Teens have a scream at Halloween dance

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 1, 2002

For years, Darrell Harper filled up on candy every Oct. 31.

&uot;I used to get buckets and buckets full,&uot; remembers the 14-year-old King’s Fork Middle School student. &uot;I always dressed like a vampire. I’ll miss trick-or-treating.&uot;

Fortunately for Harper (and hundreds of other local teenagers), the Department of Parks and Recreation sponsored a &uot;Teen Scream&uot; dance Thursday evening in Birdsong Recreation Center. For three hours, Suffolkians too old to trick-or-treat danced the night away.

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&uot;I came here because I wanted to talk to all the ladies and dance with them,&uot; said Harper, who learned of the event while playing basketball at Birdsong. &uot;I’m having fun dancing, but I’m probably still going to go to a couple of houses to get some candy after this.&uot;

Ryan West used the night as an excuse to get out of the house. &uot;I haven’t really liked trick-or-treating since I was about eight,&uot; says the 12-year-old. &uot;I spend Halloween watching scary movies on TV. But I’d rather come here, because it’s fun to see a lot of my friends and some new girls. I think my friends might bring me some candy later on tonight.&uot;

The event was created almost by accident, explains recreation supervisor Lakita Frazier. &uot;The girls from our dance team wanted to raise money to buy some new uniforms, and places like Wal-Mart and Target donated money,&uot; Frazier says.

&uot;Then we decided to give teens who don’t really have anything to do on Halloween a night of fun. If everything goes well, we might do something like this every holiday.&uot;

One hour into the event, the dance had raised over $300 and several baskets of canned goods, which would go to help Suffolk’s underprivileged.

Besides the dancing in the gym, visitors could head downstairs to visit the center’s haunted hallway. Volunteers such as Latora King were hiding in the dark shadows of the basement, ready to leap out and frighten unsuspecting passersby.

&uot;It’s outrageously fun to scare people!&uot; King exclaimed.

Her tricks worked on Sharleena Jones, 14.

&uot;It was scariest when we were in the hallways and they were yelling from the dark,&uot; says the John F. Kennedy Middle School student.

&uot;I was screaming and running away from everyone.&uot;