Another Halloween memory from my childhood is the tradition of bobbing for
apples on that night. There were two ways to do this. One was to put the apple
on a string and let it dangle from the ceiling. The trick was to try to take a
bite as the apple swung. If a person tried to take a bite by pushing the apple
into a door or some other object, this meant elimination. The second and
probably the best-known tradition was to bob for the apple in a tub of water. Am
I generating some memories here?
My best memories of Halloween center around school. As junior students we would
be treated to a bus trip on that afternoon. The highlight when I was in Grade
III was the evening concert. Directed by our supervisor, several of us sang two
songs and many people said we stole the show. On another Halloween one of the
students dressed up as a police officer. During the festivities he entered the
gym and the superintendent greeted him by saying: "Good evening,
officer!" At that point he removed his mask and this resulted in a goodly
number of laughs.
Great article. Personally,i love dressing up, but I hate the scary stuff. To
each their own, but I find it kind of weird that we "celebrate" what on
every other day we would avoid, and use it as an excuse to dress up as things we
would never do. It's one thing to dress up as a princess or a doctor,
it's another to dress up as a mass murderer. I've never quite
understood why we keep up with that part of the holiday. But like I said, to
each their own.I do, however, love the community aspect. When else do you
interact so much with your neighbors?
If I'm not mistaken, Christmas has roots in paganism...A fat old man
riding around on magical reindeer at night in December. Just change that to a
woman flying on a magical broomstick in October.Halloween is what you make
it out to be. If you think it invites evil spirits into your life then maybe
it's because of having fun, you think evil spirits are coming into your
life.I'm a very active and devout Mormon and I love Halloween. I know
some members who won't even tell ghost stories, at any time of the year,
because they think it invites evil spirits.I disagree but to each their
own. Let me have my fun on Halloween, you can do other stuff and we won't
judge each other (in public at least).
Halloween origins aside, my issues with the holiday deal are mostly money, diet,
and perhaps anxiety. As seniors, on a limited budget, my spouse and I are hard
pressed by the almost mandatory outlay of funds to hand out sweets at the door.
Since homemade goodies get tossed to the dogs, or in the gutter (Oh no, they
might be poisoned!), the only treats kids will accept are high priced candies,
which we end up throwing out because we don't eat them. Then there's
the reality that the begged 'goodies' kids glut on for days afterward
are just plain 'baddies' - ask the doctors and dentists. Then
there's the anxiety. We've lived in 9 states in our almost 50 years of
marriage, and we've seen some pretty mean behavior from Halloween
celebrants like damaged property and cars, as well as children and adults
terrorized and injured - not kidding. We've been toilet papered and egg
bombed and had a couple of windows broken when we chose to not hand out sweets.
Sure, there's a lot of fun, but not for everyone. Originally, it was about
mischief, and appeasing evil spirits. Not a lot has changed. Just the hours.
Kids come to be appeased almost all day now. And mischief knows no hours.
I lived in New Jersey and there's a thing called mischief night over there
on the night before Halloween and it has become a huge celebration for the day.
Pretty much people steal, graffiti, and do whatever they want. I agree with a
lot of the article. That is where I think Halloween is headed. I'm fine if
kids want to dress up, but I don't care for the demonic stuff. If you let
your kids dress up like something devilish it no longer becomes something in
good fun to me.
I encountered a "real" haunted house and "real" demonic
possession while on my mission in Ohio.I've never been that
much into Halloween since. But hey, let the kids have fun.
I am terribly disappointed by many of the comments here. They show a decidedly
immature lack of confidence in one's own choices.My family
really enjoys Halloween. We also enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter,
Independence Day, Pioneer Day, etc. I also observe the Sabbath on Sunday even
to the exclusion of engaging in secular celebrations that might otherwise fall
on that day.We have dear friends who don't observe some or all
of these holidays due to religious or personal beliefs. Some of they worship
on Saturday. Some are much more strict about Sabbath observance than I am;
others are less strict. Some drink, some don't eat pork. My
life has been enriched by my association and friendships with these good people.
We enjoy mutual respect. They don't tell me I'm going to hell for
dressing up and passing out candy, I don't mock or ridicule them as being
needlessly uptight. Respect is almost a meaningless word among
homogenous groups who agree with each other. Respect and tolerance are
exercised really only when confronted with differences. We should learn from
and appreciate each others' beliefs even where we disagree.
