Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Why are you so obsessed with Halloween?"

   I am sure we have all had this question asked of us on many occasions. This year, I find myself fielding this particular one more and more. Depending on the person asking this question, or the way they ask it, the tone ranges from enthusiastic wonder to apathetic sarcasm. For the purpose of this posting, I will be dealing with the latter.

   My latest conversation went something like this :
Clueless - Why are you so obsessed over Halloween?
Me - It's the greatest Holiday during the best time if year.
Clueless - What is so good about this time of year and Halloween?
Me - So many great things happen during this time of year and Halloween is so much fun to celebrate.
Clueless - I just don't get it. It's just another season and some pagan holiday that most people don't celebrate. I just think you are weird.
Me - Yeah that is what my neighbor was telling me last night when he woke up and I was standing over his bed with an ax.
Clueless - Really?
Me - *sigh* I am so sad right now that I will never ever get the time I have wasted on this conversation back.

   This dismal encounter sparked a memory from my childhood. My parent were not convinced the education system was doing it's best for me and were attempting to have me graduate early. A guidance councilor from my local high school was sent forth to evaluate the situation. This woman had such a negative and closed minded disposition, there is no way she could have ever helped any child or family. It just so happened she visited during the week of Halloween. I had taken an inflatable skeleton and dressed it up in mask and robe for the occasion.
   As the sour faced "Negative Nancy" was leaving our home, she looked over to the prop and said in her best "I'm talking to a moron" voice, "You realize this thing is not real. NOTTTTT REEEEEAL. Right?"
   It took me a moment to figure out she was serious, to which I broke out in fake sobs and cried loudly, "He is real! He walks around at night and talks to me. He tells me to do things.... BAD THINGS!".
   I am pretty sure that was not the right thing to do, but even back then I had no tolerance for ignorance or negative people.  After lengthy tests for both intellectual acuity, and mental stability, my parents got their way and the "guidance councilor" continued on to torment and ruin the lives of other families.

   I guess I have always been fighting the good fight for my favorite of holidays. Still people need to know why?
   For me, personally, there are numerous reasons I am "obsessed" with this awesome holiday. Below, you will find my top reasons that I love to spout off when asked. Perhaps they will assist you in answering the next "curious" person who asks you.


      Halloween is during the best time of year, Fall. If Halloween is the star of the show, then Autumn is the stage.
   How does the season play into the grand scheme of a Halloween "obsession"? It sets the pace and mood of  humanity at large. It sets us up for celebration and opens the mind to all things whimsical and fun. This season sets the atmosphere for our holiday of holidays and  puts us all in a good mood. Who doesn't love the majestic beauty that Autumn offers?

    For many of us, we have spent month of weeding, trimming, pruning and *gulp* mowing. Autumn signals the end to these mundane chores of spring and summer.

   Sweltering heat and humidity. Warm weather is welcome but as the dog days of summer stretch on, I think we all look forward to a break in the oppressive sun.

    The end to green, green and more green. Nature's color pallet is fully utilized with the fall foliage, even more so than spring. Don't get me wrong, I like green. I love landscaping, but after months of it, I am ready for change. Change is good! It's the spice of life.

   The air is crisp and campfires/bonfires are actually more welcomed this time of year for heat as well as roasting. So often it is nearly impossible to enjoy a good fire during the summer for hot dogs and marshmallow  because of the heat.

   It is a time of harvest when all the toil and work of spring and summer reward us with corn, pumpkins apples, and squash.

   Festivals, craft days, pick your own pumpkin patches. These are the Autumn lifeblood of small communities.

   This is also the only time if year you can find many commercial pumpkin flavored products such as Pop Tarts, Pumpkin delights, and Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee.

   Creepy nature. With the leaves falling from the trees, this is the only time of year you can find honest to goodness creep factor in nature. 

   The MLB Playoffs and World Series are in October. I am always looking for a chance to see the Yankees choke.

   Football is in full swing. High school, College, and the NFL. My best friend is a high school football coach so it is even more meaningful in my household (GO RC EAGLES!). 
   Fall TV lineup. Finally, after months of re-runs, there are new shows! Old favorites and brand new ones to look forward to every night.

   What does all this have to do with my "obsession" with Halloween? It all plays a part in setting the mood. With all these great things going on in our world, it is easy to see why this time of year excites, inspires, and prepares one for the pinnacle of this seasons celebrations. Let's dig deeper into the mechanics of Halloween.


   The biggest aspect of Halloween is the fear factor. We dress to scare, decorate to horrify, and seek out spine tingling haunts and other attractions, all in the name of the holiday. So what is the big deal about scary stuff?

