The Death of Halloween

Filed Under (Halloween) by Mike Wilton on 31-10-2012

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Sad PumpkinsIt’s no secret that for most of my life I have been a die hard Halloween enthusiast, and a couple years ago I wrote about the death of trick or treating, but this year I have to say I felt it more than ever. My kids missed Halloween last year because they were sick, and with turning five this year it was the first year for them to get excited about our family’s favorite holiday, but alas this year’s trick or treat was more a trick than a treat.

Lights Out

When I was growing up, this neighborhood was filled with trick or treaters and people handing out candy. Tonight we spanned half a housing track and for every street we hit only two to three houses actually had their lights on.  And as it was, for every few houses with lights on at least one of them still wasn’t giving out candy (even if the house was decorated).

Cruising

Another ugly trend I discovered was that people now drive house to house instead of actually walking the neighborhood.  This isn’t people busing their kids in like they used to do when I was growing up, this is literally people driving house to house and then jumping out to run up to someone’s door.  What fun is that?

Costumes Optional

Another trend, which wasn’t as prominent in our neighborhood, but I heard some complaints elsewhere was the complete lack of costume while trick or treating.  I understand that these are tough economic times, but even my Pinterest board costume that I made for work today only cost about 99 cents in poster board and about an hour or so of my time.  With kids just looking for handouts, its no wonder Halloween is dead and neighborhoods aren’t participating.

America is Afraid

Halloween has always stirred up fear, but sometime after 9/11 I noticed that Halloween seemed to take a sudden dip in participation.  Once we felt vulnerable as a nation it seems as though we all became afraid of our neighbors, our neighborhoods and even the towns we call home.   A friend of mine summed it up on Facebook tonight when she said, “too many people have fear instilled in them…its a sad thing people don’t feel safe in their own neighborhoods.”  But what are we afraid of?  And if we’re so afraid to participate in this holiday, then where are we spending the reported $8 billion on Halloween?  What was the tipping point?

Is it the hype from the news outlets about all the urban myths about razor blades in your candy and the creepers out to harm our kids? Or is it the churches and schools replacing traditional trick or treating with “trunk or treat” (You know…the one where they teach kids its ok to get candy from a stranger’s trunk.)  Or has the economic downturn just made it too hard for people to hand out candy the way they did in my youth?

Halloween is clearly still a huge part of our society, but participation is changing drastically.  Has Halloween dwindled to nothing more than parties and haunted houses?  Will the trick or treating tradition that was such a huge part of my youth become obsolete?  It feels as though the desire to trick or treat is still there (the crowds were out), but participation from neighborhoods passing out candy is near non-existent.

What are your thoughts? How was Halloween in your neighborhood this year? Did your neighborhood participate or were houses passing out candy few and far between?

 

The Death of Trick or Treating

Filed Under (Halloween) by Mike Wilton on 14-09-2010

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If the trick or treat scene in your neck of the woods is anything like mine you’ve probably seen the numbers dwindle over the last 5-10 years.  What was once a night of fun with kids crowding the streets dressed up in ghoulish glam, has turned into just another night in the neighborhood. Child safety advocates, anti-Halloween propaganda, and church and community events have surely played a part, and ultimately introduce a little thing called “Trunk or Treat”.

If you haven’t heard of trunk or treat you’re probably still living in an area where Halloween is widely celebrated and is still a huge tradition.  If that’s the case, let me know where you live so I can come join in the festivities.  While trunk or treat sounds like some messed up prank you would pull on your friend in the back of your car, its basically just tailgating for Halloween and kids go car to car to get treats in the parking lot of a church, community center, or the like.  Not exactly what I call a night of fun.

I’ve seen it growing in popularity locally over the last few years, as many of the schools have offered these events, but this year was the first I had seen that it had gone mainstream.  While browsing the Halloween section of Walmart the other day I discovered the following three decorations.

Yep. Now not only can you waste a night of trick or treating in a parking lot, but you can try and be festive in the process.  Now that trunk or treating has gone mainstream we are sure to see the death of trick or treating as we know it.  The whole thing is a joke and I am sad to see the tradition of Halloween fading as the years progress.  What was once a sacred holiday for young kids to enjoy tricks and treats has turned into just another warm and fuzzy holiday for overprotective authority figures to spoil.

What are your thoughts on the dying Halloween traditions and trunk or treating?  Has Halloween survived in your neck of the woods or are you seeing a decline in trick or treating as well?

Halloween Treats Coming To Your Toaster

Filed Under (Halloween) by Mike Wilton on 24-08-2010

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The folks over at Pop Tarts are ringing in the holiday season with 3 new flavors this year, one for the month of October, November and December.  The first in the series is sure to add a little fright to your morning, with the Halloween flavor, Choc-o-lantern Chocolate Fudge.  The Halloween themed pastry will feature a chocolate crust, fudgy filling, orange icing, and bat and ghost sprinkles.

While Pop Tarts hasn’t announced an official distribution date, these pastries are sure to hit shelves soon and will be followed by the Pumpkin Pie Thanksgiving edition Pop Tarts and the Gingerbread Season Greetings Edition Pop Tarts.