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Old 10-31-2002, 08:08 AM   #1
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Halloween

Happy Halloween!

What are your memories of this day as a kid, good or bad?

I am interested to know if Halloween has been all but driven out of town where you live. Participation in trick or treating has been dropping for years here, thanks to scares over razor blades and poison in candy, as well as some interest groups advertising the holiday as 'evil.'

Not to open a can of worms, but this is FYM!

Let me explain. When I was a kid in the 70's, Halloween was a big thing. Almost all kids went out and almost all houses were lit up. There was fun and happiness and good cheer.

Then came the 80's and the calls of Halloween being Satanic or something. In 1980, a church in our town actually had a haunted house in its basement with vampires, mummies and shrunken heads. By the end of the 80's, the church was preaching against Halloween, telling its members to bring their kids to a church party dressed as Biblical characters and to distribute anti- Halloween literature warning of Hell and damnation for trick or treaters. Since then, I have seen fewer trick or treaters and more porch lights out each Halloween. I think this is sad because no kid ever thinks about saluting evil spirits, it's only 'what are you going as' and 'what kind of candy did you get.' Generations of children had fun on Halloween without ever knowing anything about its distant past or what its roots may have originally come from and it never mattered. I hate to see such a fun and honestly innocently playful part of childhood spoiled by something taken too seriously and too far by some. What do you think?

I would like to know:

When were you a kid, how was Halloween for you and how is it now compared to then? I'm interested to see the views of different eras of trick or treaters and the effect of pre- and post "Halloween is evil" propaganda.

Is this just my area or has this anti-Halloween attitude spread everywhere?

Do you really think someone dragging up some ancient rituals kids never heard of and do not participate in should ruin the fun of dressing up and getting candy? Why or why not?

Do you believe the old 'razor blade or poison in the candy' myths? Those have been around since I was a kid. There was a rumor about 1977 that a kid had gotten cocaine in his Milky Way. I don't believe this since most drug addicts are too selfish with their stash to do such a thing. I only recently found out that a lot of the stories I had grown up thinking were matter of fact reality were actually just urban legends, and one case of an evi stepfather using the Halloween tampering rumor to poison his stepkids. Opinions?

The church parties and malls are no replacement for going door to door in your neighborhood, unless you live in a very dangerous crime ridden area, and that is another topic to consider. Have the recent rash of child abductions, molestations and snipers scare some kids or parents out of trick or treating?
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Old 10-31-2002, 10:19 AM   #2
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I did find a straight pin in a piece of gum I was chewing when I was a kid. That candy came from a parade, though, not Halloween.

I have good memories of Halloween. One of my favorites was trick-or-treating in a blizzard. No one else was out, so many people gave us most of their candy bowls. "You're the only kids we've seen! Here, take as much as you want!" And when my dad was driving us around, he took us to an abandoned parking lot and showed us how to "safely" fishtail the car and do donuts. (My dad is a car fanatic from Detroit)

I lived in a very small town, less than 1000 people, and Halloween was considered safe. Of course, we were told not to eat unwrapped stuff, etc., but for the most part, you knew everyone in the town and could trust them to give you good treats. One woman even made the best candy apples--her house was the #1 objective!

I can understand safety issues nowadays, but I can't understand the Halloween = evil. Wish I had more time to rant about that, but I think I'll save it until I've had a bit more candy and cupcakes.
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Old 10-31-2002, 11:32 AM   #3
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I grew up in the Midwest and had plenty of fond memories of Halloween. I remember the fun and innocence of dressing up (mostly home-made costumes), walking door to door, and the candy (it was especially a treat as we had few sweets at home). If only I could keeps those years forever.

In my early teen years, Halloween became tainted by the kids who treat the day (and the night before, known as “Devil’s night”) as a time for destruction. Not “harmless” pranks like toilet papering a house, but outright destruction of property, setting of fires, etc.

By high school, Halloween was essentially an occasion for debauchery. Fun wasn’t enough - it had to be excess.

Today, I know of a number of churches in our area that offer “Fall Festivals” in an effort to recapture the innocence of playing dress-up, with fun, games, of course, CANDY!

Keep it safe tonight – especially if you are driving after it is dark.
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Old 10-31-2002, 11:37 AM   #4
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Re: Halloween

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
Then came the 80's and the calls of Halloween being Satanic or something. In 1980, a church in our town actually had a haunted house in its basement with vampires, mummies and shrunken heads. By the end of the 80's, the church was preaching against Halloween, telling its members to bring their kids to a church party dressed as Biblical characters and to distribute anti- Halloween literature warning of Hell and damnation for trick or treaters. Since then, I have seen fewer trick or treaters and more porch lights out each Halloween. I think this is sad because no kid ever thinks about saluting evil spirits, it's only 'what are you going as' and 'what kind of candy did you get.' Generations of children had fun on Halloween without ever knowing anything about its distant past or what its roots may have originally come from and it never mattered. I hate to see such a fun and honestly innocently playful part of childhood spoiled by something taken too seriously and too far by some. What do you think?
I think religion trivializes itself when it does stuff like this, and ensures that the only believers it gets are reactionary fanatics. Most rational people realize that this is harmless, and, combine this with other "irrational" religious beliefs that religions expound similar to this, and we wonder why the gulf between mainstream society and religion keeps on expanding.

