Published on Friday, September 30, 2016 by Gail Finch
Along with the leaves and cool breezes, October is a month that gives rise to the Fall spirit. However, that’s not the only spirit that rises in the tenth month of the year. The age old tradition of dressing up in costumes and going house-to-house looking for candy for the sake of a child’s enjoyment is usually what comes to mind when talking about Halloween, but for an ever growing group of people, Halloween is so much more than that. It’s about the scary, the spooky, the freaky, and the weird.And it’s not just one day; it’s the entire month.
Halloween has always been a big part of my life, even as a small child. I remember being a little girl and dressing up as a witch as my go-to costume for a good bit of my childhood. As I got older, the feeling at the end of the night when I knew I got a good candy haul was the best thing ever. Sorting out the good and the bad candies was fun but tedious as I had to separate them into a spectrum of best to worst depending on my tastes at the time. It was kind of depressing when I got too old to go out trick-or-treating, but that didn’t mean the fun had to end.As I grew older, I came to realize that there’s more to Halloween than just the main event at the end of the month; there’s an entire world to explore.
Another important part of Halloween is the costumes. Since the beginning of the Halloween tradition, costumes have been used to ward off the spirits of the dead that rise every year. Over the years it’s evolved into character costumes and the oversexualization of anything companies could think of ruining the sanctity of the beloved cartoons we grew up with.
Scary movies and Halloween specials are integral to the Halloween spirit, There’s always an onslaught of horror flicks playing on different channels, things like Child’s Play, Poltergeist, The Blair Witch Project, Friday the 13th, Scream, and The Exorcist to name a few. The more kid friendly Halloween specials are films like The Scary Godmother, Halloweentown, and Hocus Pocus have become cult classics for an entire generation of children– and even adults now– that will continue to bring joy for decades to come.
I would be committing a major Halloween crime if I did not mention Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Not only is it acceptable to watch year round, but especially on Halloween and Christmas, as it blends the two holidays into one. It has universal themes that don’t restrict it to just the last three months of the year, and much like the cult classics mentioned before, it will continue to influence generations to come.
Another thing to experience during the month of Halloween is a haunted house. Even a wuss like me can appreciate a good scare every now and again, and usually there’s at least one or two local haunted houses running all month long. The thrills and chills that follow can keep someone up at night, but trading haunted house experiences and stories is fun no matter what time of year it is.
In the midst of all of the scares and tricks comes the part everyone loves most: the candy. Yes, there are many holidays that have, as of the recent few decades, become centered around candy, but it’s Halloween’s claim to fame. It’s when big bags of candy are cheap because so many people buy them for little children who go door-to-door in search for the best candies they can get. So, as an excuse to have a supply of Milky Way on hand, there’s always the option of stocking up during trick-or-treating season.
Now, there’s a pressing issue when it comes to holidays. Stores often display holiday stuff months before the actual holiday, the main offender being Christmas. Halloween isn’t as bad, as there’s usually Halloween stuff at the end of September and all of October and it’s pretty great, and there’s no other holiday to be run over like Christmas does with Thanksgiving. The thing is, Halloween is the entire month of October. With the Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks and the Halloween themed events taking place, the spirit of Halloween stretches the full 31 days. However, Christmas is only limited to 25 days no matter what anyone says. The holiday at the end of the December, and then New Year’s comes around to wash out the remains of Christmas past even if there’s still leftover eggnog. The only holiday allowed to linger for an entire month is Halloween.
Whether you’re a casual fan of the holiday, or never fail to get yourself into a Halloween state of mind, there’s no doubting that Halloween is not just a holiday that lasts a few hours on the 31st of October, but a month long joyride of candy, spooks, and all around fun .