Alcohol– Like any other holiday that we Americans celebrate, Halloween is just another good excuse to get hammered. I mean, why should the kiddies have all the fun? The urchins wreck their pancreases with a sucrose overload, so why can’t you destroy your liver with ethanol? Quid Pro Quo, right?
Black Cats– Halloween is rich with symbols and one of the most important is the Black Cat. In ancient times, the superstitious thought that witches could transform themselves into black cats, who were a symbol of bad luck. Always in need of a punching bag to demonize, Christians have long persecuted women who they claim were witches and their hell-spawn black cats. Even today, otherwise normal humans are afraid of black cats. Go figure.
Costumes– Back in the day, there were no Halloween costumes to speak of. At best, you had some cheap hard plastic mask held on your face by a flimsy rubber band. Maybe you could steal some lipstick and shoe polish and paint your face. Mostly you just went around as is, with a grocery sack or pillow case to collect your goodies. Today kids are decked out in costumes that rival Broadway Shows, and that can cost hundreds of dollars at amazon.
Devil– Always blamed for all the misery and sins of mankind, The Devil receives special attention on Halloween. Of course, like his counterpart, God, no one has ever seen this Devil, but no matter. Halloween is the time for the Religiously Impaired™ to stretch their fears and paranoia to the limit.
Eggs- I know that this ABC is just drenched in my own nostalgia, but back in the day, eggs weren’t just for Easter and harmless egg hunts. Kids took Trick-Or-Treat’n seriously and refusal to pony up the goods might just result in an egged auto, soaped windows, a toilet-paper rolled yard, or worse.
Fright Night– Halloween used to be just an afterthought of a holiday. Today it is a commercial blockbuster, rivaling Thanksgiving or Christmas. There are huge Halloween parties, block parties and even costume dress up at the workplace. Here I am at my traditional block party held by one of my friends. Pretty scary, eh?
Goblin Giveaway– Even when I was a little kid, Halloween and Trick or Treating was generally frowned upon, in spite of its relative harmlessness. In order to try and keep kids from becoming too sugar-crazed and destructive, the Goblin Giveaway was instituted. This was a lame live TV show that featured drawings of kids names to receive a prize. The hitch was that you had to be at home and call the TV station to claim your prize (some worthless trinket). Remember, no cell phones back then.
Halloween-(what else?) Halloween is an ancient holiday, and like most other holidays the Christians have to somehow get involved. For your own good, of course! “Hallow” is similar to holy, and “ween” is similar to eve, so of course the Twice Born somehow feel compelled to save us from ourselves having a good time. How dare we taint this Holy Eve with something that might be frivolous or fun? If Christians have ordained themselves to be miserable, then by Jesus, everyone else must feel miserable about any accidental enjoyment of life.
Insulin– Halloween is a holocaust for the pancreas, as most kids collect enough candy to induce a diabetic coma. Kids’ bodies are young and tough, though, having not yet succumbed to the ravages of decades of alcohol and carbohydrate abuse like their parents. However, it is not unusual for insatiable kids to show up at the ER for a stomach pump, or the next day at the dentists to replace fillings dislodged by too many Starbursts.
Jack Chick Tracts– No one loathed, demonized or feared Halloween more than Jack Chick. Chick produced at least 8 Halloween tracts, vividly demonstrating some his most disgusting fear-mongering. Black cats were sacrificed on the altars of Satanists, kids died and went to Hell for merely trick or treating, and an innocent and fun holiday is turned into a chamber of unspeakable horrors by this paranoid fundamentalist nit-wit. Now, with Jack Chick firmly in the grave, his tracts are merely a source of much parody and lulz, but are still distributed and sold.
Kandy Korn– Again, in keeping with my nostalgia theme, back in the day people had not yet been terrorized by the Tylenol Killer or sadists who put foreign objects in apples (see below). Nowadays all candy treats are hermetically sealed and examined by fretting parents before allowing the kiddies to dive in. In ancient times you got things like homemade popcorn balls and cookies, but no more. The worst of the worst was the random handful of the hated Kandy Korn, a food so inedible that it would be ignored by starving Somalians at a U.N. airdrop. (also see the reference to the dentist)
Laxatives– In spite of the stern admonishment and instructions from parents, the holiday-crazed kiddies will overindulge with the candy. This is usually no big deal; things will work themselves out. Sometimes, though, paranoid parents will envision a plaster of paris blockage in the colon of their precious hell-spawn because of all the candy, and administer laxatives prophylactically. The addition of the peristaltic stimulant to the already festering trick or treat candy will most likely result in hideous bathroom lamentations, the true horror of Halloween.
Masks and Monsters– Halloween masks at the minimum and full-blown theatrical costumes are a must for Halloween fun. Not only do the kiddies now dress to the max, but adults also are joining in the fun. And why not? Below are masks of Halloween Present and Halloween Past, who are plotting and scheming this year’s shenanigans.
