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Remembering Monstober, Disney Channel's nostalgic Halloween program

This spooky season, visiting our younger selves might just be the trick to relieving adulthood stress

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Disney Halloween episodes hold a lot of nostalgia for college students, so The Echo is taking a look at some of those memorable episodes.

Do you remember Halloween as a kid? Going trick-or-treating with friends and going from house to house anticipating the amount of candy you'd get — the sweet treats, the classroom parties and the spooky decorations.

Oftentimes, nostalgia brings us back to our younger days, where we miss the lack of responsibilities and our naive selves. But, for some ASU students, it was Disney Channel's month of Halloween programming that brings them back to their childhood Halloween spirit. 

Disney Channel's Halloween, previously called Hauntober, Monstober and Wiz-tober, is an October-only event where the station ran Halloween songs, episodes and movies every night. Not many people remember Hauntober, Monstober or Wiz-tober, specifically, because the names changed every two to three years and officially became Disney Channel Halloween after that. But the Halloween content that Disney ran were always a hit. 

"Every Halloween, I always go back to 'Girl vs. Monster,'" said Kate McDonald, a freshman studying business. "I think what makes me go back to that movie is the sense of nostalgia."

In 2012, Wiz-tober was renamed Monstober to prepare for the "Girl vs. Monster" premiere.

"The old Halloween movies are just super nostalgic, and you get a certain feeling when you go back and see it again," Berkeley Adair, a junior studying aerospace engineering, said.

For freshman Anna Dunnagan, who is studying finance, Disney's Halloween allowed her to celebrate the holiday as a child in a less scary way. 

"The way that it was Halloween, but it wasn’t scary," said Dunnagan. "It was easily available to kids, cause you don’t want to get scared."

With all of the nightly Halloween songs, episodes and movies, it can often be difficult to pinpoint specific ones that stood out the most.

"The best ones in my opinion would be the 'A.N.T. Farm' episodes and the 'Jessie' ones," Dunnagan said. "Those are probably most memorable."

"For shows, (the) 'A.N.T. Farm' episodes and then the 'Good Luck Charlie' episodes were always a classic," McDonald said. “I remember the episode where Gabe thinks Mrs. Dabney killed her husband and she scares him."

The specific Halloween "A.N.T. Farm" episode referred to was called "MutA.N.T. Program", which premiered as the fourteenth episode of the first season. In this episode, monsters are incorporated into the daily high school lives of the main character.

In the "A.N.T. Farm" episode, the main character also performs a song titled "Calling All the Monsters", which went on to be a Halloween hit of its own.

"My favorite one was the 'A.N.T. Farm' episode where she first sang 'Calling All the Monsters,'" Dunnagan said. "That song is so iconic, and it became one of the (best) Halloween songs after it came out. I listen to it every single year after Halloween, and ever since she sang it, it has become a staple of Disney and of Halloween."

"Calling All the Monsters" was performed by China Anne McClain, the main character on A.N.T. Farm. It is arguably one of the most popular Disney channel songs. In fact, Disney debuted its own music video due to its popularity after its release. 

Now, as college students, there's still a similarity between childhood Halloween and today's. It's still a time to stay out late and spend quality time with friends, but less about getting candy and trick-or-treating. 

"Halloween was a time to get candy, but also a time to stay out late," McDonald said. "It was a time to have sleepovers on a school night, and dress up and hang out with your friends."

Realizing how Halloween has changed throughout childhood to adulthood can make appreciating nostalgic Halloween a little bit more special. 

"Halloween culture at ASU does not remind me of Halloween as a child," Adair said. "It’s a more adult Halloween, so less wholesome, but you can still make it wholesome."

The importance of looking back on Halloween when you were younger and seeing how things have changed is often forgotten about. Watching episodes with spooky plots and stories entertained a lot of students as children, but maybe that same tactic doesn't have to change.

"I feel like I’m going to run home and watch a Disney movie right now," Adair said.

Nostalgic vibes of childish Halloween movies, shows and episodes bring us back to where we were not so long ago. And this spooky season, helping ourselves go back to where we were as children might just be the solution in an ever-so-stressful college life.

Edited by Claire van Doren, Sadie Buggle and Caera Learmonth.

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