fears. As soon as 7 p.m. hit, Ranches turned off the lights and announced “we will be starting our scare hour, enter at your own risk.”
For four nights, the ghosts haunted the parking garage. For one day, Oct. 30, they were loose on the streets and started popping out of trunks at the Spooktacular Trunk or Treat in the Humphreys Downtown Plaza.
This was the first Halloween Spooktacular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, so parents and kids were excited to get out and celebrate with their community neighbors.
“I don’t remember there being a thing like this last year. I came out because I have kids from 5 to 14 who all wanted to do some kind of trick or treating,” said Renee McCants, third grade teacher at Humphreys West Elementary School. “This was a safe, fun place for them to see their friends and get out and still get candy.”
Dancing to the beat of “The Cha Cha Slide” and “The Chicken Dance,” creatures from all over Humphreys took delight in scaring, haunting and eating candy.
“They are enjoying it and having fun,” continued McCants. “For me, I am pleased because it was an easy time for me to bring my kids out, so this is perfect for us.”
Older patrons came out in droves, ready to take on the creatures of the night and satisfy their insatiable hunger for chocolate.
“Youth involvement is important, so I am out here just supporting our youth,” said Kyle James, child and youth services staff member. “The turnout is a lot bigger than I expected, for sure.”
Teen mobs slinked up and down the streets on the haunt to scare up some fun themselves.
“I go to the youth center, and I came here because I believe going trunk or treating with my friends is really fun,” said Sofia Morales, a student at Humphreys High School. “After COVID a lot of people were probably bored of sitting at home, so this is cool.”
At the end of the evening, all the creepy-crawly creatures climbed back into their coffins or holes, but they’ll be back next year!