   Horror films and programs are created, released, and watched by millions year round. Zombies, vampires, ghosts and werewolves are staples of the American media. People love to get scared. The adrenaline rush, the thrill of the shock, the exuberance of surviving it all from the safety of a comfy chair while munching on popcorn. Why would it be such a huge leap to think about celebrating this feeling during the Halloween season? To create a setting in which people can feel that thrill and revel in it for just a short time each year. 

   Even games can't escape the year round horror flavor. When we play games for fun that are shocking, macabre and scary, it goes to show you. Being scared is fun!

   Haunted Houses, Attractions, and Rides are in full force during Halloween but many operate year round with millions flocking to them even during the brightest summer days. All Hallows Eve allows us to bring this adventure into our homes, garages, and yards and share with our community.

   So we have established that the world at large enjoys being scared, thrilled, and shocked but enough of skirting around the topic. Let's go straight for the heart of the matter... Halloween itself!


   Time to dig into the meat and potatoes of the allure of modern day Halloween. Any Halloween Enthusiast can tell you the origins of All Hallows Eve and it's links to the Celtic Samhain, but what is the modern day attraction to this Holiday? What puts the Happy in Halloween?

   Candy, candy, and more candy. Halloween is always associated with Trick Or Treating children everywhere. Who doesn't like the idea of a bag full of candy?

   Trick or Treats! As a kid I loved it! As an adult I look forward to the little kids coming to my door asking for my carefully prepared treats. For a moment it allows me live vicariously through them and sparks off nostalgic memories. It also permits me to scare the living daylights out of them with my yard haunt!

   Costumes. For a brief time, it allows us to pretend to be somebody else. To take on the persona of the famous, the freaky, the fantastic. It enables us to break free from our every day , self imposed, chains of routine and is a blessing in disguise (pardon the pun). It serves as a creative outlet for many of us. Spectacular and intricate costume designs never cease to amaze me every Halloween. Even the store bought costume selections are growing into the realm of the incredible.

   Dressing up your pet. Like the world needs another excuse to put an outfit on our beloved four legged friends. Still, this time of year seems to bring that out in all of us.

   While we are on the subject of costumes, lets not forget the women. Halloween brings something out in the female mind that allows them to drop their inhibitions and go a little wild. That quiet bookworm that you see sitting in the back of the library is going to a Halloween party dressed as a dominatrix tonight! For women, Halloween has taken on a very sexy turn and allows them to shine in all it's glory. Who doesn't love that? (If you say you don't move your game piece back 2 spaces for lying).

   Scary movie marathons, commercials, and specials. Every show on TV worth it's salt has a Halloween special. Even Halloween music pops up on radios and music TV.

   A creative outlet for many people that are blessed with ability. Prop builders, decorators, pumpkin carvers, or just spooky crafts, Halloween bring out the best in many of them.

  Local Haunted Attractions such as Corn mazes, Forests, and Haunted Houses spring up everywhere! Most are for a great non profit cause as well. Help your community while you pee yer pants!

   Decorations. Indoors, outdoors, purchased or hand made, they are great. Whether you are into eerie elegance, bloody massacre, or old fashioned Halloween, the decor is just uniquely amazing. Commercial decoration continues to evolve each year into fantastic items. The creativity and ingenuity of the Halloween Community trumps this with unbelievable objects of art.

   Yard haunts spring up all over the country. Everyday working class Americans haunting their yards, garages, even their own houses just for the joy of sharing the spirit with others. It seems each year I read about more and more of them springing into existence. I wish there were yard haunts back when I was a kid. I would have loved to walk through one to get my treats.

    Terribly creepy but amazingly good foods. What other time of year can you happily munch down on chocolate spider bon bons and eat cheesy meat eyeballs. The creativity of the cook and the imagination of the eater form together to create an experience you can only enjoy during Halloween.

   What scary or sexy costume wouldn't be complete without a Halloween Party? For me, this is one of the best things about the holiday. It takes all aspects of Halloween and crams it into one glorious celebration. The decorations, the creepy food, music, and the haunt, all on display for a single event. A time for reveling in the creativity of the food, atmosphere, and costume design with friends and family. A full on Halloween party is an experience that you wont soon forget.

   So there you have it. This is but a small sampling of why I am "obsessed" with this grand thing we call Halloween. If any of you are subject to such people that question your reasoning behind your love of the holiday, direct them to this post. It may shed some light as to why we, the Halloween Community, have such zeal for it. It may even open their eyes to the many wonders of this time of year. 

    So the next time somebody asks you , "Why are you obsessed with Halloween?!?!?".  Think back to this post and ask them.....

"Why are you not?!?!?"


  1. As a counselor type myself, I have to ask, "You do know that skeleton wasn't real, right?" You don't still keep it with you at night?

    On a more serious note, I love Halloween mostly for the pumpkin spice lattes.... and all the other things you mentioned.

