It’s that time of year again. I gleefully walk into the temporary outlets of spooky where all of my Halloween needs can be found: zombie rats, life-size skeletons, grave stones, reapers, spider webs, fog, black lights, glow paint, dripping blood, ghouls, specters…you know, the basic necessities. Here was the most frightening thing of all:
GAH!!! I’m a fan of Beetlejuice, him being a dead guy and all, but this was not the ghostest with the mostest. In fact, THIS was apparently a set of the most popular costumes of 2013. Can I say Bah Humbug?? Is there such a thing as the Halloween Grinch? If so, here I am. Halloween has gotten so far from its origins. Nowadays, the scariest thing about a prepubescent child star in a onesie featuring a drunk teddy bear is that her PR team didn’t barricade her in an office in lieu of showing up at the MTV Awards dressed like that.
Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. Samhain. Originally, a night you didn’t want to be out and about. Why? No matter where you were raised, the origins dictate that it is the night that the dark gods, faeries and spirits of the dead walk the earth, their one chance to abscond with whomever they perceive to be living. The idea was this: “mumming” or “guising”, aka “Dress up to fool those that would do you harm”. Other fun Samhain activities: light a bonfire to protect and to cleanse. And if you had to travel, you carry a carved turnip lantern with you to ward off evil. In fact, cover your doorstep in carved gourds and let the candles burn all night for protection. If you WERE brave enough to go from home to home, you asked for food to celebrate the end of harvest and the beginning of winter (keeping in mind that, as the keeper of the household, to not donate food would bring misfortune or, possibly, a “trick”.) In the Christian influenced Hallowmas, “It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities”.
So… if you’re out and about on Halloween begging for sugar while dressed as the progeny of Hollywood elite, good luck and God Speed. Don’t be surprised if you hear footsteps just behind you but you can’t see the source. Stay in the light and stick to the well trod paths. Oh, and definitely stay off the moors. Consider yourself warned.