by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
I have a confession to make. I’m not a huge fan of halloween. There, I’ve said it. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off of the floor and stop staring at me in horror.
Yeah – I know. I’ve heard it all before. “You’re a paranormal writer and you don’t like halloween? What is wrong with you?”
Maybe I have no sense of whimsy, but if you’ve ever walked into a grocery store and seen half of the adults in the store dressed like their favorite World of Warcraft character; seen the ugliest, hairiest man in your office dressed as an ugly, hairy woman or had a past boyfriend you broke up with because you suspected he was gay show up on your doorstep dressed as a character from Cats (in full make-up, no less), you might be a little jaded about halloween, too. Or at the very least, traumatized.
Even as a kid, I wasn’t a fan of halloween. For some reason, dressing up and going from house to house begging for candy was uncomfortable for me. Perhaps it was going through my candy afterwards looking for any that was unsealed and could have been tampered with. The specter of killers disguised as friendly neighbors was always there, and every halloween, my sisters and I tossed away homemade popcorn balls, bags of candy corn and more.
As I got older and no longer went trick-or-treating, my focus shifted to finding costumes that didn’t make me look ridiculous when I was invited to parties. It turned out that the only costumes that met my teen-age sensibilities were ones my mother would never have let me wear out of the house. I became a master of disguise. I recall one year sneaking out to a party with my real costume hidden under a baggy black witch’s dress. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. Hopefully the statute of limitations has expired; although, if you want to ground me, a few days of staying home and no computer and no TV actually sounds like a lovely mini-vacation.
When I became a mother, I grew a little more fond of halloween. It’s hard not to love a chubby three-month-old in a cow costume or a bouncy three-year-old dressed as Tigger. Or, for that matter, a 10 pound dog dressed as a hot dog.
For the past twelve years, our family has driven to a pumpkin patch at the tip of the Hood Canal. It sits nestled among hills resplendent with fall color. The air there is crisp and clean. There’s a giant hay maze and a petting zoo. And when you’re ready to pick out your pumpkins, the whole family hops on a covered wagon with hay bales for seats and heads out to the pumpkin patch. For 12 years, it was a lovely family outing that we looked forward to as October came around.
This year, there will be no pumpkin patch. The kids have outgrown it. There will be no Tigger costumes and no plastic pumpkins filled with candy. Suddenly I find myself missing the holiday that I always swore I couldn’t stand. Its absence in my life marks the passage of time and serves as a reminder that before long, my children will be grown with family traditions of their own.
Time passes in the blink of an eye, and sometimes we don’t realize how much we love something as it occurs. It is only when it is gone that we truly appreciate what we had. Wwe are left with fading photographs and memories to tell us that something we thought we merely endured, we actually adored. And so now, as I gaze at my ghosts of halloweens past, I can finally admit it to myself and the world. I love halloween, and I will miss its presence in my life.
Love halloween? Listen to our spooky audio stories from dark fantasy and horror writer, Budd Lewis.