Growing up I loved Halloween but not for the regular ”kid” reasons. I just used to love the excitement, the crafts and the fun movies, which as an adult, I still do. I was never, and still am not someone who enjoys dressing up, Halloween night was fun to be with friends but I was always terrified I was going to get jumped by some ”high school kid” and they’d steal my candy (an unnecessary fear), this resulted in me not venturing too far from home and coming back fairly early from my trick-or-treating ventures.
As I got a bit older my best friend and I would watch scary movies together leading up to the ”holiday”. Classics by Hitchcock usually. I also had a soft spot for the old Ernest Scared Stupid but growing up I was never exposed to really gruesome stuff and I was scared as much as any child or young adult should be. I didn’t need decapitated babies, bloody pick axes or zombies with trachea’s hanging out of their mouth to scare me. Exposing me to Freddy Krueger was enough. At what point have we as a society become so desensitized to everything that the movie Psycho is a casual weeknight family movie?
I am by no means prudish in any way but as I approach my daughter’s first Halloween where she will be trick-0r-treating, I shudder to think about how I am going to explain some of the over-the-top decorations we’re bound to see. Dead bodies, bloody body bags, severed limbs… What happened to spooky skeletons and witches? There is line with Halloween that often gets crossed.
My sister-in-law is one who has always loved the goriness of Halloween, the bloodier the better in her eyes, but she contains the over-the-top decorations for the inside of her house where, when kids come to the door, they cannot see anything but if you’re an adult attending her annual party, be prepared for plastic, bloody, severed fingers to be served with your appetizer. My point is that there is a time, place and appropriate audience. If you and your friends enjoy said decorations, by all means share them together but don’t expose the rest of the world to them.
It’s not just kids that worry me. There are many people going through many varying personal issues where Halloween decorations could be upsetting. While I’m willing to bet a scary witch or ghost on your front porch won’t bother many people, hanging a noose around what looks like a bloody, plastic body bag and hanging it off your roof (real thing in our neighborhood last year), likely will.
Halloween has the potential to be a really fun ”holiday” (a term I use loosely). There are some amazingly fun Halloween movies that despite my Grinchiness with dressing up, I really love to watch every year. The over-the-top gore just takes away the fun of it for me and my family and makes us not way to do anything at all which, let’s be honest is no fun for kids.
Young children don’t have the life experience we adults do, and someone who is dealing with personal issues shouldn’t have to avert their eyes or have memories flared up because of a neighbor’s decorations. Be sensible and aware of your audience and have a fun and safe Halloween!
Do you think Halloween Decor has gone too far?