Halloween or Horror Scene
Be careful what messages you send this spooky season
By Theresa Blume
Halloween is not really a holiday since we do not actually celebrate anything. Yet, it is a major event in this country. People do not need much reason to have fun. So we literally invented something out of some historic rumors.
From a sprinkling of assorted countries, it started long ago with a harvest festival where people sacrificed crops and animals, which explains the prevalence of scarecrows, hay stalks, corn, and pumpkins this season. Then in attempting to make Christianity “pagan-friendly,” people eased up on the sacrifices and proclaimed it a day to honor, or hallow, our departed loved ones. Catholics put lit candles on gravesites, which we connect today with cemeteries and skeletons on Halloween.
Superstition brought fear of loose souls and ghosts running around, and people used masks to hide from them. Meanwhile, enterprising poor people went to wealthy houses begging for food in return for praying for the rich’s dead relatives.
People began to anticipate beggars and made “soul cakes” ahead of time, hence our buying candy today in preparation for trick-or-treaters. Each country brought its own ingredients of their version, stirring up the “Halloween” recipe in the melting pot of America.
I thought Halloween was for kids given that when you reach that dreaded height people start asking, “Aren’t you a little old to be trick or treating?” as if I did not need my year’s worth of candy too. Thank goodness I had three kids I could send out. Apparently, adults want to have fun too because costumes are getting bigger, sexier, and scarier each year.
I think it is great that young and old can have fun with costumes, enjoy candy, meet the neighbors, and party. We need a break from stress when we can get it.
But how did “fun” become dressing up like a murderer with a chainsaw or a Jason character? Some people love displaying their dark side on Halloween.
There is a part of us that likes to do what we know is wrong, and some think that Halloween is a good time to display that side. I think we mistook the cemetery business of honoring—hallowing—the dead and instead connected horror and gruesome violence with Halloween.
We need to be aware that we are always influencing someone whether we have children or not. Take a look at today’s news, and it is plain to see that we have opened Pandora’s Box.
There are many things that contribute to being indifferent toward violence, but when we let our guard down, even for a night, it adds to the messages our next generation is getting. What will your message be this Halloween night?