the argument against halloween

by gracejack

the rumors are true. I hate Halloween— and before you and your scary goth friends show up at my door with torches and pitch-forks, please let me state my case. As a kid, Halloween is fantastic— there is no denying that. You get one night to be anyone besides yourself and people give you candy for it. Halloween at its very core is a children’s holiday that lasts the span of a single night. With time, however, I have realized that it is much more than a single night and it is a holiday for many more than children. As soon as the clock strikes 12am on October 1st the yearly nightmare has begun. 

jeannette chien

I believe that my utmost grievance with the aforementioned holiday is simply how much it consumes daily life. As a Fall supremacist, I am discouraged annually that my favorite season is cut short for “spooky szn”. During “spooky szn” everyone and their mom is deliberating on their Halloween costumes. Fake cobwebs sprawl across storefronts, pumpkins rot on porches, and everything smells like rubber. The gays, the goths, and the goth gays do not sleep for the entire month of October. Straight people are desperate for costumes that require the least amount of effort, show the maximum amount of skin, and hold just the right number of white claws. Couples’ costumes become gaudier, Martha Stewart produces a slew of new “chilling” recipes, and 17 more Goosebumps books are released every year. Most of all, for an entire month, I have to sleep with one eye open out of fear that one of my Halloween-crazed roommates will sew buttons onto my eyes.

Maybe that is Heaven for you, but it is Hell for me. The movies and shows produced for this season are even more of a hellscape. Bly Manor was more aesthetic than spooky, and Coraline was more of a trip to the upside-down than Stranger Things. As Above So Below was anticlimactic, and The Nightmare Before Christmas is just a Christmas movie! They shoot Bella Thorne in the tit not once, but twice in The Babysitter and the only redeeming part of Jennifer’s Body is when Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox make out. I could continue, as there is a plethora of Halloween trash on Netflix and beyond, but it’s not worth my time.

Outside of movies, shows, trick-or-treating, partying, costumes, and so on, there are Halloween activities. There are haunted houses, haunted hay-rides, haunted corn mazes, haunted cemeteries, and even haunted theme parks? I will concede and say I do love a good haunted corn maze. Something is thrilling about running for your life from a psychopath with a chainsaw (even if there is no chain on it). That being said, it is a massacre waiting to happen. One faulty background check and that psychopath brings their own chain to chop through the thrill-seeking freaks that paid $20 to get in.

Nevertheless, this all comes down to capitalism. Pray your Grandma isn’t terminally ill or Spirit Halloween will move into her house before she’s even dead. And if I am being completely honest, that is my true problem with Halloween (capitalism is, not Spirit Halloween… though I hate that too). Who gives two shits if people want to get alcohol poisoning, waste hours watching garbage, and cover their homes with tacky, plastic, spooky decor? I don’t care, but corporations sure do! An argument could be made that all holidays have become commercialized, but I would counter that with Thanksgiving. No one gives a rat’s ass about Thanksgiving. It’s an obligatory family time full of conversation as dry as the turkey. It is underwhelming, overzealous with its quantity of food, and it’s so lackluster that it couldn’t be commercialized. The holiday is so unmarketable that the day directly after is dedicated to buying shit. So I restate my claim: Halloween is too commercialized, and the unhealthy obsession all of you granola UVMer’s hold is only contributing to the greater problem. I am not making the claim that you should thrift your costumes, stop using artificial cobwebs, and try the American Red Cross for costume blood instead; I’m not in Rubenstein. I’m simply saying that Halloween is not fun anymore. It has lost its true spirit. It literally started as a night where you threatened rich people for money and now it is an entire month of spending. From pumpkin carving to haunted attractions to candy for children, all you do is spend!

I really don’t hate Halloween. I just think it’s lame because people have made it more than it is. You spooky-obsessed freaks have stretched the holiday thin and now it’s so many things that it is nothing at all. I hate to break it to you, but Halloween is not your entire personality, and if it is, that’s really sad. That’s like James Charles and Ellen DeGeneres level sad. You are worth more than Halloween! You exist outside October. Maybe no one has ever told you that before, but here I am now. I am freeing you of the shackles of Halloween.

This October, instead of continuing to be a cog in the wheel of capitalism, I urge you to appreciate this season for what it really is: Fall. Winter is fast approaching, temperatures are dropping, and the leaves are rapidly falling. You’re running out of time. Revel in the brisk nights’ crisp air, the never-ending overcast, and your ability to wear sweaters. Enjoy laughs and even scares with friends. Just appreciate the little things and stop making everything about Halloween.

Categories: front page, grace jack, oct. 26, vol 25

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