It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
You’re probably all singing a Christmas song now—not exactly what I had in mind. See, I prefer the old fashioned way of celebrating, which calls for three separate and distinct holidays, and Halloween is my personal favorite.
Why, you ask? At the end of the day, I just love a good ghost story. The ultimate goal of writing, according to Edgar Allan Poe, was to intentionally induce some kind of reaction in the reader. Horror, Poe’s own genre of choice, has a visceral affect unlike anything else. When properly told, scary stories seize hold of the human imagination and hold it captive.
What’s even better, on Halloween my friends and I get to openly celebrate our love for all things old and spooky—without inviting speculation about our mental health—by disguising our maturity and asking less clever adults for free candy.
Case in point: On Monday, I went trick-or-treating.
Don’t worry, I didn’t deprive younger children their sweet spoils. This particular trick-or-treat was in fact intended for college-age adolescents. A group of BYU students had arranged the event across a number of apartments, and my friends invited me to participate.
My costume was a true testament to thinly-veiled nerdiness: I went as a racketeer from the ol’ west. I assembled my costume with elegant ease. I wore a tan, thinly-woven button up shirt that I already happened to own, and I borrowed a fake Beaver hat and a plastic cane from my friend’s roommate. A monocle, stopwatch or revolver would have added depth to my hasty costume, but none was readily available.
Of course, hardly anyone knew what I was supposed to be, but that was part of my plan. Whenever someone asked who I was dressed up as, I had the opportunity to enlighten them: “How about you forget I have a name and give me all the candy in your till; otherwise, I might forget to pick up the dynamite I dropped in your new saloon.”
We spent the next several hours trekking from one apartment to the next, playing silly carnival-games-on-a-college-budget and hoarding candy, and even crawling through a dark maze some boys built out of cardboard boxes in their living room. We should have gone there first—by the time we got around to the maze, most of the glow sticks that lit the path through it had walked off, leaving us to tactile navigation.
It was quite a spectacle, with dozens of ill-attired, college-age ghouls traipsing up and down the block, toting Walmart sacks full of candy through the rain. A good time was had by all, right up until we realized why techno Halloween remixes, enthusiastic but unskilled dancing and copious amounts of candy generally do not mix well, even when you’re in your early twenties.
And so, with the end of the Halloween season nigh at hand, I apologize to all those Christmas-lovers I have grouched at this month. I’ve had my fun. You may now turn on your holiday music and prepare to celebrate the second most wonderful time of the year.