Friday, October 26, 2007

When Did Halloween Get So Ghastly Gruesome?

Gene Edward Veith comments on a Washington Post article with the title above.
Halloween used to be a holiday that centered on little kids getting dressed up and going trick-or-treating. Now, adults have taken over the day, knocking down the children and turning Halloween into a gore-fest. Adults have injected both sex and violence into the day, with one-up-manship centered on how to outdo one’s neighbors in images of sado-masochistic horror.
When I was growing up our church had an annual Halloween party. Everyone spent considerable time deciding on their costumes - especially some of the older ladies. Prizes were awarded, there was bobbing for apples, cider and doughnuts were served, fun was had by all. It was mildly scary and not the least bit evil.

On Halloween itself, we went trick-or-treating [to the best of my recollection, there were never any tricks]. When I got older, I stayed home and gave out the candy. It was fun and had no connection with Satanism or any other evil.

I wish we could have that back.

Now, it has become bigger and bigger as a holiday - not least because, in an increasingly secular era, it is perceived as purely secular. It is not the holiday of Wicca, or Satanism - it is the holiday of nothing.

The Change in Halloween — Cranach: The Blog of Veith

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Jim, I remember going to at least one of those parties in Milton. Rob and Cherie Appel had costumes that no one could figure out. Cherie was carrying a clothes-drying rack with fish hanging from it and had a house on her head. Rob was carrying a mattress. Finally, when no one could figure it out, they told us they were the three Hebrews thrown into the fiery furnace: Shad-rack, Me-shack, and A-Bed-to-Go.

    I wonder if Baby Boomers like us remember the fun of Halloween and can't let go of it, so they make a bigger and bigger deal of it every year. They can't leave it as a fun time for the kids. At our house, we've gotten to the place where we just try to ignore the whole thing as much as possible.


Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.