Nightmare Before Christmas– This masterpiece by Tim Burton is by far the best Halloween/Christmas hybrid movie ever made and one of the top 10 Christmas Movies as well. This aptly titled movie was not only a masterpiece, but the title aptly predicted the debacle that was to come. Halloween is just a gateway to the biggest and most bloated holiday of all, Christmas.
Orange Is the color of the day. Orange pumpkins, orange leaves and even an orange harvest moon to help usher in the season. Orange is also a reminder of something grimmer than Goblins, Devils and Witches. The Cheeto Idiot In Chief who used to occupy The White House, but is now headed for prison.
Pumpkins– The quintessential symbols of Halloween, the carving of pumpkins into scary Jack-O-Lantern faces has always been a joyous Halloween tradition. You can even order a Pumpkin MAGA Trump hat for $45.00 if you have more money than sense.
Quitting Time- Hordes of knee-highs and thigh-highs have come to your door like the cute cherubs that they are. Mostly they start arriving around dusk, and with their parents who dutifully carry flashlights. Around 7:00 or so, the good feelings about Halloween and Trick or Treat have started to wane, but you know what is coming. The teenagers and hooligans come late, and you consider your options of shutting down, turning off the lights and suffering vandalism outside, or remaining open for a while, and risking a Clockwork Orange style home invasion. Trick Or TREAT.
Razor Blades in Apples– This is the dark side of Halloween. As I mentioned above (Kandy Korn) Halloween, like every other aspect of the American Dream, used to be a safer, gentler time. Well-meaning housewives made rice-Krispies squares and homemade cookies to give away as treats. Not anymore. To do so now would be asking to be taken away from your house in cuffs, or shot. The RAZOR BLADE IN THE APPLE urban legend damn near ended Trick or Treating for good.
Spiders– Along with Devils, Demons, Witches, Black Cats and other paranoid nonsense, spiders are feared and loathed, especially during Halloween. Spiders do immense good for this planet, and without them we would be overrun with insects. The spider web is one of the engineering marvels of nature, a death trap not for us, but for the insects that would destroy our crops and invade our homes. As a tribute, humans mock this useful arthropod with ridiculous caricatures of them and their webs.
Trick Or Treat- Oh, My, Goat, What else? What, other than the venerable pumpkin is the symbol of this sacred holiday? Trick or Treat. A harmless concept as it is perceived, but in essence it is a threat, and not a veiled one either. GIMME, or ELSE! A logical analysis of this time-honored convention should result in a resounding groundswell of resentment and resistance against this coercion. But no, we as timid American consumers buy into and support yet another useless (but fun) holiday that swells the coffers of rich corporations. Trick or Treat, indeed.
U- Until/Unless I come up with something better, it is Matt Cale’s underwear. Not everyone is a fan of holidays, and that includes Halloween. If you are sick of it all, answer the door with nothing but your skivvies on, no candy, and Peter North Porn blaring in the background. If the kids cry and the parents blanch in shock, too bad. It is your house and your choice to participate or not in just another meaningless cash-grab holiday.
Vampires and their silver-bullet hating buddies, Werewolves are the very essence of Halloween costumes and horror movie icons. From Bela Lugosi to Klaus Kinski vampires have struck terror into the religious and non-religious alike. I have to give vampires the nod as silver bullets are much harder to come by than wooden stakes, garlic, mirrors and Roman torture instruments.
Witches– Even more so than Vampires and Werewolves, Witches are a villain character of the Halloween cast. I’ll be bold enough to state that the venerable Witch riding the broom is second only to the Jack-O-Lantern in Halloween symbols. When you throw in the Black Cat, you have a tandem second to none for Halloween fear and fun, depending on what side of Christian Fundamentalism you fall on. This is all fun and games until you realize how many people were actually executed for being witches.
X- means “Christ.” as in Xmas– Why am I including this in Halloween? Well, I obviously need an “X”, but ironically Halloween is just about the only holiday that Christians cannot shoehorn their precious Jesus into. This just adds to the frustration and paranoia and the result is things like Jack Chick Tracts.
Yesterday was Halloween and you know what is looming. It is not just all the empty-calorie candy that will eventually be consumed or quietly thrown away. The pounding head and aching bowels will too soon pass, but you know what is now upon you. From this day forward, with only a delicious 4 day weekend speed bump for Thanksgiving, Christmas will be in full swing. Get ready for it.
Zombies- Zombies are the perfect Halloween monsters and this is one instance where Christians and heathens alike can find common ground. The greatest zombie in all of history was Jesus Christ himself, and the greatest zombie invasion occurred as described in Matthew 27:51-53 “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.