I think it’s safe to say that most horror authors love Halloween. That has always been true for me. I have more memories of Halloween than I do Christmas or birthdays. I don’t think I was a morbid kid and I didn’t play with road kill in the woods like a future serial killer. It was something about the changing weather, the encroaching darkness as winter draws near, and the way the forest looked in October that intrigued me.
However, kids these days, jeez, let me tell you—they don’t know anything about how Halloween is supposed to be. Back in the 70s we ALL ate apples with razor blades in them and got beat up by the teenagers for our candy, and we turned out just fine [except for those that died, R.I.P. Richie Haber]. We proudly carried our candy in pillow cases and trampled flower beds by cutting through lawns. We dressed up in classic Ben Cooper costumes like ghosts, vampires, cowboys, Indians, and C-3PO. We ran blindly through dark streets wearing plastic masks with no peripheral vision and sucking our last breath through the tiny mouth hole covered in saliva. We took the time to responsibly compost our apple cores by throwing them back at the house that handed out fruit instead of candy. We carved jack-o-lanterns with the officially sanctioned eyes [upside down triangles] and filled them with candles we stole from church, not fancy-pants LED lights. I mean, it’s Halloween, right? Not to mention Devil’s Night on October 30th. What kind of kid doesn’t enjoy TP’ing the neighbor’s house and then apologizing for it the next day? And its let’s not just blame the kids for the suckifying of Halloween. Many adults lack the holiday spirit too.
Out of the hundreds of homes within walking distance of ours (we live in a dense neighborhood with sidewalks built in 1909), about five hand out candy. The others send their own costumed children out the back door while leaving their lights off and front door shut. Karma, dude. Karma. Out of the five that celebrate the holiday, one woman hands out fistfuls of nickels. An elderly man that regularly baths in onion and turpentine leaves a bowl of Necco wafers [gag] on his front porch with a note that tells the children to take one. And those are the houses handing out candy.
The official trick-or-treat time is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the glorious, bright daylight. As for the trick-or-treaters themselves, we get babies coming to the door, infants that don’t have a bag, or teeth, but have a parent that carries them from house to house and says “trick or treat” like some kind of sick ventriloquist. Once they leave, the local high school football team shows up with their game jerseys on, dressed in costume as “athletes” and by the time they leave, we get the drive-thru trick-or-treaters. These parents chauffeur their kids from house to house, letting little porkball Johnny roll up to the door bursting out of a $0.79 Scooby Doo costume from Salvation Army, inhaler in his right hand. For those aforementioned seekers of candy I dip into my suckbowl dish and hand them a yellow lollipop I got from the teller at my bank after I made a deposit.
So please help to stop the suckyfying of Halloween. I want to see vampires, ghosts, and MILFs in sexy maid costumes. If you pull up in front of my house and get out of a car dressed as a “thug” you’d better expect a “yellow flavor” sucker from the bank. That, or I’ll close the front door and shut out my lights.