Playing Evil on Halloween

 

Halloween is not immutable. Common American traditions today bear only the slightest resemblance to druidic rituals and superstitious people casting frightened glances over dimly lit turnips. Trick-or-treating today isn’t even the same today as it was just 30 or 40 years ago. Heck, some families meet in parking lots to distribute candy from car trunks, because walking a neighborhood at sundown is apparently too dangerous for attended kids.

Few today believe in whatever these traditions once stood for. Halloween is not connected to All Hallows’ Day in most minds. It is not about dodging ghosts or nodding to ancestors.

Halloween is simply an occasion for fun. Americans don’t have many holidays; fewer still not initiated by government. Halloween is about candy and silly costumes and pumpkin carving, and all those things that can get little children excited.

Or, rather, that is what’s good about Halloween. As with many good things, the celebration is accompanied by less benign customs. But it doesn’t have to be. We can be discerning without chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

Evil is real. If a Nazi uniform would be poor taste, why don a devil costume? Why gorge on the dark and ugly and disturbing every October, as entertainers hope you will? As healthy bodies are rewards of disciplined intake and exercise, so are healthy minds and souls.

I understand all manners of dark attractions that become more prominent this time of year. I sympathize. The consequences of indulgence are not always clear. Like so many people are surprised when they put on a few pounds or they lack energy or their backs begin to ache, the damage we do to ourselves by increments is often invisible until something finally breaks or we have need of what has been lost. Minor problems become more significant if ignored.

Enjoy Halloween, but give some thought to how. Modern American culture encourages all sorts of binging, from guzzling alcohol and gobbling sweets to TV marathons and sports that lock viewers down for entire days. There is no part of life, from work to entertainment, that does not shape us. If you dwell in darkness, it will seep in.

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  1. SpiritO'78 Inactive
    SpiritO'78
    @SpiritO78

    There is no part of life, from work to entertainment, that does not shape us. If you dwell in darkness, it will seep in.

    I agree with that totally. I always keep quite this time a year because I don’t want to spoil other people enjoyment with my curmudgeonly attitude toward Halloween. It’s gotten ridiculously in the last 10 years or so, almost a celebration of evil and the occult.

    • #1
  2. USAhafan Inactive
    USAhafan
    @ShaunaHunt

    We keep Halloween light hearted around here. We also love in one of the safest places to Trick or Treat in the country! 

    • #2
  3. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    USAhafan (View Comment):
    We also love in one of the safest places to Trick or Treat in the country! 

    Is that considered a trick or a treat for the Guests?

    • #3
  4. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    One of my daughters told me this when she was about eight years old:

    “Do you know what is so good about Halloween, Mom? It’s JUST FOR FUN!  There isn’t any “deeper meaning” — it just for fun!” 

    I totally agree with her!  Her children are now celebrating Halloween JUST FOR FUN!!

     

    • #4
  5. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Oy?  Really?  I don’t see it.  

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I went trick-or-treating until I was about 10 years old, or in my dad’s words “big enough to go bear hunting with a switch.”

    • #6

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