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an old fashioned Halloween

Halloween has changed.

Back in the day (and by that, I mean over 30 years ago), political correctness was still a thing of the future. So we dressed up for Halloween as gypsies and bums and hobos (the latter two later known as The Homeless) and other stereotypical costumes. No one really paid attention to the fact that we might have been insulting someone because no one cared. Halloween was about candy and dressing up and being scared. End of story.

Most of the boys at the time did the usual horror costumes: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and the proverbial white-sheeted ghost. They would jump out from behind the bushes and scare the girls and we would scream in exaggerated fright and run to the doorstep of the next house on the block.

We had parades at school and some of the kids would march around with fake, dripping blood and rubber masks with mutilated eyeballs. The goriness was all part of the fun. That's what Halloween was for: shrieking and screaming through the neighborhood and finishing it off with a family viewing of Chiller Theater, munching on the candy loot while hanging onto Mom in fright.

But times have changed and we'll have none of that gory, scary stuff anymore. Kids are vulnerable and impressionable, don't you know? The blood might scare them. The costumes might offend someone. I mean, what if some kid in this school had his whole family murdered by a crazed ax-weilding monster? Don't you think that costume would make him feel sad, Johnny?

Even in the junior high school, where the kids are old enough to go see scary movies on their own and wise enough to know that Freddy Krueger doesn't exist, notices come home about appropriate Halloween wear. No blood. No gore. Nothing scary. Nothing that might be deemed offensive to anyone, anyhwere. Please wear only costumes of famous literary characters or great people like scientists and inventors.

Right. Like a 14 year old wants to dress up like Huck Finn. No, a 14 year old - if he was even going to dress up at all on Halloween - would most likely don one of those rubber masks that turn your face into something out of a Stephen King movie. Even the girls want to dress as Freddy or Jason. No Madam Curies here.

Schools have scaled back their Halloween festivities, anyhow. Some people are offended by the Halloween itself, calling it an invitation to the devil, a terrible day that shows children that evil exists in the world. Some think you worship Satan if you celebrate Halloween.

It's about the candy, stupid. Yes, I know Halloween has a long history behind it, I know the origins of the day are lost on almost everyone now. But this is what we grew up with: a day to get scared and get candy. Nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with historical figures. Schools are changing their Halloween parties into Fall Festivals. No costumes, kids, unless you want to dress up like your favorite leaf!

Good thing Halloween is on a Friday this year. I'm going to show my kids what this holiday used to be like, before it became sanitized in the school system just like everything else.

I'll arm them with frightening costumes and socks filled with shaving cream and let them loose on the neighborhood - along with several dozen other kids whose parents remember what Halloween is supposed to be like. And when they get home, their bags filled with goodies, smelling like they went swimming in a pool of Barbasol, we'll pop in some good old scary movies. The black and white kind, with outrageous monsters and thin plots and lots of screaming. We'll dump all their candy on the floor, sort out the healthy stuff and the pennies, and stuff ourselves on chocolate and sour gummie worms.

Long live the ghosts of Halloween past.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference an old fashioned Halloween:

» "Fall Festival"....Please from The Daily Rant
Michele on Hallowe'en:We had parades at school and some of the kids would march around with fake, dripping blood and [Read More]

» http://www.discountblogger.com/archives/000426.html from Discount Blogger
Michele talks about how Halloween has changed, and how political correctness has pretty much ruined it. Favorite quote:The costumes might offend someone. I mean, what if some kid in this school had his whole family murdered by a crazed ax-weilding... [Read More]

» THE NEW HALLOWEEN from Discount Blogger
Michele talks about how Halloween has changed, and how political correctness has pretty much ruined it. Favorite quote:The costumes might offend someone. I mean, what if some kid in this school had his whole family murdered by a crazed ax-weilding... [Read More]

» THE NEW HALLOWEEN from DiscountBlogger
Michele talks about how Halloween has changed, and how political correctness has pretty much ruined it. Favorite quote:The costumes might offend someone. I mean, what if some kid in this school had his whole family murdered by a crazed ax-weilding... [Read More]


You're such a good mom! :)

Yeah! I'm going to do the same thing with the boys. It should be fun. A good scarefest and stomach aches from too much candy is what it's all about. :)

Fall festivals...cripes. I suppose my favourite costume of a cadaver...white pancake, sheet, toe tag...simple, yet oh-so-halloweeny...would be out too.

