Regardless of opinion, l think Halloween is the perfect holiday. Where else can you be anything you want and not be considered twisted, perverted, or take a chance on being a recipient for a formal straight jacket, plus you get a reward of free candy just for showing up unannounced at a stranger’s home. Jack the Ripper is the man of the hour and Frankenstein is always in vogue without anyone being politically incorrect, unless you run into the occasional anal personality who felt cute is the right thing on a holiday where death and disfigurement is acceptable. Even a figure like a fairy can have a dark side.
Dress them as a pumpkin; dress them as Mickey Mouse, always a winner. I tend to lean toward the brighter side of things such as Dracula with an attitude or a vicious werewolf who throws caution to the wind and leaps into a crowd of Ivey League College students to have an after dark snack. My kind of guy!
Let’s get serious here. There are limits to what you can do on Halloween actually. There are certain characters that just do not fit into the scheme of things. We represent on the whole monsters, death, super heroes and destruction. This is the only time of the year where a child is not told “You can’t watch that, it is not for children.” What we do not portray is the serious true life monster. Never dress your trick or treater, or your adult party animal as a serial killer. Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler and a host of others including members of the latest terrorist organizations are sure to make you the pariah among your fellow fans from hell. We do have protocol after all.
Let’s take away the free candy for a second and look around. Grimm’s Fairy Tales and other stories we have read to our children were loved and we consider them safe. I get a really good laugh out of this when I think about it. You read the story to them, tell them to have sweet dreams and kiss them goodnight. Your little princess or prince, whichever the case may be, is celebrating Halloween every night and you don’t realize it.
The Ogre at the bridge, the princess locked in the tower, Red Riding Hood terrorized by a wolf, and my buddy Walt giving us the immortal stories where a princess goes into a coma and is taken care of by total strangers with psychological quirks. They called themselves dwarves and march off every day to a mine. Then we have a wicked woman who stole the Dalmatians and hangs around with street thugs. What happened here? A wicked lady with an apple fetish tried to kill the princess. Oh geeze, Dad just called me princess before he kissed me good night. The next morning you wonder why little Suzy doesn’t want an apple for school. The argument that the apple is good for his or her health flops because we have told her about sleeping beauty. Packed with vitamin C did not give you an edge here.
Maybe little Johnny doesn’t want to go to school, not because of a bully, but Mrs. Clingman teaching him third grade looks and sounds like the witch on the Wizard of Oz. On the upside we have history and are teaching them to celebrate a pagan holiday. Puritans condemned it. Thanks to the Irish and the Scotts by the first decade of the 20th century Halloween was being celebrated coast to coast by all races and religious backgrounds.
How awkward it sounds to realize the celebration of a pagan holiday representing the dead and allowing them to return on a certain date would bring everyone together and agree once a year. Religion couldn’t proclaim that mighty feat, nor could any government, politician, or peace loving, tree hugging, hippy. This wasn’t accomplished with guns, threats, or blackmail. It was accomplished with the ability to become something you are not and receive special treats for doing what you love.
When you dress the wee one for Halloween this year smile pretty, and tell them to pay no attention to the witch behind the shrubbery. Her broom is for cleaning the walk. The peaked hat and black dress, well let’s face it; she is making a fashion statement. There is a lot more to this story but I really feel any more confusion of the facts for our loved ones would be just another Hallows Eve nightmare.