Not that I'm complaining, mind. It's no secret at all that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I don't remember quite when it surpassed Christmas for that honor (since I'm fairly sure almost every young child adores Christmas for obvious reasons) but for some years now I've looked forward to October with not-quite-anticipation but certainly a kind of glee when the first cheesy horror movies begin showing.
So, yes, no secret at all. So why this post? It's because I'm not entirely sure why it's my favorite holiday. It's not like I'm a huge fan of candy, so that can't be it. I mean, I don't even LIKE chocolate, and that's most of what you see. So it's not the goodies. It might be the dressing up. I've certainly always loved wearing costumes and pretending to be something or someone else for a few hours. Going door-to-door is also fun. Not that I've managed to find time to do either for the last few years, yet my love for the holiday has only grown.
It's certainly NOT getting scared. The last haunted house (well... haunted church basement, but semantics) I went into, I didn't get two 'scares' in before I turned tail and LITERALLY ran back to the entrance. Sat outside and hyperventilated until my group came out the other side. Whoops? So, yeah, not the scares so much. At least, not being scared in person. I've come to enjoy horror movies much more in recent years than I did before (although I still can't watch the really creepy ones... or Langoliers. Seriously. Flying balls of fluff with BIG SHARP POINTY TEETH. Can you blame me?) and even enjoy watching the odd one now and then, provided it's either exceedingly cheesy (like any teen slasher flick) or I have sufficient 'back up'. But I've managed to make myself paranoid for DAYS just reading summaries of Stephen King stories or browsing the 'net for stories of real hauntings, and I still occasionally get twitchy to this day after making the mistake of watching the movie Darkness Falls alone. So, yeah, think it's safe to say being scared isn't a huge draw for me (as stupid as I sometimes am about getting myself into that sort of position).
So... why? Why do I enjoy a holiday that seems to have nothing to really draw me in? I don't know. I just do. And maybe that right there is why. Halloween, unlike Christmas or Thanksgiving or Valentine's Day or any other holiday about 'love' and all such things, is about endings and beginnings and the very basic human instinct to fear the unknown, the things that go bump in the night. It's not about thinking things through, it's about feeling, whether you want to or not. Halloween, as commercial as it has gotten and as far from its roots as it has come (though certainly no farther than Christmas), is still about darkness and humanity's weakness in the face of it. No amount of glitzy orange and black candy bowls or cheerful carved pumpkins will change that.
So yeah. Maybe that's why. Now, if you'll excuse me, Flist, I have a ghost show to watch.