A Monster reflects on Halloween

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There’s something about “Halloween people”.  If you are one, you probably know what I mean.  We’re a special breed.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re all still individuals but there are common threads whether you’re a crafter, home-haunter, horror movie fan, or whatever.

Unlike other groups, like say bikers or investment bankers, we largely sit dormant and undetectable for most of the year.  Then, we catch a glimpse of orange & black or feel the days getting shorter and all of a sudden, our inner ghosts and goblins come out with a passion.

That passion can manifest itself in any number of ways.  The common thread is that it’s generally good-spirited.  For a holiday that revolves around monsters, scares, and things that go bump in the night, it’s a pretty friendly and social affair.

Sure, we gives gifts for Christmas but on Halloween we give treats to complete strangers.  How cool is that?  A case could be made that the whole shebang is about others.  I’m sure that people enjoy carving pumpkins, making costumes, and decorating their home.  However, how fun would any of these  activities be if nobody saw them but you?  It’s all about sharing the fun.

If you’re reading this, chances are good that you are one of the “Halloween people”.  You probably have friends who listen to you each year, as you regale them with stories of your Halloween activities.  They probably get a big smile on their face, tell you that they think that it sounds like fun, and then promptly get sucked back into their humdrum life.

This year I encourage you to push the  envelope with some of these people.  You know how much fun you have every year, don’t your friends and relatives deserve a taste?  I’m not suggesting that you try to talk your next-door neighbor into building a corn maze in his backyard.  However, if you could get someone to carve a pumpkin with their kids, sit and watch a horror movie marathon with you, or take in a haunted attraction, I bet they’d never forget it.

Halloween is the one precious time of the year when we can all be kids again and enjoy a bit of fantasy.  Everybody could use a bit of that.  Besides, memories made while wearing a costume just last longer.

 

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8 thoughts on “A Monster reflects on Halloween

  1. I very much enjoyed this post. Unfortunately, there are some people who just aren’t all that susceptible to the Halloween spirit. I don’t quite know what is wrong with them… They are just “off” somehow… unable to see the beauty in the season that we see. Maybe it goes back to bad experiences as children or never having any real connection to the holiday. I’m not sure, but I have tried with some people and they just don’t “get it”. Fortunately, this year, I am surrounding myself with people who are very willing to enjoy the holiday and the fun it has to offer. 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      You know, I have to agree with you. I can’t think of any of my other hobbies where friends love to live vicariously through me, yet refuse to partake themselves.

  2. This post is perfect! So well stated about us “Halloween people.” It’s my favorite because it’s all about the sharing with complete strangers, the coolness of the activities, everything you said. From one Halloweener to another: Happy Haunting!

  3. Halloween… for me personally this means a state of mind and feeling reminiscent of being 8 years old and ready for the best night of the year! The smell and swirling eddies of dead leaves; the chill air; the anticipation of ALL that candy; the possibility that a real witch or monster could be lurking right down the street. The smell of raw pumpkin while you were carving a jack-o-lantern, and the smell of that same pumpkin singed and blackened when the night was through. The labored breathing through mouth and nose holes of thin and sweaty masks: Casper; a warty nosed witch;
    frankenstein; a red devil; a princess; a scarecrow; superman, all equipped with a thin and oh so easy to break rubber string. Bobbing for apples; caramel popcorn balls from the same neighbor year after year; shuffling along with friends with no need for parents as the only monsters out back then were pretend. I loved it then and I love it still as it will forever hold the magic and thrill that it did when I was 8 years old, when the moon is on the pumpkin and the ghouls are on the prowl!

    • Thank you for stopping by. Great comment! You certainly bring me back to some fantastic Halloween memories.

      The smells and sights that you describe are very familiar to me. My parents wouldn’t let us head out to trick-or-treat until it was dark enough for cars to have their headlights on. As such, there was plenty of pacing in my driveway, taking in all of the atmosphere.

      Singed pumpkin…check, labored breathing….check, even the neighbor with the popcorn balls!….you didn’t grow up in western, NY did you? I swear, it sounds like you were my next-door neighbor.

      Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a great comment. I hope you have an amazing Halloween.

  4. It was a small town by a small river and a small lake in a small northern part of a Midwest state. There wasn’t so much wilderness around you couldn’t see the town. But on the other hand there wasn’t so much town you couldn’t see and feel and touch and smell the wilderness. The town was full of trees. And dry grass and dead flowers now that autumn was here. And full of fences to walk on and sidewalks to skate on and a large ravine to tumble in and yell across. And the town was full of…
    Boys.
    And it was the afternoon of Halloween.
    And all the houses shut against a cool wind.
    And the town full of cold sunlight.
    But suddenly, the day was gone.
    Night came out from under each tree and spread.
    Behind the doors of all the houses there was a scurry of mouse feet, muted cries, flickerings of light.
    Behind one door, Tom Skelton, aged thirteen, stopped and listened.
    The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.
    Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows’ Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells; gourds being cut, pies being baked.
    The cries behind the locked house doors grew more exasperated as shadows of boys flew by windows. Half-dressed boys, greasepaint on their cheeks; here a hunchback, there a medium-size giant. Attics were still being rummaged, old locks broken, old steamer chests disemboweled for costumes.
    Tom Sketon put on his bones.
    He grinned at the spinal cord, the ribcage, the kneecaps stitched white on black cotton.
    Lucky! he thought. What a name you got! Tom Skelton.
    great for Halloween! Everyone calls you Skeleton! So what do you wear?
    Bones.
    Wham. Eight front doors banged Shut.
    Eight boys made a series of beautiful leaps over flowerpots, rails, dead ferns, bushes, landing on their own dry-starched front lawns. Galloping, rushing, they seized a final sheet, adjusted a last mask, tugged at strange mushroom caps or wigs, shouting at the way the wind took them along, helped their running; glad of the wind, or cursing boy curses as masks fell off or hung sidewise or stuffed up their noses with a muslin smell like a dog’s hot breath. Or just letting the sheer exhilaration of being alive and out on this night pull their lungs and shape their throats into a yell and yell and a…yeeeellll!

    The above is an excerpt from the first chapter of Ray Bradburys “The Halloween Tree”, a book that any self respecting Halloween person must read. Hope you can get a copy and read it before the big night this year!

    • Somehow I had missed it until October of 1996. That was my first year at Haunted Happenings in Salem, MA. I turned the TV on while I was putting on my make-up and the animated version was on.

      I tracked down the book shortly after and agree that it’s a classic.

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