“I just don’t like to be scared.”
So there you have it. That’s the reason I don’t really like Halloween. It’s the same reason I don’t see horror movies. I just don’t enjoy it.
Yes, I know, especially in America, the day is supposed to be about fun and creative costumes and candy. Those details don’t scare me at all. I worked hard to make it a fun experience for my own children when they were small.
Here’s what I don’t enjoy:
- It’s the part about someone hiding and jumping out from behind some object unexpectedly.
- Or, the part about intentionally submitting to being scared in this way in the form of a haunted house activity.
- Or, the part about having to inspect the treats received because there are twisted people in the world who have put poison or needles or some other hazard in them as some sort of pathological joke.
- It’s about people who would harm others to entertain themselves that makes me less than enthusiastic about the general practice of trick or treating in any public way.
- The greed that drives the day — from the consumerism to the open contempt offered by children and adults alike if they aren’t happy with the treat you offered.
Add to that mix a childhood during which I was bullied and teased a lot, so I never really felt safe when I didn’t know who someone was (i.e., behind a mask). That doesn’t scare me now, but it’s a part of this whole, to be sure. Then add the grown up concerns of keeping my children safe and properly supervised. Lastly, add that I’m an introvert. It just isn’t a great recipe for me.
To be clear, I’m only making reference to the cultural practices, not the spiritual background of the day. Like my friend Adam McLane, I believe there is much a believer can do to be good news in the neighborhood for Halloween. [Click here to read his excellent post on ways to be exactly that.] I’ve happily participated in parties, events and gatherings on Halloween, so long as they were without many of the elements above.
I’m just not a Halloween fan. Some people are, and I’m perfectly OK with that difference.