When did Halloween become so dark?

I was driving to Mass this week, and I drove by a house that had decorated for Halloween. These folks went all out, there were cobwebs everywhere, tombstones, the whole nine yards, but what really got me was their main decoration in the middle of their yard. It was this huge ghoulish figure surrounded by a circle of ghostly supplicants. It was like looking at some demonic ritual from a movie. Honestly, it scared me a good bit, I was truly unnerved. I am a bit bothered that children driving by could see it.

Halloween when I was a kid was really a rather benign affair. We would dress up as a ghost or a teenage mutant ninja turtle, and head off to get as much free candy as we could. There was always the contest of who got the most, and we would measure out our bags of candy against everyone else. I can’t recall anything really scary at all. Maybe there was one or two houses that were really into it, but it was not the norm at all. (Incidentally, I also remember those were the same houses that went all out for Christmas, those folks just liked decorating!)

My parents never went to a halloween party, and I don’t remember my teachers dressing up. It just wasn’t an adult thing. It was all about watching how cute the kids were, and tossing them some sugar while watching tv.

Now, it seems the kids are almost becoming an afterthought, and halloween has become some sexy, frightening thing. I have a friend who used to own a lingerie store, and he mentioned once to me that they made more money for Halloween than for Valentines Day. Think about that for a moment, let it sink in. Valentines Day lingerie is, (hopefully…) for husbands and wives, a special night to remember the love you share. Halloween lingerie is for everyone to see. There is something really spooky going on with Halloween, and it goes way beyond the macabre.

It’s just getting dark. I’m not sure I want to do this anymore. I love seeing the cute kids come to my door, but I hate driving around town feeling like evil has invaded everywhere. It’s not a happy day anymore.

Alright, rant over.

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