Hallowe’en is Scary

Hallowe’en is supposed to be scary. It’s a month-long orgy of the grotesque and horrifying, and the idea is to be safely scared basically for all of October. It also cleanses the palate for the saccharine feel-good fest of Christmas that’ll start before the pumpkins have rotted. In short, it’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

You ought to be afraid: of ghouls, ghosts, goblins, monsters, zombies, and diabetes. There are, however, a few things that people fear that are actually bullshit.

Poisoned Candy

Every year, people are afraid that some random stranger will poison candy and distribute it to neighbourhood kids as some way to satisfy some psychotic urge. Parents sift through the loot, looking for homemade goods (not safe), apples that have had razors inserted, and candy that has been tampered with.

Feel free to go through your kids’ candy. It gives you a chance to snag the good stuff, or the stuff that they won’t eat anyway (like the kisses, which is really a crime). You should also go through the candy if the kid has food allergies and for whatever reason will eat the peanut M&Ms or whatever. You should, however, teach your kids to avoid the foods that’ll kill them. You won’t find any poison, though. It’s never happened. No kid has been poisoned by a stranger on Hallowe’en. Ever. It’s an urban legend.

If you want to kill people, it stands to reason that you want to see it happen. Also that you don’t want to get caught doing so. Giving poisoned candy to potentially hundreds of strangers is a good way to do neither of those things.

On a related note, no one is going to give your kids drugs. It’s simple economics; Drugs are expensive and candy is cheap.

Stranger Danger

Kids are taught to be afraid of strangers. I’m not quite sure why; as the Simpsons sang, “a stranger’s just a friend you haven’t met”. People are kidnapped, it’s true. And, sometimes, they’re kidnapped by strangers. However, the likelihood of that happening is vanishingly small. The FBI estimates that 0.001% of abductions in the US are by strangers or slight acquaintances. Most missing persons are lost, or not where you thought they’d be, or have been abducted by family (most often in a custody dispute). I’d wager that the stats of abduction on Hallowe’en mirror the stats during the rest of the year.

Also, fewer kids are going missing than ever, which reflects the fact (but not the perception) that the world — at least the parts that aren’t being bombed to shit — is safer than ever. Oddly, even war is safer than ever. How fucked up is that?

Besides, no one wants your shitty kid.

Satanists

I kind of miss the good old days of the Satanic Panic of my childhood. It was kind of cool to know that there were actual bad guys and they were in league with Satan. Things were so much clearer then. Know who doesn’t? Those poor bastards who are still in prison for Satanic rituals involving children. Or the ones who were released after serving over 20 years for abuse that never happened and was obviously bullshit.

God we were dumb back then. I’d like to blame Jack Chick, but he sucks so much that he simply can’t be held responsible for this much idiocy.

Actually, now that I think of it, the current White House administration shows just how dumb one stupid asshole can make everyone else.

There are no black masses tonight. Wiccans are harmless. I’d trust my kids with members of the Church of Satan over lots of “normal” religious people. They seem like decent folks. If it turns out that your kid actually is hanging out with Satanists, they’re in good hands. And if you think that they’re going to summon a demon or something tonight, then you may have taken horror movies a bit too seriously.

Tripping

I’ve fallen down stairs. It sucks. Try not to do it. But it’s unlikely to kill you.

Traffic

Actually, you can be afraid of this one. It’s legit. The kids will be excited, they’ll be running around like idiots, and they won’t be watching for cars. They may also be wearing masks, which impairs vision.It’ll be dark (and kinda rainy around here, I think, which also reduces visibility). So kids, watch out. Drivers, really watch out. Stay safe out there.

Go out and have fun tonight. Get scared by shit that’s actually scary, or stuff that’s fictional and scary. But remember what this holiday is all about: kids taking candy from strangers.