Throwback Thursdays – Treat-or-Treating

Will trick or treating be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past:

Trick-or-treating can be traced all the way back to the Celtic celebrations of Samhain, on what is now known as October 31st, the night when the dead were believed to come back to the living. Villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away evil spirits. Food and drink were left out. Bonfires were lit. Sacrifices made. Basically, the Halloween party life hasn’t changed much, well, maybe we don’t sacrifice as many bodies as we used to, but, we’re still lighting shit on fire and eating and drinking until we pass out. By the middle ages, people dressed in more elaborate costumes went door-to-door asking for treats, even performed for treats. Christianity took hold and their diehard zealots tried their best to push out pagan ceremonies of All Hallows eve, October 31, and All Hallows Day on November 1, with their own for All Saints Day on November 2. Everything only got muddled and combined. Immigrants brought their Halloween traditions, including trick-or-treating, to the USA, but by the 1920s, pranksters almost got Halloween canceled with their viciousness, horrible pranks, and acts of violence, that’s when parents started to organize community-wide events like parades, carnivals, or festivals.

Present:

Whoohoo, trick-or-treating is back, baby! According to Statista.com, Halloween spending is up to $10.6 Billion dollars in 2022, with $3.6 billion dollars being spent on costumes, and deep-pocket pet owners shelling out $710 million dollars to dress up their pooches and kitty-cats. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they estimate about 42 million trick-or-treaters this year and 128 million dwellings offering treats, and a recent article from US News and World Report says the top three costumes were: the witch, Spiderman, and that funny inflatable dinosaur.

Future:

Mask or no mask, let’s face facts, you need people to trick-or-treat. You need people to pass out candy and you need kids, small people, to collect it. I mean, the USA couldn’t make it through a manageable pandemic without hoarding toilet paper and staying inside to stop the spread of a highly infectious deadly disease, it’s doubtful the majority of the population is going to make it through one of IET‘s 13 hypothesized apocalyptic doomsday scenarios.

The good news is, when the dust clears, I believe there will some form of a society, and probably one in need. Going door-to-door to collect food and handouts could become commonplace again, not mention to leaving “treats” to ward off evil (people) from doing good folks harm and you can be sure, as long as someone remembers October 31st is Devils night, somebody is going to be up to no good. I think trick-or-treating will most definitely survive the apocalypse.

Trick or Treat art by Raluca Iosifescu.

Midsummer Scream 2019 Recap

Midsummer Scream in Long Beach, CA, kicked off the 2019 Halloween season with spooky flair and a fair amount of nostalgia. Now, the largest Halloween and haunt expo on the west coast, this year’s theme was the dark side of Tiki, featuring artwork from world-class artist Jeff Granito and Tiki Terror entryway designed by SoCal’s famed haunt builders, CalHaunts.

Continue reading “Midsummer Scream 2019 Recap”

Halloween is Never Over

I will not mourn the passing of Halloween because Halloween lives here all day, every day, all year around.

What I will miss is the community spirit that shows up every September/October. I’ll miss the creative inspiration that buzzes around Halloween season, driving people to craft, create, cook, make, bake, paint, draw, write, sing and celebrate the spooky beyond. I’ll miss seeing the adorable kids in their costumes and the funny, imaginative guises from the adults.  I’ll miss the haunts and the mazes, and the creative minds that have built elaborate, sometimes ingenious, macabre sets. I’ll miss seeing decorations and the lights in all the stores, and in the yards where I live. I’ll miss hearing Halloween tunes on the radio and watching thrillers and spooky movies on television. I’ll miss people talking about their favorite memories and how they’re looking forward to making new ones.  I’ll miss the festive harvests, the parades, the pumpkin patches, the endless rows of candy, and the fun Halloween treats that make us feel like kids again.

I’ll miss the Halloween season, but Halloween is never over, oh no, Halloween is forever.

Halloweenis Forever

 

What’s Your Halloween Style?

ani pumpkin line

A recent bout with illness gave me plenty of time to surf the web, where I came across a debate over how to celebrate Halloween. Sounds silly, since the beauty of Halloween is that it can be celebrated by anyone, in absolutely any way. It got me thinking though, do you have a Halloween style? It’s totally okay not to. It’s fascinating how all the different cultures and types of people come together and form this global Halloween convergence, that only grows with more and more ideas as Halloween moves into the mainstream consciousness. So, I thought, let’s have some fun discussing Halloween styles and see what people identify with.

Sweet ‘r Vintage
This is the barely scary, family friendly, vintage loving, zero gore Halloween. Their costumes are cute, their jack o’lanterns are cuter, and they never miss an airing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This crowd is into Beistle vintage repros and genuine antiques. They spend a lot of time preserving the history and innocent traditions of Halloween, and I suspect there’s a lot of baking going on.

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Halloween Collection ©Beistle

Classic and Spooky
These are the people who want a little more bite to their Halloween, but they are no gore hounds. They celebrate in the most typical of fashion, i.e., costume parties, parades, haunted mazes, theme parks, and midnight showings of classic monster movies. Every box is checked on the Halloween bucket list. They’re fine with the fact that Halloween only comes once a year, even though they’ll spend all year preparing for it. Say what you want about the consumerism, but these are the true Halloween traditionalists.

Grim & Goth
Halloween macabre. Vampire mystique. Red velvet. Dark eyeliner. Hearse rides around Forest Lawn. Candles. Candles. Candles. Tattoos and latex outfits are optional, but the devil-may-care attitude is a must.  I look at Halloween goths as classic traditionalists who have a deeper appreciation for the darker, supernatural, more grim side to Halloween.

 

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Scary ‘n Gory
Do you turn your own backyard into a terrain of terror every Halloween because you like the sound of people screaming? Have you ever had the cops called on you over a gruesome yard display? Have you ever petitioned the Academy to take another look at the artistic merits of the movie Hostel? If you answered yes to any of these questions, and are patiently waiting for the Saw series reboot, this could be your Halloween style.

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Heads on Spikes ©DapperCavader.com Los Angeles

$exy / #Trendy
Yes, this gets its own category because, candy corn Jello shots! Controversial masks and slutty Halloween costumes are not going away anytime soon, so long as frat parties are still around, but, here’s the thing, college kids always grow up. Whether or not, they stay Halloween fans and pass on appreciation for the holiday to their own children, depends on how they were embraced by the Halloween community. So stop being so judgmental, and let people wear what they want. Instead of bullying, urge people to respect each other, be kind, drink responsibly, and be safe on Halloween night.

harley by darcy delia
Harley Quinn costume ©Darcy Delia

Your Halloween style doesn’t and shouldn’t define you, but instead, allows you to connect to people who you normally wouldn’t. If you match one thing or two things or all things on this list, great! And, if you don’t, but you still love Halloween, well, there’s a style for that too.

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