Taking the howl out of Halloween

/

Photo by Luke Sarazin

 

Halloween can be a stressful time of year if you, like me, absolutely hate being scared.  

Halloween is full of scares and spooky costumes as well as people having horror movie marathons.  

I’ve been invited to two horror movie marathons as well as five horror movie screenings in the weeks leading up to Halloween 2017, and I’ve avoided every single one. 

Despite my intense hatred for being scared, Halloween is still one of my absolute favourite times of year. I like carving pumpkins and getting all dressed up, making silly treats and attending Halloween parties. I even enjoy standing at the door and handing out candy, despite the terrifying costumes that some kids wear.  

One of my favourite ways to celebrate Halloween is by re-watching classic Halloween films. 

I don’t mean horror movies, like IT or A Nightmare on Elm Street. I mean The Addams FamilyBeetlejuiceThe Nightmare Before Christmas and assorted similar films. They’re spooky, but not scary. They’re also very fun.  

The Addams Family is perfect for Halloween because it’s dark and filled with the spooky aesthetic of Halloween, but it’s very silly and enjoyable as well as entirely void of jump scares. It’s a Halloween classic for many people, and especially good for those of us who can’t handle being scared. Another notable aspect of The Addams Family is the resistance of social norms; women watching the film may find the matriarch Mortica to be an empowering figure. 

Beetlejuice is another Halloween classic. It covers all the bases, with ghosts, possession, monsters and more. It’s a terrific way to celebrate Halloween with silliness and spookiness without being on the edge of your seat, terrified out of your mind. As well, it provides a decent commentary of the self-fulfilling prophecy of being stuck in a system that doesn’t care if you succeed. 

I celebrate Halloween by watching appropriately themed movies that I don’t find scary. I don’t mind if my friends all want to watch Saw, I would rather watch The Haunted Mansion by myself.  

If you are not like me, and you enjoy the horror genre, please consider people like myself when celebrating Halloween. Throw The Corpse Bride or ElviraMistress of the Dark into your horror movie marathon. It isn’t hard to avoid scaring the pants off someone while simultaneously celebrating the darkest holiday of the year. 

Halloween is a tradition celebrated that can find its origins 2,000 years ago. It isn’t a holiday solely based on scaring others. Most of the Halloween traditions are allegorical or hold spiritual significance, such as not blowing the candle out of the Jack-o’-lantern – otherwise you’re opening your home to evil spirits. 

It’s fine to fill your lawn with ghost, skeleton, witch, or monster decorations; to have horror movie marathons and go to the haunted houses.  

You also shouldn’t be embarrassed to sit at home and watch Beetlejuice for the fiftieth time.  

It’s fine to avoid Halloween entirely and spend the night somewhere else.   

Just be sure that however you celebrate, you are respecting other peoples’ right to celebrate and have fun as they see best fit. When you make your decision as to what you are doing, just consider the folks like myself who can’t really handle being scared. 

I celebrate Halloween by watching appropriately themed movies that I don’t find scary. I don’t mind if my friends all want to watch Saw, I would rather watch The Haunted Mansion by myself.  

You don’t have to be scared to enjoy Halloween. Ghosts and monsters can be fun instead of terrifying. 


Leave a Reply

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.