Lani Says: Sympathy for the Devil

2018 Columnists Editions Lani Tunzi October

Every year when the holidays roll around, it seems that everyone has something to say about each and every detail of each and every holiday. 

As for me, I have something I want to say about Halloween. 

With every passing Halloween, there’s been a creeping decline of crazy, creepy spirit in the air. Candy bowls empty slower, porch lights go dark earlier, jack o’lanterns are extinguished too soon. Halloween has lost its haunt, its spook, its gore, its dare! Where severed limbs, toilet-paper mummies and bruised bloodied zombies once filled the streets, there are now dollar-store princesses and superheroes.

Kids today seem unphased by masks. The monsters under their beds seem to have gone on vacation. Scary stories and slasher films? Meh. Kids don’t seem to fear the Boogeyman, Freddy and Jason, Frankenstein and Dracula. Skeletons, witches, ghosts and ghouls have become a laughing stock. It’s an utter insult to the good name of Samhain!

On one level, you could wonder whether children have grown so overexposed to terror and gore, so desensitized by the monsters on the news and the fear in political media, that there’s no horror to Halloween by comparison. 

On another level, you could wonder whether there’s so much emphasis now on safety that even Halloween has become nothing but a rudimentary, door-to-door costume party.

At the very least, egg sales should be skyrocketing! Fear rising! There should be the urge to look over your shoulder at the shadows in the dark and the bumps in the night.

It’s due time that fright returns to the night of Halloween. Say “boo!” Pull a prank. Respect the spirits by showing some fear. And mean it when you ask: “Trick? Or treat?” 

Lani Tunzi is in the 11th grade at Eagle Rock High School.