Skepticism

Spooky COTW!

It’s Halloween Eve (which, I know, is like saying “Christmas Eve Eve” but shut up), and this fact may have influenced my choice for COTW:

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Reply to this comment DraconiusNo Gravatar // Oct 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Hi there!

Funny that you should post this. As a born-again atheist, I do not have any kind of “religious belief”. Even when I DID believe in God, (long long ago) I scarcely had any kind of “religion”. I’m very laid-back about most things, and there is very little that I’m passionate about.

Except Hallowe’en.

If I could be said to have any kind of “belief” about anything, it would be a belief in Hallowe’en. I believe in the sanctity of Hallowe’en, and in the subtle power of this autumnal celebration. Oh no, I don’t believe in any of the Pagan Gods of Samhain, nor do I believe that Hallowe’en is the day that the “veil between worlds is thinnest” or any other crap like that. I don’t think of it as the day before “All Saint’s Day” or the eve of Dia de los Muertas. I feel that Hallowe’en celebrates something else entirely.

I feel that Hallowe’en should be a FEAST OF FEAR.

Hallowe’en is the day that we explore our inner demons. It’s the day that we all try to get in touch with our own personal monsters. A time of year that we celebrate blood, and gore, and death, and terror, in all its wonderful visceral glory. Hallowe’en should be a celebration of these dark stirrings, and it should SCARE us.

This is why I am unfavorably in favor of a dark and terrifying Hallowe’en. When I see people walking around dressed as cartoon characters, or in “clever” costumes, (”Hey look at us everybody! I’m a plug and she’s a wall socket! Get it!? Wink wink nudge!! AmIRight?”) it just turns my stomach. Even the “easy” costumes, such as “Football player”, or “Princess”, or “Ninja”, just aren’t right to me. A proper Hallowe’en costume should be terrifying enough to make young children wet themselves and sleep with the lights on. If you haven’t cost parents thousands of dollars in therapy bills just by walking down the street, you’ve failed at Hallowe’en.

I have long wanted to create a front-yard Hallowe’en display so horrifying that I’d have to actually give away CASH, just to reward anyone brave enough to make the perilous journey from the street to my front door.

Unfortunately, my wifey won’t let me put up such a display, and she’s the only one that *I* am afraid of. ;)

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As his nominator mentions, this is the winning bit: “A proper Hallowe’en costume should be terrifying enough to make young children wet themselves and sleep with the lights on. If you haven’t cost parents thousands of dollars in therapy bills just by walking down the street, you’ve failed at Hallowe’en.”

Congrats, Draconius! You get to choose an Afternoon Inquisition, so send it in using the contact form. Happy Halloween Eve everyone!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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3 Comments

  1. Somehow I missed the post he posted that comment in!

    I have to say I agree though. I dressed as an axe murderer one Halloween. I was about 17, and had no intention of trick-or-treating, but decided to wander around my neighborhood as the trick-or-treaters started to come out before I went to the party I was going to that night.

    It was a pretty good costume, black turtleneck, black gloves, black trenchcoat, black jeans, black shoes, black faceless mask, with a hockey mask over it and a fedora. I also had a knife that plays the Psycho riff when you push a button that would fit perfectly up the coat’s sleeve.

    So as I’m walking around to see how well I can see and if the costume is going to be too hot (I do live in the South, so it was 80 degrees that day), I start down the street back to my house.

    This woman sees me–and I mean an adult woman, not a child, she was probably with her own kids–and just *screams* bloody murder, then runs down the street at a sprint.

    And I followed her. Not for the sport of it, just because I was going home, and thought the fear response was over. But she kept running and screaming, to the point people were coming out of their houses to see what the hell was going on. Finally she got to the end of the street where my house was, and my mom came out of the door yelling at her that it was just me in a costume. I had to go into my house and out of sight before she would leave our neighbor’s yard to pass by our house to get out of the cul-de-sac.

    I don’t know if I *caused* a need for thousand dollars of therapy, but I think I may have undone the effects *of* thousands of dollars of therapy.

  2. I dressed up as a vampire hunter this weekend.
    Everyone else was playing the vampires for a Victorian Fright Night, and I along with another very atheist guy, was in charge of warning the little kiddies about the dangerous vampires, and assuring them to keep the little rosary they got before starting the tour at hand, to chase away the vampires.

    What’s also pretty funny is the fact that, in Dutch, showing “your cross” can be misunderstood to mean showing “your crotch/groin”. Many teenagers were quick to point that out to us. Ten bazillion times!

  3. Hi there!

    Whuhuh!?! I got a CoTW again!? Gah! I was so busy with Hallowe’en and junk that I didn’t even notice!

    Don’t I win something? :( Doesn’t this mean I have to organize a tea party or something? [frets]

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