Why I Love Halloween

Published on September 29th, 2009 in: Editorial, Halloween, Issues |

One of the best things about living in the greater Toronto area is that, unlike my native New Orleans, there are actually four seasons here instead of “hot and humid” and “slightly less hot and humid.” So when the wind turns cold and scatters fallen leaves throughout the streets, I begin to think of Halloween.

Okay, who am I kidding? I practically think about Halloween every time the thermostat dips into the high teens and a cool breeze blows by. It is by far my favorite holiday.
It’s not that I hate Christmas, it’s just that Halloween has so much more to offer. I love horror movies, monsters, ghosts, demons, skeletons, and especially costumes. (Back in New Orleans Mardi Gras was always my second favorite holiday.) Each year I try to top myself with a costume that is handmade, unique, believable, and reasonably comfortable. As much as I’ve longed to be Regan/Pazuzu from The Exorcist, I couldn’t handle wearing oversized contact lenses for more than about 30 seconds. [Ed.—I was Pazuzu in 2014 minus the contact lenses. Dreams can come true, y’all.]

Cynics will complain that Christmas has long been over-commercialized and now Halloween isn’t so far behind. But like my costumes, I enjoy more authentic Halloween décor. It is my dream to attend or throw an elaborate Halloween party like the ones you see in movies or TV shows, where you half expect Vincent Price himself to come strolling in.

party mummy1
Mummy from my Halloween party of 2008

I may not have an old Victorian house or the financial resources (or space) to make my place look like a scene from The House Of Wax, but I am nothing if not resourceful. Around August, I start prowling thrift stores and bargain bins for the basic tools to transform my house into a haunted one, devising ways to turn old bedsheets and a Styrofoam wig form into a surprisingly scary mummy or determining what combo of food coloring will make my brain Jello mold look more realistic or disgusting.

Did I not mention the food? Screw candy! I’m more into making (and eating) cookies that look like witches’ fingers and taste yummy. Even blue corn chips and green salsa can be exciting if you make a place card (in the shape of a tombstone, natch) declaring it “Terror-tillas and Soulsa.”

Besides the creative thrills, I also like the regular variety. As a kid, I was plagued by anxieties and fears and anxieties about fears. I watched horror movies through blankets or tightly gripped fingers. Now that I’m older, I realize that there are far more terrifying things in the world than zombies, but then again, no one’s proven that zombies don’t exist, so that possibility still gives me a bit of a jolt.

Naturally, I try to stretch out the Halloween festivities as long as I possibly can, at least publicly, breaking out my box of decorations in late September and adding little bits and pieces throughout the month. I love the traditional aspect of it all. Remember how your mom would become misty-eyed when placing that Popsicle stick reindeer ornament you made in Kindergarten on the Christmas tree? That’s how I get when I take out my bags of plastic bugs, fake severed limbs, and skull shaped candleholders.

The only bummer about being a Halloween junkie is that it’s not an official holiday. Nothing is more depressing than Halloween on a Monday, knowing that the next day, it’s back to the ho-hum world of normality (and immediate preparations for Christmas, since Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October).

Ah well. No one says I can’t start planning for next year’s Halloween on November 1.

Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor

One Response to “Why I Love Halloween”

  1. Popshifter » A Horrible Problem To Have:
    September 29th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    […] been a fan of horror for a while—though I wasn’t always willing to admit it—but only in the last five years have I gone into overdrive, perhaps trying to make up […]

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