Halloween is so much fun that some of us like to get dressed up as characters
several times a year: comic-cons, fantasy-cons, horror-con, and renaissance
See, this is the kind of pearl-clutching, churlish nonsense that continues to
make me more and more hostile towards the religious fringe. I don't care
what the roots of the holiday were. I don't care about ancient pagan this
or that. Bottom line . . kids tend to like spooky stuff and get a benign thrill
out of it. And, yes . . it's harmless fun, full stop. Maybe I
just trust myself and my kids enough to be able to differentiate between fantasy
and reality. Apparently the more religious you are, the less you're able or
willing to do this . . and that's telling. If you see a skeleton or a
zombie and are thinking it has anything to do with reality, you're not
someone I'm going to be able to have much of a conversation with. Why? I just won't respect you. I can't. If I told you I literally
believed in the Easter Bunny, you wouldn't respect me. You might pretend
to, but you would think I had a screw loose. That's how I feel about people
that take Halloween-style "evil" seriously. Just stop it. You've
"grown up" wayyyyy too much for your own good.
Nothing like Christopher Lee in a great Dracula movie on Halloween.
I get to 'celebrate' halloween on Sunday the 31st. Faith keeps some
from embracing it.
As a kid, Halloween was second only to Christmas as my favorite holiday. Even
now, I let myself enjoy an inviting piece of Halloween candy. Halloween has an
interesting history that I won't take with distressing seriousness.
It's still fun.
Halloween may have had roots in pagan rituals, but that is a thing of the past.
Christmas did not begin as a celebration of Jesus' birth either. Halloween
is and has been for my entire life, a fun "holiday" for children, where
they can dress up like some monster or other and go around the neighborhood
begging for candy from all their neighbors & friends. Any religion that
would interfere with children having 1 day a year to have some good, clean, fun,
is a religion I would want no part of. Some religion's only purpose is to
prevent people from enjoying the small things in life that make it worth living.
Thanks, but no thanks.
There are some traditions around the edges of Halloween (like spook alleys and
horror movies) that I, personally, don't enjoy very much. Heck, there are
some traditions around Christmas, Easter, Labor Day and the 4th of July that I
don't enjoy as much as other people do. But, if there is nothing
inherently evil or harmful about such traditions, I can simply choose not to
participate, and politely and courteously smile when I interact with other who
enjoy such things. I view that as being "social," or being part of a
society that is not inherently evil in those traditions and practices.I respect the right of people to speak out against practices or traditions
that were at one time rooted in evil or paganism. But, speaking out is all they
can or should be allowed to do, as long as they experience no harm (other than
so-called mental anguish) by seeing such traditions honored by others in their
It seems that some religious people like to cherry-pick which holidays with
pagan roots they will celebrate (Christmas and Easter) and which ones they
won't. I guess it's consistent with the Biblical or Quran verses they
abide by, and the ones they don't.
I have no problem with dressing up and collecting candy, as has been mentioned
in the comments it is far distanced from pagan rituals. However, the fact that
we celebrate evil on this holiday continues to mystify me. Things like spook
alleys drive away anything good; there are better ways to get an adrenaline
Halloween has come to mean something quite different than a pagan celebration.
We are not celebrating paganism.It is now just a fun night for kids
to dress in costumes, go to neighborhood houses and receive candy. It is fun
for kids and the parents handing out candy, while telling their little neighbors
how cute they are. It is now just a fun family tradition. The only
ones putting a pagan connotation to it are the ones not celebrating it, and
telling their children it's a pagan ritual.
I am simply mystified at some of the attitudes expressed by the people
interviewed for this article. How can people really believe that the whole idea
of Halloween is to "desensitize our children to think that evil is fun?"
Pretending to be a witch or a goblin or a ghost has nothing to do with
embracing evil. It is, as 59 percent of the survey respondents insist, simply
all in good fun. Indeed, the naysayers do all of us a disservice because they
themselves have invested Halloween with the evils that they have simply made up
in their own minds. Sorry, naysayers, Halloween is not in any sense about the
validation of evil -- it's about the collection of vast stores of candy.
That, I think, might be its own form of evil, but it's a relatively minor
one in the grand scheme of things.
Indeed, Halloween has some roots in pagan traditions, and some Christians
justifiably avoid it. I have some terrible news for them about the origins of
the Christmas holiday, though--it also has its origins in pagan practices. Do
these same folks avoid traditional Christmas celebrations?