Monday, October 31, 2005

Someone's in the Kitchen With Otis Redding

Well, it's Halloween. WEE.

Halloween's not really a biggie for me. On the rare years that I go to a costume party or something like that it's fun and all, but I really don't get excited about this particular holiday.

That's not to say I'm against it or anything, that whole thing about some groups of christians getting weirded out about Halloween and having alternative "christian" celebrations came on after I was a kid. I got originally spooked on Halloween because my brothers told me scary stories, not because I knew that any Satanists were looking to steal my cat. I remember laying awake at night, thinking something would happen on this particular night because it was the night that the bloody hand got loose and did bad things to people. Later, in Jr. High, I was terrified going through the haunted house my church high school group did in the Holmes' barn. They had spaghetti swimming in ketchup for brains in a cauldron and freaky webs everywhere and hands coming out and grabbing your ankles, and "bloody" axes laying around in the straw. It was some scary stuff. I knew it wasn't real, but I just couldn't stop being scared and screaming my head off and then having nightmares about it. And ya, I know - my CHURCH sponsored this stuff.... would be very strange these days, wouldn't it?

But it's a mixed bag. Cause some people just dress up like Yoda and pass out candy and get to know their neighbors better. Which is a good thing. I dressed up as Goth Girl one year and it was really fun when no one recognized me. I love stuff like that. I love candy corn and I remember those wax pop bottles where you bit off the top and sweet liquidy stuff came out. I love pumpkin carving and seeing my friends' kids all dressed up all cute and stuff. I love Peeps ghosts and pumpkins.

I'm uncomfortable with the scary horror part that comes out on halloween. When I was a kid, we loved fake blood and grossing each other out. We told each other spooky stories with the flashlight pointing up on our faces to make ourselves look scary and we creeped each other out with ghost sounds after dark. I loved it until the lights went out for the night. I can't tell you how many halloweens and slumber parties left me unable to sleep for a while.

Maybe I should tell you that Nancy Drew mysteries gave me nightmares. heh. I'm not kidding - I was really that sensitive.

So I'm not saying Halloween is bad or having fun with spooky stuff is bad because I don't think this is a black and white thing. Cause I think there are some kids who have less vulnerability for whatever reason so telling stories in the dark about the hand that went scratch, scratch, scratching on the roof of the car in the abandoned cemetery while the terrified couple sat trembling in fear inside is just all fun and games. They can feel a little creeped out, scream just like those who are really truly terrified by it and then go right to sleep. At least I think this is how it worked for some of my friends... but maybe not?

I did not have that ability. I knew the stories weren't real, but once the lights went out at night, I could not use logic to completely convince myself that the stories I was hearing would never happen to me. That the ghosts would probably have no reason to hang out in my closet and that there really wasn't ever going to be a werewolf living in our barn.

So I was scared anyway. I think that's what it was about. And I don't think I'm alone in that. I think we were a lot of us scared anyway for a lot of reasons - both real and imagined. It didn't take much to freak ourselves out. I think by telling scary stories we made fun of ourselves with it. I think we played with it in order to stare fear in the face and feel brave, even if it was just for a little bit.


  • I think you are probably right about the stories being a way to stare fear in the face and feel brave.

    And you know, that is one of the things that makes raising children so interesting --- the thing that won't bother one child in the least is the thing that will stay in another child's mind forever.

    I remember we borrowed a coffin from the local funeral home for our church Halloween how things have changed!

    By Blogger annie, at 11/01/2005 7:53 AM  

  • I remember not being able to sleep because I was afraid someone would sneak into my room and shoot drugs up my arm! Then I would become a drug addict......this was the late 60's and early 70's......I seriously would not sleep with any part of my arm uncovered....I had to be under a sheet or blanket..... I never told this to my parents....I think part of my brain knew it was crazy....there was alot in the media about drug use in youth culture and it just got in my brain in a weird way.

    By Blogger studiobeerhorst, at 11/01/2005 8:59 AM  

  • Hey, Happy Halloween!!!!!

    I find that as I get older, I'm getting more sensitive to being scared. I watched horror movies ever since I was 4 (what were my parents thinking?) and I read Stephen King throughout my teen years and beyond. And yet, now, since having kids, my husband and I realize we jump a lot more at scary stuff.

    By Blogger Running2Ks, at 11/01/2005 9:39 AM  

  • I'm glad that you remain open-minded, despite the fear! ha ha! Hope Halloweeen was fun for you - It was for me!

    By Blogger SpookyRach, at 11/01/2005 2:23 PM  

  • HALLOWEEN IS EVIL!!! You CAN'T be a Christian and even *speak* the word!!! any left over candy???

    By Blogger Headless-in-GR, at 11/01/2005 8:16 PM  

  • I still have to sleep with at least a sheet on me. For some reason, I feel safe that way...even if it is 100 degrees. And I always KNEW something lived under my bed.

    I can still get those little wax bottles filled with the syrup. If you want, I can mail ya some....let me know.

    By Blogger Princess of Everything (and then some), at 11/02/2005 10:59 AM  

  • Headless, we have no candy. we ducked out and went for sushi and coffee instead of halloweening with the kids.
    But we have brownies.... :o)

    And Princess of Everything - I also have to sleep with a sheet on still. I'm getting a LEEETLE bit more able to sleep with nothing covering me but still, I prefer covering.

    By Blogger Captainwow, at 11/02/2005 11:49 AM  

  • If I have a sheet pulled up to my neck, that's not far enough--it has to cover my ear. Not because I am afraid something will happen, but because it's just more comfortable. My wife finds this quite droll.

    The Word Verification letters were "gkcknk." That's the sound my wife makes when she snores.

    By Blogger little david, at 11/02/2005 11:10 PM  

  • Interesting blog, be sure and check out my site / blog when you get a chance at Thanks and have a great day.

    By Blogger Clothing Specialist, at 4/10/2006 4:11 PM  

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