AMEN! I am getting so tired of walking on eggshells because someone, somewhere might be offended. Someone, somwhere will ALWAYS be offended.

Anyway, I was commenting on this very thing the other day and how Trick-or-treaters have pretty much stopped in our neighborhood. We used to go all out at Halloween, decorating the house, playing scary noise records, etc. We had a lot of fun. Now its not worth it. Either kids don't T-T at all or parents send them to the local schools, churches, etc for a Fall festival where they all walk in a circle and get a few pieces of candy from some guy sitting in a chair.

I know some of it has to do with the fact that the world has changed since we were children, and its no longer safe for kids to go wandering about neighborhoods alone at night. Heck some neighborhoods aren't even asfe for parents anymore.

I applaud you and your community for banning together and creating a safe atmosphere where kids can feel free to be kids again!

What exactly is the sock full of shaving cream for, and how is it used?

I was quite surprised that my son's Cub Scout PAck went all out for Halloween. The campout two weekends ago included a haunted barn, and the rubber band rocket races this weekend dictated that the rockets be painted with a halloween theme, and the boys come in costume. My son is General Ulysses Grant, which down here south of the Mason-Dixon line, is plenty offensive.

One more thing - Halloween costumes are required at my place of employment on Friday. We are shutting down at 3 to retire to a pub for drinks on the company for a couple of hours.


It's not hobos, bums OR The Homeless.

They now prefer to be called:

Urban Outdoorsmen.

Yeah, I want to know what the shaving cream in a sock is for, as well.

The coolest Halloween I remember was when one of the dads on the street dressed up as Dracula and hid, jumping out at us and running past at random times as we went from house to house. As well, we had nightly visits of bats in our cul-de-sac, though that was more of a September thing. This was in Savannah, the spookiest town in America. It's got water snakes, bats, Spanish moss, and some of the creepiest ghost stories ever. And when I was in Girl Scouts, we would go to Juliette Lowe's (the founder) birthplace to listen to ghost stories -- her birthday was Halloween....

it's funny you should bring this up....just yesterday I was talking to a friend on the phone about how I don't have a costume, and what should I be? And then I thought.....when no one else knows what to do and needs a last minute costume, they always used to pick "hobos". And then, and only then, did I realize how terrible an insult that really was! My god, I thought, how very politically incorrect! Can you imagine what the homeless must think??
I felt bad, and tried really hard to remember if I had ever done the hobo thing. I think I hadn't.

I once did the Hobo thing as a kid, since I couldn't think of anything better. However, my best costume ever was dressing up as a Stanley Cup the year after the Islanders won their first one My dad and I (well mostly he) put it together and I even won an award at the Massapequa rag-a-muffin parade. Do they even have that parade anymore?

"They", that nebulous 'they' that are against anyone having any fun have tried to take Halloween from us.

From the right, there are Christians prattling about Satan--from the left PC garbage about offensiveness and weak stomachs.

They've even sliced the holiday into a times chunk

No more roaming the streets until EVERY house has no candy. No more nights of leaping out from behind trees. No tricks, just treats--and only a couple of hours of those.


My house is gory. Rotted corpses fresh graves The Eye Bush Things that make wet tearing noises in the night. If people don't think twice about coming to the door what's the point? Just make sure they don't step in anyone...

And the trick or treating. Go with your kids, Michele, get yourself done up, smash your head in, dessicate your skin and lurch hungrily around with your kids. BE an object of revulsion to everyone you see

You can take Halloween back from 'them'

Halloween in Canada WAS just as good. I remember being scared out of my witts but loving it.

I always thought the 'hobo' costumes were lame as most kids just did that at the last minute using their dad's old work clothes and carrying a pillow case to collect their treats.

More kudos went to those ambitious enough to dabble with the good old make up and latex scars. Fake blood tasted horrible but it always got a grimace from onlookers.

As far as religious sects turning the evil of Halloween into a Fall Festival, are they forgetting their Christian ways and turning Pagan on us? Then again, Pagans were around long before a certain someone.


I want you for your braaaaaaaaain....

