“Safe” Halloween Fun

Sometimes when you read books from earlier times, it’s hard to remember that back then kids were allowed to wander on their own more. On Halloween night, you could go with a group of friends into the dark and visit house to house. At least, that’s what I heard. When I was a kid, we all went by car except for the year when fallen trees blocked the road. We also went to a festival near one of the elementary schools that I attended.

I was reading The Best Halloween Ever, where the kids bemoan their city’s mayor canceling Halloween to avoid chaos and organizing a “safe” school event that doesn’t have any candy or Herdmans, the local hooligans. Our schools always had those Halloween parties with snacks and punch so apart from the lack of candy, that seemed like a rather petty complaint. Then again, I’ve never seen one of those more dangerous activities.

Only two houses on my block are decked out for the occasion this year. We generally don’t decorate for reasons; I’m not exactly sure. Trick-or-treating hasn’t been organized in ages, and the big event will be tomorrow’s block party. Other neighborhoods are having events, but when I mentioned them to my family, we thought about if going out on a weekday was a good idea.

I’m a little disappointed. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and it seems that we have to get into the spirit with less fervor than usual. My plans are streaming movies for my friends so we can enjoy the holiday in our time zones. Still, it’s not the same as being a kid and viewing all of the decorations.

In all honesty, it feels like maybe we are more jaded this year. Halloween is supposed to be fun scary, and right now the world is on fire. How can we laugh at vampires when ordinary human beings are worse than the fanged creatures of the night? Not to mention climate change and school shootings and so many refugees dying in camps?

With that said, I hope to maintain the Halloween spirit. I have my costume for the party and the movies for the occasion. We can retain a modicum of joy and terror, for this occasion. Let’s bring on the candy and the scares.


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