Halloween is coming up on October 31. It is not an occasion that I particularly care for and I did not encourage my own children to take part in it for many reasons. I don’t get the fascination with zombies and ghosts and the supernatural in general, and this holiday’s activities give them a patina of credibility that is unwarranted. I also don’t like the emphasis on gorging on candy. I especially don’t like the ‘trick or treat’ aspect, the underlying principle essentially consisting of going door to door, accosting strangers, and extorting candy from them, even if it is done in fun.
Having said all that, we do stock up with candy and hand it out to the children who come to our door, mainly because many of them are neighborhood children whom we know, and the little ones do look cute in their costumes. But I also notice that we get quite a lot of children who seem to come from elsewhere, being dropped off by parents in cars, which suggests an organized effort to accumulate candy that seems excessive. And there are even people who look like they are in high school and don’t even bother with costumes. One would have thought that they would have outgrown the attraction of getting free candy.
What would be fun without all the downsides listed above is having a party for little children where they get to dress up in costumes and play games and get candy. That would be fine by me.
But what I dislike most about Halloween and astonishes me is how much adults have gotten into it and, as often the case with adults, go over the top and go to great lengths trying to find ways to terrify children, as in this case, where an outdoor decoration of corpses was so realistic that it resulted in the police being called in.
Why would you try and scare children (and even adults) so much? Inexplicably (to me at least) is that people seem to take a perverse pride in doing so.