I have so many happy memories of Halloween! My siblings (8!) and I would get SO excited and probably drive my parents nuts in the preceding weeks. My littlest sister, Flo, had an Olive Oyl (you know, Popeye’s girlfriend) costume she seemed to wear 365 days a year. We never had to wonder what she was going to be. For the most part buying a costume (perhaps with the exception of Olive Oyl) was not on our radar; seems we always assembled something from what we had on hand.

Halloween masks of Olive Oyl and Popeye
A vintage Olive Oyl mask, although I don’t remember my sister’s mask having such a long nose! Accessed at

I remember we used to dash home from school and head straight for our personal Halloween candy bag – a true treasure. We spent countless hours sorting, trading, and eventually eating it. Then we’d scoop the remainders back into our stash bag and do the same the next day and the next. Until one horrible year when someone got sick. I don’t remember who (I know it wasn’t me) but rumor was it came from eating too much candy. Mom quickly confiscated our personal hoards and dumped them into a community bag, which she kept under lock and key. No more trading Snickers for Baby Ruths, or Good and Plenty for Bazooka Joe bubble gum: we didn’t own our candy anymore. It was a tragedy.

Vintage Good and Plenty candy ad
I remember similar ads on TV back in the 60’s. Accessed at, where you can read all about the history of this and other candies.

Fast forward to Halloween 2021 and we’re still having fun! It’s kind of an ageless holiday: no one is too old or too young to sport a costume. There’s just something funny about seeing the creativity and silliness the holiday inspires. Half the fun is pulling the elements of the costume together. I personally prefer the funny stuff over the creepy and spooky. We typically dress up in our offices, which makes for a day of laughs and pictures as we carry on our typical workday looking very atypical. See for yourself!

Photo of physical therapists in Halloween costumes
Some of our office antics, left to right: Adam from our Harrisonburg office, sports a Snow White motif while Hypervolting a hip. Center – Annie and Bryan from our Broadway office, as a blonde Rosie the Riveter (note the Hypervolt on her toolbelt!) and a fat Thor. On the right Dylan from our Broadway office is a very creative “Fork in the Road” complete with roadkill. Photos by Appalachian Physical Therapy.
Photo of physical therapists in Halloween costumes
The Pinehurst office group went all out and did something for all five workdays of the week before Halloween – now that’s dedication! Here they are on their Tim Burton day, looking a bit creepy but impressive. Photo by Appalachian Physical Therapy.
Photo of physical therapists in Halloween costumes
In the Harrisonburg office we went a bit less creepy, although did opt to recreate the funeral of Snow White for our group shot. Can you name the dwarfs (also known as dwarves)? Left to right is Dopey, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, and me as Doc. Note the poison apple in Snow White’s (Adam) hands. Photo by Appalachian Physical Therapy.
Photo of physical therapists in Halloween costumes
On the left Dave adorned the Strasburg office with a pirate theme, complete with compression stockings. On the right is Dalton from the Pinehurst office as Kronk from the Emperor’s New Groove, complete with Lauren as the devil and Felicity as an angel cleverly photo-shopped in for the perfect touch. Photos by Appalachian Physical Therapy.
Photo of physical therapists in Halloween costumes
On the left is the Broadway group hamming it up. On the right are the poison apples we had in Harrisonburg to complete our Snow White theme. Photos by Appalachian Physical Therapy.
Photo of children in Halloween costumes
Our Grandkids in their 2021 costumes, which need no explanation. On the left we have Jake and Hudson in North Carolina, and on the right are Rebecca and Ellie in California. The girls painted their faces spooky (or maybe Mom did) for the actual trick or treating, but I prefer to see their pretty faces. Photos by Brooks Brady and Paige Frank.
Photo of women in Halloween costumes
I’ll close with these gems of my amazing Mom. On the left is her at age 92 in the middle of a pandemic, having fun in the retirement community she had just moved into in 2020. On the right is her 2021 Halloween garb, with a friend at a party. You’re never too old for Halloween fun! Photos by Florence Murphy.

Wishing you health and joy!


Published by Colleen Murphy Whiteford

I am a physiotherapist, graduate of Saint Louis University Class of 1984. I married my best friend and business partner, Bill, who is also a physiotherapist, in 1988. We have worked together all these years - an example of God's grace! Together we started Appalachian Physical Therapy which continues to thrive. I am a big believer in the power of touch, the manual therapies, and treating holistically. There are many alternatives to medications, surgeries, and testing, but people are often uninformed. My perspective emphasizes the role of the connective tissues including the fascia. Lack of attention to this structure is the source of many physical ailments - our bodies are truly fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139)! I am passionate about helping people of all ages and diagnoses maximize their health, and empowering them to understand their role in management and prevention of problems.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: