Thoughts on Halloween
Posted by Chris Lang on October 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Well, Halloween is here. And I thought I at least had to write something about Halloween.

But what to write? Do I write a text review of a Halloween classic movie or special? Or do I write about my thoughts about Halloween itself? In the end, I decided to go with the latter.

Halloween is a very odd holiday. It’s where people dress up in costumes and, if they’re kids, go to knock on people’s doors and say ‘trick or treat’, expecting candy in return. If they’re older, they go to costume parties at their friends’ house, or stay at home watching monster movies, or something.

What the meaning of Halloween is depends on who you ask. Some say it’s when the veil between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead is at its thinnest, and the spirits of the departed roam the Earth. Some say it involves some pagan ceremonies or something. And some of course recognize it as All Hallow’s Eve, the day before All Souls Day or Hallows Day.

But whatever, Halloween has basically become an excuse to dress up in costumes, and to delight in macabre, ghoulish things such as vampires, werewolves, witches, ghouls, zombies … and other scary creatures.

To me, Halloween was never about the candy. Even though I liked the occasional lollipop, I was never a big candy fan even as a kid. To me, the fun of Halloween was the costumes, and letting one’s imagination run away with them. Thinking that maybe the strange squeaking sound was a bunch of vampire bats flying through the air, or maybe the distant howling and barking weren’t from neighborhood dogs, but from werewolves. Thinking that all sorts of bizarre and crazy things were happening elsewhere in the neighborhood, before the crazy creatures went back into hibernation sometime after midnight.

At least that’s how it was as a kid. Of course, even as a kid, I knew that I wouldn’t really want vampires, werewolves, witches, ghouls, and zombies roaming my neighborhood. And of course, none of us really want all these Halloween monsters to be real. But since they aren’t, we can be morbidly entertained by them every October, immersing ourselves in marathons of classic monster movies such as the Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolfman films, more modern takes on said monsters, or maybe more recent creations like Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers. Or, if we want our scares a bit more lighthearted, we immerse ourselves in things like a marathon of all of the Simpsons ‘Treehouse of Horror’ specials, or various horror-comedies.

What does Halloween mean for me today, now that my trick-or-treating days are long behind me and I’m now the one standing at the door waiting for trick or treaters? I’m not sure. But I think Halloween probably means more than monsters. I think Halloween means a day where people can live out their fantasies and dress up in costumes outside of convention cosplaying or other such venues. And as long as it’s safe, harmless, fun, more power to those who do.

I’m not really sure what to add. If I went on, I’d just ramble on just to make this entry longer. So I’ll wrap this up now.

Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone.

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