Let’s Go to the Graveyard!

 

 

 

A velvety, black night, fog curling around the edges of trees, a gleaming yellow moon, and a black cat slinking past you. Chills run down your spin as you walk home in the purple dusk because there are smiling jack-o-lanterns in windows. Halloween arrives with this haunted suspense that’s also exciting. You get to dress up and eat sweets. You go to a haunted house or hayride with your friends and you clench each other tight as you scream and it’s terrifying and you wonder why you’re doing this to yourself. But with the terror comes a rush as your heart races and you tremble and then you’re laughing with your friends.

That rush offers a kind of relief. A relief from the stress of midterms and the realization that it’s halfway through the semester and there are so many things you have to do. Going out and getting scared can be good for you, for you forget about everything else except for that zombie running towards you wanting to eat your brains. However, it is important to take into account mental illnesses/disorders and phobias. It can get scary sometimes so take care and know your limits.

I happen to be a scaredy-cat. I don’t watch horror movies, I never went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal City Walk, I don’t like small spaces or clowns, and I barely sucked up the courage to watch American Horror Story. But I am so glad we live in a world where there are Halloweens. I remember coming home from school and lounging on the couch, sipping on hot cocoa and watching all the classics: Halloweentown, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Twitches, Harry Potter, and all those Halloween editions of my favorite TV shows—that was back when homework didn’t take all evening, all night, and into the next day.

Picking out costumes was also the best thing, and of course I dressed up my dog too. I loved running down the lamplit streets at night, going from house to house in a group, marveling at the decorations and collecting enticing treats. Counting them afterwards and trading away the ones we didn’t like (say no to almond joys). My memory of Halloweens past is full of laughter, high spirits, and over indulging on chocolate.

I truly wish I was still young enough to trick-or-treat, but I still enjoy the season. Back in early August I walked into Ralphs to do some grocery shopping and saw a section for Halloween candy, a good two months early. It made me smile. Because even though the spirit of Halloween is meant to be eerie and dark, it too brings some holiday cheer. People get to decorate and have monster-themed parties and eat pumpkin-shaped cookies. You could brave a haunted maze or go to a graveyard with friends and perform moon spells because why not? For some days our minds are preoccupied and we worry and we stress and we forget to be gentle with ourselves. But there are many simple ways to rejuvenate our minds and lighten our hearts. So whether you go out or cozy up with a spooky movie, find a way to embrace the spirit of Halloween.