I’ve been bummed for the last couple of weeks leading up to Halloween. While I’m not a big holiday guy, I think Halloween is the last truly fun holiday left. Plus I’m a horror writer, so I’m kinda obligated. It may be watered down some and I’m still disappointed more kids don’t dress up as something scary, but they get to get out there, collect a buttload of candy, and generally have a good time.
This year, however, I found out why our school doesn’t celebrate Halloween. I live in a fairly religious community, and a very vocal minority played up the Satanic connotations of Halloween and got it squashed. Our students can pray around a flagpole out front, but God forbid they go the opposite direction and put on a costume. Halloween became the Fall Festival, and the closest it came to anything horror were the spiders the kids built in the Midget’s kindergarten class and the spider he got painted on his face at the festival itself (most kids chose flowers and flags — I wonder if the art teacher would even know who Cthulhu is?).
There was a dress-up theme all week, with each day carrying a different theme. But the themes were simple, like Spirit Day where they wear the school colors, or Sports Day where they wear team uniforms or clothing. Today was dress-up day, and they dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up. The Midget happily wore his gi and said he wanted to be “a karate guy,” but not one theme was remotely Halloween related. They tied in an anti-drug theme, which is certainly respectable, but still not as much fun.
I had a brief respite on Saturday when I discovered our karate school did it up right. The kids all showed up at the main dojo wearing costumes, and a lot of them were horrific. Sure, there were pirates and princesses, but there were also zombies, witches, undead soldiers, Draculas, and monsters. The staff converted their aerobic kickboxing school in the storefront next door to a haunted house, and it kicked all form of ass. So much ass, in fact, that I’ll be blogging about it later.
Then it was back to school on Monday, and Ho-Hum Halloween. I looked forward to taking the boys trick-or-treating tonight, but I didn’t expect much.
To my surprise, it really was a great Halloween. We walked down an out-of-the-way street and discovered two houses all dressed up in actual Halloween gear (as opposed to a giant inflatable pirate Spongebob), one of which the Midget was afraid to approach because of the mechanical ghost on the porch. A couple houses gave out candy shaped and packaged like toes, ears and eyeballs, and there people dishing out the candy from cauldrons and pumpkins.
It was especially refreshing to see kids dressed in scary costumes after the bland dress-up week. I saw a killer werewolf costume, a kid dressed as the reaper with giant red LED eyes, kids wearing skulls and demon masks, kids with scythes and axes and swords, and a dude who looked like a psycho in a Krusty mask. I even heard several people complimenting the scary costumes, and acting appropriately scared when one of them shouted “boo!” or waved some implement of destruction in a threatening manner.
Halloween was suddenly fun again, and after an hour and a half walking door-to-door, the boys’ treat bags were filled to the brim. We did find that one house that’s in every neighborhood, the one that gives out healthy treats like raisins, but I was in such a good mood I didn’t bother throwing that little red Sun-Maid box back at the old lady behind the door. Nope. Nothing was ruining this Halloween rush.
So bitch all you want, ya commies. You can’t kill Halloween!
About Mike Oliveri
Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.