This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are You Paranoid About Halloween?

Devil (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

       Now the time is here for youngsters donning costumes to spread fear from door to door in neighborhoods wherever the tradition of trick or treat is celebrated.  I mean, have you seen the price of candy lately?   Or even worse, parents should be concerned about the cost of dental care.  It's a scary world of Halloween that awaits us.  Are you sometimes at least a wee bit afraid of this creepy yearly event?

       After having made a living in the Halloween industry for nearly twenty years you'd think I'd be a bit more receptive of Halloween.  And as I've mentioned on this blog in the past, Tossing It Out started out as a Halloween blog.   Can you believe it?   My first more than 30 posts referred to Halloween in one way or another.  Eventually I became paranoid that I couldn't sustain the Halloween spirit throughout the year.  More than that I became bored with the topic and wanted to write about other things.

       Halloween is much creepier now than when I was a kid.  Costumes are more realistic and elaborate for one thing.    Some of those kids' costumes are way too adult.  Do you ever fear that a certain innocence is being stolen from the little kids with some of the thematic adult content of certain costumes?

       Then there's the gore and horror.  Vengeance from the grave seems like it's taking over the neighborhood on Halloween night.   That creepy fellow over there.  Is he alive or dead?  Oh, it's just another zombie.  Zombies have been the rage for years now so it's only natural that the zombie should be a popular character choice for the dress-up fans.  Still there is a very sinister frightening factor if you think deeply into the concept.

     Why should we even care?  It's all in fun right?   Yet sometimes there seems to be an obsession with the supernatural, the forces from beyond, and the darker sides of humanity, not just during Halloween, but throughout the year.  The fascination for the dark has always been of interest to humans, but doesn't there seem to be an increase as time goes on?   Do you ever wonder why?  Does the dark side make you paranoid in the least bit?

Battle of the Bands on Friday!

    My posts of today and Monday have been leading up to my Friday installment of the Battle of the Bands--two versions of one song mano a mano with you readers deciding which is the favorite.   I've got a doozy of a competition set up for Friday.  You may not believe your ears.   You may even get annoyed with me.  But you won't know unless you're here on Friday.

    What song have I picked?  I won't tell you until Friday's post but I've provided some fairly obvious hints in today's post and on Monday's as well.  There were a couple of good guesses on Monday, but I'm not saying if anyone guessed correctly yet.  Can you guess the song?   Let us know in the comments.

Other participants joining in with their own battles will be:

           Faraway Series
              Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends
             Your Daily Dose

and returning to join us:

Alex J. Cavanaugh

       Do you have kids that you take trick or treating?   What are  you going to do for Halloween?   Which costumes do you think will be most popular this year?   Why do you think supernatural and horror genres are more popular that ever?     

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  1. Still hard to believe you started out as a Halloween blog.
    I like horror movies and such, but overall the holiday isn't a big deal anymore. We don't even get trick or treaters.
    And I think zombies will be the most popular costume.
    Ready for Friday!

  2. Going out today and buy a broomstick so I can fly over my daughters' and sons'

    Have a great time.

  3. Well after seeing old pics of kids dressed up for Halloween in the early 1900s, on Facebook, I think I can say that those costumes were 10x scarier than anything you see today. I don't have kids and have rarely gotten kids to my door, but it wasn't for lack of trying. No one lived in our neighbourhoods in CA and in WA, no one wanted to climb our steep, dark, slippery with moss/pineneedles driveway when they could go to the developments and hit 100 houses in a half hour.

    One of my friends hates Halloween b/c she says you spend all year telling your kid not to take candy from strangers except this one time. lol

  4. I looked up the 1900 costumes JoJo mentions and they were freaky-scary.

    I think there has always been gore and scary and even elaborate costumes. It's just that now everybody posts their costumes online so we everything.

    I tell ya, their is nothing cuter than a little toddler dressed up as a dinosaur or kitty-cat.

    Now, all the dogs are dressed up, too. And that's pretty funny.

  5. The thing that frightens me most about Halloween is driving! I absolutely refuse to get in the car after the sun goes down because I'm worried some tiny tot will race out into the street.

  6. there very interesting things you share, i started as a zombie fan-site.. yes i still am ashamed. i needed to flesh out that before i become the beautiful butterfly that i am now.

  7. Alex -- We will keep our house dark like we did last year. My wife doesn't like the Halloween tradition and I don't like having to answer the door. I agree that there will probably be many zombies.

    Yvonne-- I wish I could fly on a broomstick. It might be fun.

    JoJo-- I went to see some of those pictures like you describe. They were kind of creepy probably because they were old, but they weren't overly gory or anything. When I was a kid we never worried about contaminated candy.

    Southpaw --Dressing up pets is scary in my opinion. I'll bet the dogs don't like it much, poor things.

    Johanna -- I don't whether I'll be out driving. You gotta watch out for those kids!

    Jeremy -- There's a place for zombie websites--a lot of fans. But sometimes change is good as well. I wouldn't want to be still stuck in Halloween, but I guess there are still some Halloween related sites and they fit their niche.