My niece is going as a Gypsy this year, actually.

i'm gonna be Madonna! and i'm going trick or treating, just like i have every year since i was 5! Dammit, no one wrecks my fun, mmmkay? i WILL have fun, in spite of the nefarious PC poopheads and gibbering christians.

and then on the 1st, i'll hang out with my loose coven of fellow pagans, devour cakes and ale, revere my ancestors and thank who ever is responsible for me being alive. cos i'm alive and doin fine

Amen to all the sentiment here. It's just a great big nation-wide costume party--enjoy it, and damn the naysayers.

I did the hobo thing as a kid -- I couldn't have been more than 5 or 6, though. Mom made my nose red with her lipstick, and smeared cigarette ash on my face to look dirty. Can you imagine! Cigarette ash! Now-a-days, that would probably be considered child abuse...

we're lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where Halloween is still blood, spooky stuff and candy. Most of the parents sit out on the porches with big baskets of candy and watch as all the kids run up and down the sidewalk. Yes the school has toned down their celebration, they're having a ghost story camp in at the gym the following weekend, but nothing on the 31st at all. We did get the traditional Halloween Parade through Little 5 Points here in Atlanta this past weekend, and I have to say it was a blast.

actually, the socks were filled with powder and then swung at each other. It hurt like hell, but we all did it! Then we covered each other with shaving cream. Harmless fun.

A little boy, dressed as a pirate captain goes, alone, up to a house door on Holloween.

He knocks.

"Trick or Treat!!"  he hollers.

The door is opened by a grandmotherly woman who exclaims...

"My, my, what a cute little pirate! But, where are your buccaneers?"

"They're under my buccan hat lady!"

My daughter always liked to take the creative (read: really odd) route. One year, she was a pirate ship, one year she was a gravestone (she used the Lester Moore inscription).

I remember Halloween as a little one. I felt I was too old to trick or treat after 14, but when I was 13 I went as an IRS agent, which scared people.

In New Orleans, we had a funny show called Morgus Presents where some guy pretended to be this mad scientist and an old horror movie was shown (about MST 3K quality). Now Morgus didn't MST teh movie, and his assistant Chopsely (a guy in a headsman's uniform) was mute, but some scheme was developed and it always backfired on Morgus.

The Halloween is satanic thing is a pile of fundamentalist crap. It is religious and fun (of course so is Mardi Gras). The costumes for horror based stuff is largely American, with a tribute to the Celtic Samhain. Of course these fundies find All Saint's day and All Souls Day anathema so they feel teh same about Halloween.

Plus celebrating Halloween annoys Jehova's Witnesses and that is always fun :)

Would I be tarred and feathered (or Egged) for saying that I give out toothbrushes on Halloween?? ...Along w/ a pack of sugarless gum of course :)

My niece is a pre-education major.

While she was spending lunch at my parents house, she made mention that an african-american family objected to halloween parties.

My mother immediately siezed on the families race as the factor in protesting the celebration, when, it turned out, it was a religious issue since the family are Jehovah's Witnesses.

I've pretty much given up on pointing out the differences between sacred and secular occasions.

If the run of the mill idiots can't discern them, it's their problem.

Fake blood doesn't have to tastes bad. Use Corn syrup as the base. Add red food coloring--and a little blue and you've got a passable not vile-tasting blood (in fact, it's similar to the coating on candy apples in taste) What's even better about this blood is that it clots and darkens a bit as it dries.

I've used it to create good edible zombie effects. Edible is important. Zombies are scary (particularly when they've got flesh hanging off them and are dragging wet entrails around) But zombies that are EATING are just repulsive (vomit inducing, in some cases)

Strips of varicolored fruit rollup 'flesh' and cooked vellow rice 'maggots' can make your fellow revelers recoil.

Anbd that's what it's all about, isn't it?

Amen!!!!! I'm so glad I grew up in the 70's and 80's- before everything got ruined by the PC police and people trying to stick their noses in everybody else's business!

Like you, my future children will be treated to a day of spooky fun and I will unleash them into the dark night with their friends to scam booty from their neighbors. Hell, I'll even go as far as looking the other way if they decide to "T-P" someone's house on Devil's Night (the night before). And of course, I'll have to stick my faces in their pillowcases and smell that Halloween "smell" and then make sure to "test" their candy to make sure it was ok...LOL

I can't believe our parents got away with that one, but I'll definitely be continuing the tradition!!!