It’s October 31st and beautifully sunny. That means I can actually write this brief post without looking over my shoulder half a dozen times or panicking as soon as I hear an unfamiliar creek in the apartment.
Hallowe’en as an adult is funny. Facebook is full of friends and frenemies posting odd photos of their toddlers in humiliating costumes. People go off to dress-up parties — the best I ever heard of was a “before and after” event that had one of my friends arrive as Dirty Harry Potter. There will be bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on sale tomorrow morning and thousands of us will either be listening to Thriller or Rocky Horror or both before the night is done. I, myself, have an afternoon planned around Young Frankenstein… or maybe Red Dragon. Camp comedy or psychological thrillers are how I like to usher in the fall months these days.
But Hallowe’en as a tiny tot was different. Not only because of the pressure any costume in Canada had to be both what you wanted and also functional under a snowsuit or garbage bag (October 31st is notorious as having either the first snowfall or a well-timed thunder-storm as soon as the kids get outside), but because there was a lot of creepy shit available to youngsters. And I’m all for it. I think children should read the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales and feel frightened in order to figure out what is good and what is bad. Lots of people think that way. So the following list is not a condemnation by any means, but more of a personal recitation of the things that really, really scared me before I had the words (or dry, sarcastic wit) to know what to do next.
If you weren’t ready for it, Hallowe’en could truly terrify you as a little person — and it had nothing to do with watching The Exorcist.
Experts tell us that children before the age of 6 are the most impressionable. No bloody kidding…