  2. What do you mean? Of course he is real... who do you think was proofreading my post? ;)

  3. I wanted to reply to just about everything your mentioned in agreement. That would turn into a large blog post instead of a comment. So, with that said, this post is absolutely PERFECT! You hit the nail on the head with defining why this time of year is so special to many of us.

  4. I really appreciate the kind words Necropolis. That means so much. I understand what you mean as I had to cut out many of the things I wanted to post about as well. Thank you again for the support!

  5. Awesome post! There are endless reasons to love Autumn and Halloween! I think most of the people who don't get it are just boring, uncreative, and unenthusiastic about life. Believe it or not, I've never been asked this question. That doesn't mean people aren't wondering in their brains, but no one has wondered aloud. I've been obsessed since I was a little kid too.

    What was up with that counselor? I have a question of my own for people like that: "Why do you have to be so unpleasant?" Unfortunately there are a lot of people like that dealing with kids!

    I would actually be interested in hearing the answer to the "Why are you not interested in Halloween?" question.

  6. Sigh! It's Spring here, not Autumn. There will be virtually no trick or treating. Maybe a party or two. There will be a few decorations in the shops, but nothing compared with the U.S. And if they show a spooky movie on t.v. that night, I'll probably fall off my chair! Sigh!

    Spare a thought for we poor Halloween deprived souls in Australia, as we carve our imported $20.00 pumpkins in the blazing sunshine. Oh well, as with every year, where there's a will, there's a way!

  7. Lovely post! Couldn't have expressed my own love for the season better!

  8. Love the post, but you forgot one important thing.... HOCKEY SEASON!!!!!

    Sorry. Die-hard Red Wings fans here! :D

  9. Justine - Couldn't agree with your more. People chose to be unpleasant I fear.

    Little Gothic Horror - I really do feel for you but in my mind, you are more die hard than even me! Keep the spirit alive down under!

    Fatally Yours - Thank you for the kind words!

    Lisa - My deepest apologies....They even wear hockey masks! What was I thinking!?!?

  10. Awesome post. I think the only sane people are the ones who LOVE Autumn and Halloween, the rest are just nuts.

  11. Well put Vivienne! I had a very sports minded friend tell me I was "insane" for dressing up for Halloween. I saw him a few years later at a Steeler's game, painted head to toe in team colors wearing a pair of shorts in the middle of a snow storm, on national TV..... yeah... I'm nuts!

  12. Loved this post!! It pretty much sums up everything I feel about Fall and Halloween too. People around me don't understand why I think about haunting year round. I can't explain it either, I just love it. It's my happy place.

    Here is a little story for you in the realm of counselors, etc. My son was born micro-preemie, he weighed 1 lb. and 1 oz. so it took him about an extra year to develop and grow. When he was 18 months I found out he had cp. When he was 3 I had to have him evaluated for future school plans, etc. The psychologist told me "he will not have an IQ above 50 (anything under 65 is considered retared) he will never be able to function in school, you need to prepart for the worse possible scenerio." That made me so mad I got up and walked out, how could he know any of that with Jake being a year behind? He's in 4th grade now and last year when I got the report showing his IQ was off the charts and he is in gifted reading (he has also taught himself to play guitar now working on drums) I sent that paperwork to the psychologist and wrote in big red letters, "FUCK YOU." Sorry if that is offensive! Why have you wrote this rambling post you say? Ha, just sharing with another Halloween nut! Have an awesome Season!

  13. Kelly - what an incredible story. I shudder to think where I would be had I/my family listened to crusty old negative people. Thanks for being a Halloween nut! You and your son have a wicKED season!

  14. A Great Post!! And I love the response! I find it hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that there are people who DON'T love Halloween! How could someone not??

  15. Exactly! I honestly think they aren't open minded enough.

  16. It's Halloween 365 days a year in my studio and it will always be that way. I am a major Halloween Head.

    This was a totally awesome post. I could have have said it any better. You rock big time!

    Haunt on!

  17. I really think you need to print this off into one of this little booklets we can leave in coffee shops and restaurants to evangelize the Halloween unbelievers. This was hands down the best post I've read. Kudos to you wicKED for putting into words and pictures the heart and soul of why we all love this time of year so much!

  18. Thank you for that. I have sent this link to a few people who I would consider "Halloween Haters". So far I heard back from one who got what I was saying. I may have to print some off and spread them about. I really appreciate the support!

  19. Love it! And just so you know, immediately after the Yankees choked I read this post. Yesssss!

  20. How perfect is that! Thank you pensive.

  21. I'd say all of this was very true. But are you enthused enough by Hallowed Evening to know that the word is Hallowe'en? Hallowed E'en.


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