Melon
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Old 10-31-2002, 12:39 PM   #5
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I have always loved Halloween and found it quite magical. Every year since childhood, we would have an orange dinner, as our pumkin glowed on the table. I still do that to this day! Tonight we are having Mac and Cheese (very orange cheddar) and pumkin pie.

The problem with Halloween in this climate is that when you wanted to go as a ballerina you'd have to wear a snowsuit over your costume!!

Trick or treating is alive and well in my neighbourhood...all the houses are elaborately decorated and we had about 100 kids last year.

My sister is a witch and she takes Halloween off as an official religious holiday.
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:02 PM   #6
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I am dressing up as current Washington Redskins/former Florida Gators head coach Steve Spurrier. Many of his rivals in the Southeastern Conference referred to his football program as "the Evil Empire."

My wife is dressing up as the Tennessee Volunteers head coach, Phil Fulmer. Many of his rivals in the Southeastern Conference refer to him as "the Great Pumpkin."

Both of these men are evil and I suppose my wife and I will go to hell for dressing up as them. That is, after we go to our church-related Halloween party.

Spurrier:


Fulmer:


~U2Alabama
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:20 PM   #7
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When I was a kid Halloween was the be all end all of holidays.
I grew up in a small dinky town where everyone knew each other so it was never a question of safety...Just a question of who gave out the good candy and who gave you a penny
9 times out of 10 I was sick on Halloween and would only go to a few houses, but I liked handing out the candy and seeing everyone dressed up anyway, so it didn't really matter to me. We used to get TONS of kids coming to the door, but in the last 5 years I lived back there, we were lucky to get 3. I never understood exactly what happened because like I said, everyone knew everyone else and it was safe. I think it came down to more schools and churches having Halloween parties of their own and the parents not having the energy to drive the kids from house to house.

I never understood the "Halloween is Evil!!" thing, but we had a few of those too...Even going back to the roots of Halloween, it's not evil, they just want to ruin everyone's good time

Now, Halloween is way more important to me than when I was a kid. It's the only fun holiday where you aren't expected to spend it with family, so it became a huge celebration with my friends and I back east, we went ALL OUT. And since I've moved away, it still has that effect that it is THE holiday for me. I don't really celebrate other holidays so Halloween is my day. Luckily I live next to a mall that hands out candy, so I can go there and sit and watch all the little kids dressed up. I'm usually not a big "oh look at the little kid, how cute" kind of person, but I'll be damned if they aren't the sweetest little things on Halloween!
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:58 PM   #8
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The Halloween is evil stuff is crazy! I understand the safety issues but kids have those almost every day somehow anyway. No kid thinks about conjuring demons or waking the undead- unless they're going as a zombie or vampire which is only a game- they just want to have fun! I think kids miss a lot in a party. It's fun to go around the neighborhood and see everyone's pumpkins and decorations and some people even have ghosts hanging up in trees and scary music playing! My street was kind of dead so my mom would take my friends and I in a car to the next subdivision where the grown people even dressed up and sat outside! People were in such high spirits (excuse the pun) that they even spoke to people they usually didn't, even some they'd been mad at. Kids who hated each other were friends on Halloween. I truly have seen more goodwill on Halloween than any other holiday including Christmas or Thanksgiving. I heard the 'evil' stuff started at the 1978 Southern Baptist convention and they have worked since then to try to stamp it out. I don't understand why. Let the kids have fun.

And while you're out tonight look out for kids, slow down if you pass them, and let a black cat cross your path! Wooooo!
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:02 PM   #9
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Here is a question: Your child see someone dressed as a witch. The child asks you if witches are real. What do you tell them?
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:07 PM   #10
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You tell them (well I would tell them) that witches are real, but the kind of witches that ppl dress up as are different than real witches. Just like scary black cats that ppl dress up as are different than black cats in real life.

And that the sexy nurses don't dress like real nurses etc. lol
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
I am dressing up as current Washington Redskins/former Florida Gators head coach Steve Spurrier. Many of his rivals in the Southeastern Conference referred to his football program as "the Evil Empire."

My wife is dressing up as the Tennessee Volunteers head coach, Phil Fulmer. Many of his rivals in the Southeastern Conference refer to him as "the Great Pumpkin."

Both of these men are evil and I suppose my wife and I will go to hell for dressing up as them. That is, after we go to our church-related Halloween party.

