Saturday , April 13 2024
Halloween. I don't like it. I've never liked it. Could someone please make it go away?

Halloween Humbug: Just Call Me Scrooge McPumpkin

Halloween. I don’t like it. I’ve never liked it. Could someone please make it go away?

Those horrible plastic masks on those little-kid costumes we used to get were hot and uncomfortable. Trick-or-treating was ruined by horror stories of razor blades and poison. And as for stuffing your face with candy: hello, stomach-ache.

But the worst is, you can’t grow out of it. Halloween follows you through adulthood. Every year it’s back, like a recurring nightmare. Crazed, costumed teenagers shouting up and down the streets. People who’ve been raised by wolves, and already don’t give a crap about other people, suddenly freed by costumed anonymity to let their evil-freak flags really fly.

The horror…the horror.

Oh, it’s not all grouching and grumbling with me. I can remember a few magical Halloween experiences. That night in Putney, Vermont walking past all the houses with their intricately carved jack-o-lanterns on display—magical. Good times at the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade one year, a while back, before it got so huge that it became scary—and not in the good way. But those exceptions have been few and far between.

It goes deeper than mere annoyance. Everything, everything, everything seems out of control on Halloween. It’s like that classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer Halloween episode—the one from Season Two, in which everyone becomes their costumes. Only this isn’t TV, it’s real.

I know it’s real because although I’m not much for costumes myself, I once spent an evening in a bear suit.

I don’t even remember if was Halloween. My friend Jim had rented a bear suit. He liked it so much he paid for it and kept it, and he lent it to me to wear one night when his band had a gig at Freddy’s Backroom. I spent the whole evening at Freddy’s roaming around having people stare at me as I wore the bear suit. I became a different being. Waving my furry arms around, nodding my head strangely, moving about uncharacteristically slowly. I wasn’t a bad creature. I was a peaceful sort of Smokey-Bear type character. But I wasn’t me.

It was pretty cool actually—felt pretty freeing.

But there aren’t a lot of bear suits out on the streets of New York on Halloween. No. There are skimpy sexy outfits, glaring scary outfits, silly outrageous outfits—all on people with excessive amounts of that whoop-it-up anything-goes energy that comes to people on the one night when you’re supposed to let your inhibitions go.

Bah humbug, I say. Go back to the suburbs. Stop scaring me.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Music, where he covers classical music (old and new) and other genres, and Culture, where he reviews NYC theater. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he is on a mission to visit every park in New York City. He has also been a part-time working musician, including as lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado.

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