Why I Think Halloween is Overrated

In elementary school, you always felt slightly bad for that one kid in your class that wasn’t allowed to dress up for Halloween, because of his/her religious beliefs, nor did you truly understand it. As you grew up you learned to respect those types of things, but that wasn’t going to stop YOU from participating.  When you were young, getting to be your favorite princess, a scary monster, or character from your favorite show for a day was pretty exciting. Then you went through middle school and parts of high school and it wasn’t that cool to dress up anymore. As you slowed into your young adult years, you realized that despite the fact that Halloween just seemed to be an excuse for women to wear slutty costumes and men to pick them up, it was actually kind of fun to be someone you weren’t for a change.

At least, this is how I feel Halloween is perceived by most people. Me on the other hand, I have nearly stopped trying. Not because of my religion, or because I think it is uncool, but for quite a few reasons including:

1. After being ditched, uninvited, and stood up on separate occasions, for five years in a row, you eventually conclude that this holiday just has something against you. 

2 The idea of people getting a thrill out of demons, witches, and ghosts could be fun if you were to ignore how real those things could be, but that is not the case. Every year, people get less and less scared, so they search for haunted houses where the people can actually touch you and drag you into other rooms etc. How the hell does that not sound insane? If that were to happen on a regular basis people would be saying things like rape, kidnap, molestation, and murder; yet on Halloween its okay?

3 Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November in central and southern Mexico by the indigenous people who combined their beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones with the Catholic holiday, “All Souls and All Saints Day.” They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight of October 31st where the deceased children are allowed to come down and reunite with their families for 24 hours. Then on November 2nd, the spirits of deceased adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. 

How did, what was originally supposed to be a celebration of the deceased and the welcoming of winter from the dying of earth during fall, become a day when we could find a thrill in scaring people with evil things that can be all too real? How did Halloween become so commercialized and such a cultural norm, when it was originally set aside to respect the deceased? The intention was not to try and call upon them to haunt, communicate, or give people ideas like possession, that in my opinion is too real to joke about lightly. What does it say about our society, that we are getting an adrenaline rush from something so serious? 

If celebrated lightly, for children, Halloween can be fun and full of costumes and treats. However, in my opinion, Halloween should not be used as an opportunity to act as if, for a day, all of the things people would normally protest against, are all of a sudden OKAY. Do I believe it is okay to celebrate and show respect to the deceased? Absolutely. But trying to call upon them, bring them back, communicate, or whatever is not something we as humans should have the right to do. If your deceased loved ones have earned anything, it is the right to rest in peace, and scaring people in haunted houses, movies, with music, or costumes is something that should be taken more seriously. You do not know what a person believes, what they have been through, or even seen. You may think that the intention is just to get you to jump, but all things considered, it represents something that is much deeper than that. Therefore, if you don’t like halloween for one, or all of these reasons, then that is okay and you are not alone.

-M