By Stephen Dafoe
I suppose it was inevitable in a world where people eat the reproductive organs of animals on national television for fun, profit and their entitled fifteen minutes of fame that Halloween would follow the same path of over the top shock-value as everything else. But are we going too far with the current trend in Halloween props and decorations.
I’m not talking about the still-popular trend of taking the interior of a pumpkin and letting it dangle out the Jack-O-Lantern’s mouth to show trick-or-treaters what will happen if they eat too many candies. I’m talking about the quite realistic props that can let you look like someone has spilled their innards over your front lawn.
Skeletons are a welcome addition to any Halloween décor, but when there’s still meat on the bones, are we stepping over the line from spooky to revolting.
One can hardly blame the manufacturers. They’re producing what people want, but is what people want really in keeping with the ghosts and goblin spirit of what Halloween (the candy grab not the Wiccan tradition) has always been about.
As quaint as those old Boris Karloff and Bella Lugosi movies may be to a generation raised on the fad of six-packed werewolves and zombies that are poured on pop culture like butter on a fat man’s popcorn, they had a firm grasp of what Halloween scariness was.
For that generation it was the long reach of the looming and lumbering mummy coming ever closer to the main character or the ripple in the curtain when you knew Dracula would swoop in. Those were the things that scared you and kept you white knuckling the sofa arms.
Those famous monsters of film land didn’t need to mutilate and torture their victims to get their monster kicks, and they certainly didn’t need to sprinkle the lawn with body parts to put a little fear into movie goers.
But I’m certain there will be far more zombies with decaying faces coming to the door this Halloween than bunnies and superheroes. Perhaps that’s just how a holiday progresses.
Oh, well, at least the puking pumpkin will be there to remind them to not eat too many candies.