Halloween is a Real Horror for the Highly Sensitive Child

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 is a Real Horror for the Highly Sensitive Child

Halloween has become the most popular holiday after Christmas.

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.

Be sure to check out even more of my helpful parenting tips, too!

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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.


Halloween is a Real Horror for the Highly Sensitive Child

My 10 year old son, Vman, has Sensory Processing Disorder.

And like a lot of kids with SPD, he also has a lot of anxiety, which really rears it’s ugly head around Halloween.

The sight of a happy Halloween decoration used to upset him when he was younger. 

Even still, the most watered-down Halloween episodes on Disney Channel are too tough for him to process.

And the adult stuff… well, let’s not go there.

He had a crying spell last year because he was so spooked as people brought out their ghouls, ghosts and goblins.

Halloween s a real horror

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 many of our sensory kids.

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.

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Thankfully he recognizes why Vman has such a hard time with Halloween.

I think many of parents, however,  just 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 our children.

So this Halloween, I ask you to remember that Halloween isn’t necessarily a celebration of the spooky.

For some of us, it’s an absolute horror come alive.

Be sure to learn more about Sensory Processing Disorder and my parenting tips on how to support your child with sensory challenges.

Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and Mommy Evolution.

Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!

Halloween Costumes for the Sensory Challenged. How to create Sensory-Friendly Halloween Costumes for your Tactile Defensive Child! on Mommy Evolution


  1. yarrapenguin says:

    Hey jen, you will be pleased to know that for Halloween (which we don’t really celebrate in Australia – although the major supermarkets are trying their best to integrate it!) I’m going as a TARDIS, very non-spooky, very geeky and rather cool 🙂

  2. I’ve never really been into Hallowe’en either, possibly because it’s not that big a deal here or my parents didn’t like it! I didn’t really do dressing up and we never decorated the house! I’ve always preferred Bonfire Night, even though there’s no silly costumes involved 😀 What I’m looking forward to this year is carving my own pumpkin and then making pumpkin pie with the leftovers! 🙂

  3. I looooove halloween. But it’s a sensory minefield for me. Give me softly glowing carved pumpkins any day…but the strobelights??? The sounds? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek.

    Thanks and love,
    Full Spectrum Mama

    1. I could skip Halloween any day and go right to Thanksgiving. I love Fall decor with all of the friendly pumpkins, leaf wreaths and whatnot.

  4. My youngest son with SPD is a Halloween lover because it’s his Dad’s favourite holiday. For me I can’t stand masks so I cringe if a clown comes to my door trick-or-treating! My family thinks it’s silly but anything covering the face freaks me out. All the screechy witch music and strobe lights make me feel sick too. I just get way too sensory overloaded with it all. Thank you for sharing your story I’m the oddball in my family but we all love to dress up. ?

    1. Oh yes… the music is the WORST! And I don’t think you’re being silly at all. Once I started admitting that Halloween freaks me out, I was surprised to find other people I knew who feel the exact same way.

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