Living Outside The Lines: “All Hallows Eve”

There’s something else I don’t really understand about Halloween; costume choices.

by, Becky j Miller

Ghosts, witches, Jack O’Lanterns, haunted houses, costumes and millions of pounds of candy can only mean one thing, Christmas is right around the corner!! October 31 is the day designated on our Gregorian calendar as Halloween, or the holiday formerly known as, “All Hallows’ Eve.”


Unbeknownst to most people, the holiday we celebrate today actually began as the Celtic festival, Samhain. During this time in history, people wore costumes and lit bonfires to ward off ghosts. Later, around the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as, “All Saint’s Day” with the night before “All Hallow’s Eve.” By the second half of the 19th century, Halloween as we know it was celebrated nationally. 


Halloween as practiced in the 21st century seems a most odd holiday. Think about this for a moment; from the time children are old enough to comprehend, most parents teach their offspring to avoid strangers. You know, the whole, “Stranger Danger” warning. So, why is it parents, that on one day out of 365, we not only allow, but we encourage our children to dress up and knock on strangers’ doors begging for candy?? #scratchesheadforamoment


There’s something else I don’t really understand about Halloween; costume choices. I mean, when I was younger, my friends and I usually dressed up as things we wanted to be; princesses, cheerleaders, angels, a favorite storybook character, favorite singer/actor, superheroes, or silly things like gypsies and hobos. 


Of course, there were always those who preferred the “edgier” costumes like witches, ghosts, and devils, but some costumes today are downright disturbing. Kids walking around with fake hatchets in their skulls and blood dripping down their faces, or as Chuckie from the horror film “Child’s Play”, and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, truly leave me with my mouth hanging open going, “huh?”


What parent dreams of their child growing up to be a psychotic killer? Or of that same child dying a tragic death from blunt force trauma to the skull? No one. So, why do we find it entertaining when our children dress up in this manner? Honestly, I’m not judging, to each their own. I’ll hand out candy no matter the costume choices, but this practice truly leaves me bumfuzzled.


Did you know that trick or treating can be traced back to a European practice of “mumming or guising” where costumed participates had to perform choreographed dances before they received treats?? Can you imagine the time consuming process, every time the doorbell rings? Instead of hearing, “trick or treat” music begins and you are now a captive audience to three minutes of a synchronized N’SYNC performance? 


Here’s another interesting tidbit about Halloween, costumed children in groups, with a common goal, such as candy, are much more likely to engage in nefarious acts such as vandalism or theft, a phenomenon known as deindividuation


One last Halloween, “things that make you go hmmm” observation.…many of us limit our children’s sugar consumption, right? So, what makes Americans purchase over 600 million pounds of Halloween candy annually?? Temporary insanity?? In actual dollars, that’s $44 per household spent on Halloween candy? #wow 


However, you choose to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween; In the words of my Halloween tee, “You Do You Boo!”



Until Next Time,

Becky J Miller

“Warrior Princess”

Becky J Miller is a contributor and is exclusive to SM Corridor News. You can read more of Becky’s columns in Lifestyle.

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