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Halloween is in season

October 26, 2010

Photo by Skye Butler

By Kathleen Layton, Editor-in-Chief

Most students can remember a time in elementary or middle school when Halloween was a big deal.

Worksheets, lesson plans and classroom parties revolved around spooky stories and deathly sweet treats. Yet, as soon as the holiday reaches its peak popularity in middle school, it is abruptly rejected by ‘too cool for school’ highschoolers. Halloween and other lesser holidays continue to be a calendar footnotes, until you get to college.

Suddenly, the holiday that you once considered childish and immature is revamped and adapted to a whole new set of rules.

Halloween, which was once naively associated with Casper the Friendly Ghost and Charlie Brown now takes on another set of rules.

The cute, childhood innocence of the holiday rapidly morphs into an adult version, with terrifying horror films and provocative Halloween costumes.

Like  so many other things, as we  grow into adults, our perspectives change. Instead of thinking about jack-o-lanterns and scare crows, we focus on the scary and sexy stereotypes associated with the holiday.

Hayrides are replaced with haunted houses, serious costumes are  replaced by a sexier versions of the once-serious costumes and childhood tales are replaced with bone-chilling horror films.

The innocence that was once so satisfying is forgotten about and exchanged for a scary or sexy dichotomy. While not a bad thing, this change of tradition serves as another marker in our lives.

As we graduate and move on to more professional roles our perspective of Halloween will once again change. Costume parties become corporate parties and  scary movies are exchanged with family-friendly flicks.

The innocence of the holiday is only rekindled after many years, when our children or  our much younger relatives experience trick-or-treating, dressing up in a costume or other festive Halloween traditions for the first time. I can imagine that seeing this site, will remind us all of our own first memories of Halloween.

Then, suddenly, we will be back where we started.

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