Halloween is great when you’re a kid. Or at least it should be.
Now, some parents worry that Halloween is too dark with its ghouls and goblins and scary costumes. Some even allege that Halloween is linked to Satan and evil forces.
Give me a break.
These nervous Nellie, killjoy parents are responsible for the disheartening trend of “fall festivals” – generic, sanitized celebrations without costumes or fun.
This time of year, you hear about fall festivals at schools and churches that are meant to replace Halloween. Many organizations, fearful of a parental backlash, are loathe to even mention Halloween anymore.
I saw a great article recently that debunked several ill-informed fears about the supposed dangers of Halloween.
“In the land of wholesome holidays, Halloween is the bad seed,” writes Jack Heffron on ManOfTheHouse.com. “The black sheep. And it really doesn’t deserve such a bad rap.”
He goes on to tackle three persistent myths about Halloween.
- Satanic cults sacrifice black cats on Halloween. “In fact, there is no evidence at all that this happens,” Heffron writes, citing a National Geographic article.
- People wear costumes to worship evil and death. This is probably the most absurd contention. Heffron quotes a History.com article that traces the roots of Halloween back to a Celtic festival thousands of years ago that was intended to “ward off roaming ghosts.” Not worship or attract them.
- Children are given dangerous treats. “Your child stands a far greater chance of being hit by a car while running across a street on Halloween than in eating tainted candy,” Heffron says.
Stop the silly crusades
Some parents and organizations fight useless battles against innocent traditions. They think they’re protecting our children from evil influences.
In the case of the anti-Halloween movement, opponents do more harm than good. They’re teaching kids to fear some dark, sinister force that’s supposedly out to do us harm. Opponents are encouraging belief in ghosts and witches and zombies by steering kids away from scary costumes.
Halloween encourages kids to be silly and make light of superstitions – and that’s a good thing.
Parents who insist on worrying should adopt serious causes, such as teen pregnancy, underage drinking or drug use.
Leave Halloween alone.
Encourage your kids to dress up and enjoy Halloween. It’s a staple of childhood. Parents, don’t burden kids with your own neurosis. Let them experience life. Let them figure out for themselves what’s to be feared and what’s not.