Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
I suppose eerie is an appropriate word for this day, since it celebrates death with ghosts and skeletons and horror movies and sugar overloads.
I’m old enough to remember when Halloween was just a fun time for all the kids in the neighborhood to go out in costumes (usually self-made) and gather candy, cookies, and apples from the neighbors. Our parents didn’t drive us to neighborhoods where there were lots and lots of people in a block or two. We went on foot in groups of five or ten, and we stayed pretty much within our own familiar neighborhood. Most of the adults knew us, even though we sometimes painted our faces or wore masks. That made it even more fun, really, since most of our neighbors were the parents of the kids we were with.
(This could have been a picture of my neighborhood in the 50s)
We never heard about people putting razor blades in apples or poisoning the candy. Homemade goodies were valued highly. We never thought about danger. It was just fun.
Now, I’m perfectly well aware that Halloween, historically, has always had elements of witchcraft, devil worship, and so on. I’m sure there were terrible things that happened, completely unknown to us. That sort of thing didn’t hit the news, though, until sometime in the 70s and 80s, when a lot of us parents were no longer willing to let our kids go without supervision. One year, when our kids were all 10 and under, we had a Fall Party at our house instead of going out trick-or-treating. It was great fun. The kids loved it. We did all the old-fashioned things like bobbing for apples and making taffy.
Nowadays, Halloween has become a great money-maker for the folks who sell costumes, decorations, and bagged candy. Somewhere, I read that it’s the most lucrative holiday, aside from Christmas, in America today. Some people decorate just as much for Halloween as they do for Christmas. There are always new horror movies that draw crowds and keep the cash registers ringing.
I watched a horror movie once, when I was pretty young. An old black-and-white vampire movie. I don’t remember much about it except that pretty women kept getting bitten on the neck by weird guys with fangs. It didn’t scare me. In fact, I remember wishing it was over. My parents must have been gone, or we would never have watched something like that.
I’ve never seen the more modern movies, with chain saws and scissors for hands and so on. Don’t want to see them. They’re hideous.
I am sad, though, to live in a neighborhood where the houses are just far apart enough that there are no gangs of dressed-up kids running from house to house. In fact, we never get any kids here, in the 22 years we’ve lived in this house. I quit buying “just-in-case” candy a long time ago.
Ah, the good old days 🙂