Tricks, Treats, or the Great Pumpkin?

By Kristian Buckner | Oct 29, 2012

"If human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes on every day of the year, not just Halloween." ~Doug Coupland

Wigs. Face paint. Masks. Outrageous clothing. Halloween is a time where a civilization can don attire to disguise themselves. The one night where anyone can be whom they desire. You don't have to be plain old Joe or Sue, you can be a pirate, a princess, a goblin, or a ghost, and no one will judge. (Unless it's a costume contest.)

Halloween was thought to originate from Celtic traditions, a day known as Samhain. Halloween was known as 'All Hallows Eve' or the day before 'All Hallows Day' or 'All Saints Day.' Anyway, it's thought that on All Hallows Eve or Samhain, the line between the human world and the spirit world becomes so thin that spirits good and bad could pass through. So, in order to ward bad spirits off you could disguise yourself in a costume, and the scarier the costume the less likely it was that the spirits would haunt you.

Today though in modern society, All Hallows Eve has turned into Halloween. A day of fright and sometimes joy, and always candy. Although I must say, we have strayed quite far from the ghoulish creatures once portrayed. Although some still dress frightfully, this costume contest has become that in fact, a contest. The worst of it is the young girls, and the costumes pre-made and readily undersized. Dressing up as a "Sexy Nurse" or a "Sexy Cat." Excuse me, but since when are those scary, and since when are cats sexy? It's something that has left me in wonder, not only how they deem it appropriate, but also how they stay warm.

Costumes have faded away from a fun and frightful evening into something gaudy it seems. The problem I have with Halloween the most is that behind all the gaudiness and greed (for candy) there isn't much room left for it to be anything of what it used to be. It's just another excuse for everyone to escape who they are and branch out into something that they want to be. An excuse to be a "sexy cat."

Why though? Why doesn't everyone dress how they want to every day? Perhaps it's because we would all be aghast more than one day of the year. Western society makes only one night as an acception. The issue that lies here is that we have such an extreme fear of being what we want to be every day, or being something different that maybe we just want to try out, that we won't express that anywhere but on this day. Where perhaps it is all bottled up and then explodes. We all expect you to be normal every day of the year but on Halloween if you are yourself then you aren't included.

By my standards, Halloween is a day to be real when every other day is fake. There is no more room left to be scary. Although that I do miss. It's more than the young girls sexualizing themselves, it's the society telling them to. It's the disappearance of common scary masks and the reappearance of drug store nurse costumes.

I doubt that we'll ever go back to the tradition of All Hallows Eve, or what I once knew Halloween as in movies like "Halloweentown" or shows like "Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin." But for all of you who have decided to be who you want for Halloween, take a moment to remember it's for fun, and you can be who you want any day of the year. (Although you may be shunned by the elders.) For those who don't approve, stay inside, or go to church functions. As for me? I'll be dressed as myself, watching scary movies and keeping a look out for the Great Pumpkin.

Stay safe this Halloween, and dress frightfully.