The true spirit of the season has been lost

Amidst the hustle and bustle of late October, much of the intention of the season to me seems lost. Today’s society gets caught up in Halloween’s commercial aspect; thus selling out the final night of October.

The larger problem behind the commercialization of Halloween is the fact that we have taken from it its paganism. Christians are outraged when the nativity narrative is abandoned at Christmastime in favour of an overweight senior in a red suit. Pagans perhaps get an even shorter end of the stick, having to give out handfuls of candy to trick-or-treating tots versus The Prince of Darkness himself.

There are many temptations around this time of year, which allow us easy outs making Halloween warmer, more politically correct, and certainly less evil. We must say “no” to that twenty dollar must-have Hannah Montana costume. We must resist the urge to join our proverbial Linus in a sincere pumpkin patch to await the descent of the great pumpkin.

If we are to truly experience a Halloween, a Pagan fundamentalist revival must take hold. I am not by any means expecting you to sneak into your grandfather’s back yard and steal his goat, Boris, who he raised from birth back in the old country; or to rip out poor Boris’ still beating heart and offer it as a sacrifice to Beelzebub. That is just impractical.

Perhaps this October we can each find one small way to keep the true spirit of Halloween alive. To me it would seem the most convenient method of putting the paganism back into Halloween is to hand out tricks instead of treats. Let’s face it, trick or treating has nothing evil about it, except for hundreds of bratty kids being pains in the ass on your front porch. In fact, the practice of giving out free candy is down right saintly. To give children a shot of the reality of Halloween I suggest handing out rocks, or perhaps raisins or a handful of peanuts. Nothing is worse than digging through a pillowcase full of rocks, raisins and peanuts at the end of a seemingly productive trick-or-treat. Nothing.

Another way we can strive to preserve the pure evil that is needed to fully understand the beauty of Halloween is to strike terror into the hearts of the innocent. If you are a particularly ugly individual, like your mom [Nice one –Ed.], a mask will not be necessary. However, for most other individuals I suggest a mask, or a long, ominous, black hooded cloak. Maybe both. Simply wait, disguised, in the shadows for an unsuspecting passer-by, and leap out at them. To help your victim get the full experience, I suggest yelling something scary, like “STEVEN HARPER HAS GIVEN UP ON THE BEATLES AND HAS STARTED TO SING INSANE CLOWN POSSE COVERS!” If that doesn’t have your prey shaking in a shallow pool of their own urine, then perhaps they are monsters themselves, and you should applaud their Halloween spirit.

Another key component to the pagan Halloween revolution is the destruction of the symbols of the old regime. You might consider, say, smashing pumpkins (no, not the 90’s alternative band). Jack-O-Lanterns are the symbols of a traditional Halloween, one that is sweet, warm and fluffy. Sheltered children will one day have to face the facts. Halloween, to quote philosopher Thomas Hobbes, is nasty, brutish and short. A way to aide their understanding is to destroy the carved pumpkins that they have laboured over as soon as they set them on their front stairs. This may require a few roving task forces, possibly equipped with sledgehammers.

Another meaningful way of preserving the true intentions of Halloween is to hold a séance for all your friends, dead and alive. Simply bring a few candles and fewer friends to a cemetery late at night. A vial of blood to sprinkle on tombstones, or a freshly slaughtered goat (if you don’t know where to get one of these, check your grandfather’s back yard [maybe craigslist –Ed.]) is always a great way to get the haunting started. The simple action of abandoning the comfort of your couch, and relocating to an eerier setting is a statement in itself about putting the paganism back in Halloween.

When we, this Halloween season, are tempted to get caught up in finding the perfect costume, or encouraging children to carve snaggle-toothed faces into hollow gourds, let us be assertive in preserving Halloween’s wickedness, and ghoulish horror, the true spirit of the season.

//Colin May


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