  8. The paranormal element is part of the unknown which fascinates some more than others. I like Edgar Allen Poe's stories, and Hitchcock nailed psychological suspense. Our special effects today make these un-natural beings more believable.

    Yes, Halloween costumes have become more adult oriented (the purchased ones). What happened to unicorns, plain old warty, scary witches, and pirates?

    We'll be back to check on the BOTBs on Friday.

  9. It has entered my mind at times that Halloween is getting a bit too scary. I'll check out your BOTF post when it comes Arlee.

  10. I've always loved Halloween and I guess it's because it's one holiday that comes without expectations. You can be and do what you want. You don't have to invite Uncle Grump because he's your uncle. You don't have to create a feast or go to one you'd rather not attend because family says so. Then you also have the chance to laugh at the inevitable and feel quite brave. Of course, there's all that candy that comes free from neighbors. That's a plus.

    However, writing about H. all year would wear me out. Glad you expanded your blog. It's much more interesting this way.

  11. I had no idea you started this as a Halloween blog. That seems... weird.

    I'm not really a Halloween fan.

  12. I would like to see Halloween morph into something else. What? I don't know, but the whole "going door to door for candy" thing is like - why? I think fun activities could be planned with kids safe at home or at a friends. Too much emphasis on stuffing as much candy into a single night. There has to be something better.

  13. I'll take comment 13 so things don't get stalled....

    DG - I used to like to make my own costumes. Once I was a pirate. Simple yet not bad.

    Sheena-- The gore can get pretty disturbing.

    C.Lee -- Halloween was always a favorite time for me as a kid. And I liked it when my kids were young. Now I'm just an old fogey I guess.

    Andrew --The Halloween blog does sound weird until you figure in that I started out trying to do a blog to make money and I'd just lost a Halloween related job so I put the two together. There was a logic to my thinking.

    Wendy -- To a kid the door to door candy thing is kind of neat I guess. It just seemed to be better, simpler when I was little.


  14. I hate that the costumes for females are all so slutty nowadays.

  15. Halloween was fun as a kid, fun with the kids, but never that big a deal. I always thought those who were against it on faith grounds were a little off, but then again I remember scolding someone for being a Harry Potter fan. Live and learn.

  16. Well, I'm feeling dense. I've got no idea on the battle of the bands.

    I'm afraid Halloween has passed us by. All our kids/grandkids are too old for costumes and there aren't enough little kids in the neighborhood to make trick or treat fun.

  17. What caught my interest in your blog is - how were you connected to Halloween. You didn't say. Don't like the holiday much these days. Don't have little ones and don't have children come to our door. A sad tradition has passed us by. Perhaps that's a good thing. I liked the holiday when children dressed as angels and princesses. Not so much into the blood, gore, and scary costumes. Thanks for getting me thinking about Halloween.

  18. Nicole-- The "slutty" trend is very bizarre especially when you see very young girls dressing that way. I have to wonder about their parents.

    CW -- It's sad that many schools have dumped the Halloween traditions, but it's all gotten so out of hand I guess they had to. But yeah, when I was a kid in the 60's everyone mostly thought of the event as a fun day for kids.

    LD -- You really must check in on the Battle of the Bands. I love it and so do many others.

    B Whittington-- My teaser was to get people to go back and look at those early posts and maybe leave comments. I had been in the Halloween business so when it came start a blog that was the niche I thought I might fill. I miss the more innocent days of Halloweens of yore.


  19. I really don't like when they fix little girls up as sexy adults.

  20. I still think little kids (as in 6 and under) are adorable. They don't choose scary stuff when they dress up. It's all superheroes and princesses or ballet dancers. The older kids... different story.

  21. I used to love Halloween, today - not so much. Unfortunately, in my adult life, I have never lived anywhere that I actually get trick or treaters. That seems to spoil some of the fun. when I was a kid Halloween was more about dressing up, having fun, and seeing how much candy you could accumulate. Today it seems more like an attempt to scar the crap out of everyone.

    As far as BOTB goes ll I can think of is an original Buffalo Springfield tune. I like to quote it a lot.

  22. We used to have parties and go all out with decorations. Here in the South, we just don't. Not even sure what happened to Skinny Lenny and Skinny Louie. (Blow up skeletons.)

  23. It's not a big deal for me, never found it exciting, and here in Malaysia it is not big either, so that suits me just fine!

    Duncan In Kuantan
    Kuantan nature photos

  24. I'm not paranoid over Halloween. I just don't like the holiday and it's origins or what it represents. Frankly, I've got a thing about celebrating horror and violence and demonic things. Imo, they're not cute or fun.

    I guess I'm seeing what it all represents and yes, there is an increase in the fascination of the occult and the supernatural. Some of which is very dangerous, imo.

    So, no, I don't see cutesy and fun. I never have, even as a kid. One reason is I've seen first hand, through no choice of my own, some of the dangers from these so called spirits. You can keep your fascination with them. Me? I keep my distance from all things of that nature.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  25. Susan GK -- I see it a lot around here.

