I’ll just put this out there, and I am obviously in the minority with what I’m about to admit, but here goes:
I don’t really like Halloween.
Why, you ask? Well, living on my own was an experiment in how many lights I could leave on at night and still sleep; I can’t watch Law & Order when I’m home alone because I just know the evil murdering rapists are hiding in my closet ; I have a paralyzing fear of spiders; I instinctively check on the other side of the shower curtain both when I get home and when I’m in the shower because I’m convinced there is a mass murder with a chain saw waiting for me; and I come from a long line of people who have night terrors. The scariest Halloween movie I can watch is “Hocus Pocus”, and I still have to cover my eyes during the parts where the zombie with the sewn-together lips gets his fingers cut off under a manhole (OMG now I won’t be able to sleep). And that movie was made for CHILDREN!
(You know what else was made for children? “Frankenweenie”, but I screamed uncontrollably for something like 3 days straight after watching the first 5 minutes and still cannot see one of those dogs on the street without losing my shit. All because the dog gets hit by a car, like, 20 seconds into the movie and then has his head sewn back on and then whenever it drinks water and it spurts out the holes in his neck. Classic Tim Burton, but maybe not an appropriate movie for a 4 year old. My father became apoplectic with laughter and I thought Satan had crawled out of the tv and into my eyeballs. And they’re making a remake! WHY. STOP. NO.)
So obviously, I am diametrically opposed to a holiday that fetishizes everything scary and spooky. This isn’t to say that I didn’t have some awesome costumes as a kid, because I did. (And I have pictures to show you on Monday, of my little kid self all decked out in Halloween costumes.)
No, it just means that, at 3, I made my dad put his jack-o-lantern outside because it scared me. And that when friends went to a haunted house for a birthday party in 2nd grade, I stayed outside with the adults, trying not to pee my pants. And that when my dad and I tried to visit a haunted house in BROAD DAYLIGHT when I was 15, I didn’t make it in the door, and the lady felt so bad for me she gave us a refund (this comes up again later). And that all my mom has to do is say “boo” when I can’t see her, with no more intonation that if she were saying “oh” and I will be so startled I will shriek wildly and drop to the floor. And it means that I don’t care how fake that decorative spider looks, part of me still thinks it is going to spring to life and try to crawl up my nose and lay eggs in my brain, YOU NEVER KNOW.
Overcoming your fears is overrated, kids. That’s why this Friday Five is dedicated to the gentler, less spooky side of Halloween. Because honestly, I had enough trouble with this post as it is.
photos from Nightmares Fear Factory
Maybe I lied when I said “gentler,” but this photos are so hysterically funny I just couldn’t help myself, even if they are from a haunted house. This is just genius. Set up a camera at a particularly scary part of the tour, and capture the hilarious faces of the poor idiots who actually paid money to have the bejeezus scared out of them. Talk about capturing the exact right moment! I’ve never seen such unbridled fear and sheer terror in my life. There are 20-something pages of similarly awesome photos in their Flickr stream, and I almost gave myself an asthma attack laughing so hard. Of course, this just further proves my point about why Halloween is the worst holiday ever. This is what I would look like if I participated in any festivities, so I’ve taken great pains to avoid it. Teehee, look at their faces!
I might have an objection to Halloween, but I launch no such objection to Halloween goodies. Treats not tricks, got it? This monstercake is 20 different kinds of adorable, and if I possessed even an ounce of patience, you can bet I’d be piping on orange frosting to look like fur and making cake-balls for googly eyes. The only problem I have with this cake is that it looks too good to actually cut into, and when I am deprived of cake (especially when the cake itself is depriving me) I become extremely fussy.
Pumpkin Candles, West Elm
Ah, see? Nothing spooky or gross about these. THIS is the kind of Halloween I wish we had, instead of one with blood and gore and mummies popping out of every corner covered in spiderwebs and death. I love these candles, and I think they celebrate everything nice about the season without being the least bit creepy. They’d make a beautiful centerpiece on a table if you had 4 or 5 of them. I even love that they styled them with a burlap tablecloth! So perfect.
Silly Dog Costumes
Does this require an explanation? Really? You’re not convinced simply based on the pictures? Fine. One of the best things Halloween has done for the world has been to provide pet owners with the adorably insane notion that they need to extend the dress-up to their 4-legged companions. And thank god for that, because nothing is cuter than the puppy version of anything. Oompa Loompa? Cuter if it’s a Daschund. Think your Dalmation has been giving you too much attitude recently? Affix an inflated pink balloon to its undercarriage and tell people he’s a cow. I love pet costumes. This is a Halloween tradition I can endorse.
Salem Witch Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
Okay, so despite my debilitating fear of anything scary (as well as some un-scary things like sand and elevators), I was hugely into the Salem Witch trials for about 6 or 7 years of my life. I read historical fiction, non-fiction, everything I could get my hands on regarding the trials. Nineteen men and women were hanged, and one man, Giles Cory, was crushed to death with heavy stones. My dad and I took a trip up the east coast to visit family friends in New York and Massachusetts every summer, and once my fascination with Salem started, we added it to the itinerary. We would make sure to hit all of the tourist attractions, including the graveyard where the alleged witches were buried, as well as Salem Willows, the most amazing and old-timey arcade and park with a bandstand right on the water. We also tried going to one of their famed haunted houses, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, and the “guide” jumped out of his dark creepy doorway to lead me to my death and I screamed bloody murder. I was 15. Anyway, we also made sure to visit the Salem Witch Museum, which recounts the entire history of the trials through wax figures. It’s really pretty cool, and the museum is right across from the park at the center of the adorable and charming town. The first time we visited, though, and they got to the part about how Giles Cory was executed, his wax figure has a voice over of him begging for more weight in this really sad, horrible whisper. I mean, imagine people crushing your body with giant stones and you’re refusing to admit you’re a witch but hello, you’re being pressed to death. Sad, right? Apparently not to my father, who collapsed into full body hysterics and angered every other family in the room. Go dad.
Happy Friday! What are your feelings on Halloween? Are you dressing up as anything this year? I’d love to know, unless you’re going as that guy from the “Saw” movies in which case, keep it to yourself. I’d like to sleep tonight.
I’ll see you on Monday with some embarrassing pictures of me as a kid. Enjoy your weekend!