This is not Halloween: why I hate the holiday of horror


 Cigarette smoke fills the chilly October air. Children, dressed in cheap costumes and winter coats, throw their candy wrappers into my front yard. Our speakers play abrasive music, the people surrounding me are loud, and the leftover candy is disappointing. 

   This is Halloween.

   Halloween did not start like this. It originated in the eighth century as a Celtic celebration known as Samhain (Halloween: Origins, Meaning & Traditions – HISTORY). The Celtic people would don costumes and start bonfires to ward off ghosts. In the 19th century, Halloween traditions made their way to the United States, and grew to become one of the most popular, and commercialized, holidays in the country (Halloween | Definition, History, & Facts).

   My neighborhood draws a lot of trick-or-treaters every year. I find this to be rather annoying, as many of these trick-or-treaters are well into their teenage years, which is, in my opinion, too old to trick-or-treat. On top of the teenage trick-or-treaters, many adults trick-or-treat. I understand parents of very young children who help by carrying the candy bag, (although I don’t understand why children too young to talk are trick-or-treating), I do not understand parents who trick-or-treat themselves. Yes, free candy is always a treat, but at a certain point in your life, you must realize that taking free candy from young children is not the way to get it.

   Along with the parents who trick-or-treat, there are others who smoke. While smoking is not uncommon, there’s just something different about Halloween smokers that is more annoying than seeing smokers on other days of the year. It may be because there seems to be a strong correlation between smoking parents and rude children. The parents don’t have respect for other people’s property, and the children don’t have respect for other people. The rudeness of these people adds to my dislike of Halloween.

   I know that not all parents and teenagers engage in this sort of behavior, but there are just enough who insist on “continuing the tradition” that it annoys me every year. If one candy apple out of a batch of candy apples has a rotten spot, then all of the candy apples are no longer trusted.

   Halloween costumes, while some are carefully thought out and wonderfully crafted, are, overall, disappointing. Most people that I see opt to wear a clown mask and claim that it is a whole costume. It is not. There doesn’t seem to be much point in making a Halloween-only costume, when they will be used for a short amount of time before being moved into storage.  However, if you do plan on wearing a costume, you should at least put some effort into it. Choosing an actual costume, a character, or concept that you have been thinking about will always do the trick, if you put some effort into it. You don’t need a hundred-dollar costume to be effective.

   There is one aspect of Halloween that I enjoy: the weather. The weather these past several Halloweens has been inclement. While many people do not like this sort of weather, especially on a night that they intend to spend outdoors, I find it to be incredibly peaceful and pleasant. Be it rain, snow, hail, or cold temperatures, the spooky weather does improve Halloween by adding a preternatural darkness to the holiday of horror.

   While Halloween is celebrated by millions of people every year, it is not something that I enjoy. It is a holiday that has morphed from a spiritual celebration to a spooky candy-grab. While I am not opposed to people celebrating the holiday, I do not feel that it’s necessary that I join in on the festivities. I greatly prefer having something unrelated to the holiday going on each October 31st, and I have a feeling that will never change.

  Perhaps this makes me the Ebeneezer Scrooge of Halloween. I certainly seem to be.