    Robin -- The little kids are cute when they have the cute costumes, but some of the parents where I live are not so cute and their kids are like them. And actually they come from outside my gated community so they aren't immediate neighbors.

    Faraway -- Now I'm trying to think which Buffalo Springfield song I've seen you quote.

    L.Dianne-- A lot of people around my neighborhood have been decorating. I think they also do a lot in the Tennessee town where my mother lives.

    Duncan -- Halloween has become more of a worldwide event. It will probably become bigger in Malaysia as time goes on.

    Sia -- I agree about the first hand contact. I like a good scary movie now and then, but I don't watch or read too many things about the spiritworld. I do think there are many aspects we should be concerned about and fear.


  26. I agree with EVERYONE who has posted a comment here. (How often does THAT happen?)

    Honestly... little kids don't understand any of the underlying implications of Halloween. All they know is that if they dress up like something other than themselves, and knock on a neighbor's door, they will get candy.

    That's GREAT, and I love that. It's not as good as Christmas, but it's pretty fun for the kids.

    But here's the thing... some of the same dimwits who voted for Barack Obama (a person who has no problem with murdering innocent children in their mother's womb, in the name of "Constitutional Rights") will voice some concern about Halloween.

    I wish I could take the Americonned People out to "the woodshed", but... God Himself is gong to do that, and SOONER rather than later.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  27. Living in an apartment building, we don't see the kids any more, but we used to once upon a time. It always seemed fairly harmless. However, this fascination with zombies I find somewhat horrifying. When I was younger I used to read Dennis Wheatley books which ended up scaring me to death because they were full of evil and zombies. The idea of zombies is pretty horrible in the original concept.

  28. I didn't know that your blog started out with a Halloween theme. Learned something new. : )

    We aren't passing anything out this year. We don't have any little ones and the dog barks whenever anyone comes to the door.

  29. StMc-- Funny that I mainly put this post up as a Halloween themed prologue to Friday's BOTB and made it a controversy. I've stirred the cauldron again. You get no disagreement from me on this. Soon the political correct factions will ban Halloween period since so many costumes are offensive to one group or another and the candy causes obesity. The fun things of our children will eventually revert to socialist indoctrination Hitler youth style.

    Jo -- I enjoy zombie stories, but like anything, when you really study the issue, the underlying facts are rather scary.

    Susanne -- Many blogs probably started out much different than how they later became. Blogging for me has been an experiment consisting of a series of smaller experiments.


  30. I used to enjoy Halloween and costume parties and horror films much more in previous years. I don't know if I burned out on them or what, but none of it (except cute wee 'lil kids in adorable costumes) moves me anymore. My husband hands out the candy nowadays.

  31. The dark side of costumes, zombie crawls, etc. might mirror the current fascination with post-apocalyptic fiction and horror. The world is scary these days. If we can read about or act out in ways that are even worse than reality, maybe reality doesn't seem quite as bad?

  32. Jagoda -- Also there are so many real horrors in the world that sometimes it's good to escape to happier things or stick to what's real rather than creating the imaginary horrors.

    Patricia -- I think the two probably go hand in hand. Maybe we are getting prepared for some unknown thing to come.


  33. I miss going trick-or-treating with my kids. We hardly had any trick-or-treaters this year, because there was so much rain. You should repeat one of your old Halloween stories, as I'm sure we'd all enjoy it!


  34. Hi Lee .. a Halloween blog ... well it's lasted the test of time - and doesn't look too ghoulish. The Victorians enjoyed themselves with their costumes ..

    I've never got into Halloween - but then I'm spidery and cobwebby! .. Cheers Hilary

  35. Julie -- Actually a lot of those early blog pieces were about the business and history of Halloween. Then some started getting more esoteric. Maybe I'll recycle some of the latter one day.

    Hilary -- Now I stay away from the ghouls most of the time unless I get into a political controversy. Politicians are about as scary as you can get.


  36. This was a Halloween Blog? Wow, who would have thought? I totally agree, some of kids these days are looking too adult. I saw young girls in full blown makeup and looking a little too R rated if you know what I mean. Costumes are very realistic these days. I have to be mindful of how it affects Baby Buck. He was a ladybug and last year he was a tiger. We visited several malls for candy. Much safer as we didn't have to worry about cars and evil strangers. Good point about the high cost of candy and dental care. Like everything if life, moderation is key.

  37. Buck -- I was doing the niche blog before I even knew what a niche blog was. But I thought it made sense if I was going to get ads. Guess I didn't like being confined to a niche.


  38. Love Halloween!!! I have young ones so that makes it so much more fun in our house....but I still dress up so it's a personal favorite. No slut wear, no blood. I did wear a painted Sugar Skull face this year and was quite creepy if I say so myself....but I am concerned about the rapid transformation of our youth these days. I plan to stunt mine now and send them to Neverland it in their best interests...right? Or mine?? Lol

  39. Luckymama-- There are plenty of bad influences to corrupt our kids. Guess we just have to talk to them a lot and help instill good values.



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