~U2Alabama


Those are great costumes. With such evilness, you and your wife are sure to scare everyone at the party. I'm scared just thinking about it.

*contemplates dressing up as Howard Schnellenburger next year*
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:38 PM   #12
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I grew up in the Twin Cities. And in 1992 there was a HUGE AS HELL blizzard, but I went. And I got lotsa candy too cos no one else went.


But my parents always checked the candy for foreign objects, and found a screw in my snickers bar once.


Our neighborhoods really participated well, though we had a fair number of Jehova's Witnesses that did not participate, there was a lot of houses that were in it. (And I always went to the rich side of town {every place outside of my house} and got their regular sized candy bars.
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Old 10-31-2002, 04:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparkysgrrrl
You tell them (well I would tell them) that witches are real, but the kind of witches that ppl dress up as are different than real witches. Just like scary black cats that ppl dress up as are different than black cats in real life.
I understood the people dress up part. I guess the point of my question was to generate discussion following the many "I don't know why people label Halloween as evil" comments. Does a cartoon devil or witch mask over reality?
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Old 10-31-2002, 05:47 PM   #14
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Re: Halloween

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten


Then came the 80's and the calls of Halloween being Satanic or something. In 1980, a church in our town actually had a haunted house in its basement with vampires, mummies and shrunken heads. By the end of the 80's, the church was preaching against Halloween, telling its members to bring their kids to a church party dressed as Biblical characters and to distribute anti- Halloween literature warning of Hell and damnation for trick or treaters. Since then, I have seen fewer trick or treaters and more porch lights out each Halloween. I think this is sad because no kid ever thinks about saluting evil spirits, it's only 'what are you going as' and 'what kind of candy did you get.' Generations of children had fun on Halloween without ever knowing anything about its distant past or what its roots may have originally come from and it never mattered. I hate to see such a fun and honestly innocently playful part of childhood spoiled by something taken too seriously and too far by some. What do you think?

I would like to know:

When were you a kid, how was Halloween for you and how is it now compared to then? I'm interested to see the views of different eras of trick or treaters and the effect of pre- and post "Halloween is evil" propaganda.



Do you believe the old 'razor blade or poison in the candy' myths? Those have been around since I was a kid. There was a rumor about 1977 that a kid had gotten cocaine in his Milky Way. I don't believe this since most drug addicts are too selfish with their stash to do such a thing. I only recently found out that a lot of the stories I had grown up thinking were matter of fact reality were actually just urban legends, and one case of an evi stepfather using the Halloween tampering rumor to poison his stepkids. Opinions?

The church parties and malls are no replacement for going door to door in your neighborhood, unless you live in a very dangerous crime ridden area, and that is another topic to consider. Have the recent rash of child abductions, molestations and snipers scare some kids or parents out of trick or treating?
I think there are some evil people out there who'll put needles and poison in candies. It's some sick shit we have to deal with at times.

I went to a church that was and still is anti-halloween. They have those Fall Festivals where many are encouraged to dress like a biblical character. Once when I was a teenager, I showed up wearing a hippie outfit and I was wearing a peace sign shirt. The pastor did not like the peace sign, saying it was a cross that was broken at the arms, blah blah blah. I got pissed, but out of respect for the church, I changed my outfit. Then when I left, I put it back on and went trick or treating

I absolutely LOVE Halloween and I plan on taking my daughter trick or treating tonight and I ALWAYS check her candy. I even unwrap the candy bars and break it in half just to make sure there's no needles or other shit in there. When I'm done, my daughter's so cool, she ends up giving away half her candy to other trick or treaters. She loves giving and it makes me proud of her.
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Old 10-31-2002, 10:16 PM   #15
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My friend Cassidy's mom won't let Cassidy celebrate Halloween because she thinks it's "satanic" and "evil" and all that (I think Cassidy's mom is really nice and all...but she can be really weird with these sorts of things...don't say anything, though, that's her beliefs, she doesn't push them on me or anything like that, so...).

And I've discovered that because of the fanatical religious people in this area, we aren't allowed to dress up in Halloween costumes for school (this is also the same area that had people sending out pamphlets saying that "Harry Potter" was a horrible influence and all that, also, so...).

I think Halloween's a fun holiday. All the people who sit there and say it's all "satanic" and "evil" and all that take the day way too seriously. I think it's a great time to let your imagination run wild and be creative in your costumes and all that (plus, candy, people, candy).

As far as memories of Halloween for me goes...my most vivid memory of Halloween was the Halloween of 1991-we had gotten a huge icestorm here in Iowa that day. My sister and I still went out trick-or-treating, and we kept falling all over the place because it was so icy (we didn't have school the next day, obviously).

Then there was the Halloween in which I'd come down with the flu and was unable to go out trick-or-treating. My sister went anyway, and she shared some of her candy with me (when I was feeling well enough to eat it, that is).

There's a couple of Halloweens I remember quite well.

Angela
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