Halloween Costume Horror

Do you dress up for Halloween?

'Cause if you do, I really think you should skip any costumes that require machetes or chainsaws.

I'd like to hope this stuff has to be for adults because I can't see any responsible, sane parent saying, "Oh honey, let me run and get my camera. You look so cute in that Leatherface outfit!"

Then again, we all know there are a whole lot of irresponsible and insane parents out there. If you're one of the ones that buys plastic chainsaws that come coated in fake blood...well, if you're one of those, you're probably not reading this blog. But if you are, please explain in the comments what in the world you're thinking!

And another thing, who's going to open up their door to give candy to some machete holding teenager? Or adult? How are folks supposed to tell it's a fake machete? I mean, folks are crazy nowadays so who's to know? Am I really supposed to open my door up to give some kid holding a chainsaw some some candy? No wonder I come across houses that don't answer the door but instead have huge buckets of candy out front with signs that say things like, "Take one. We're watching!"

I'm not a fan of people dressing up as evil things but what happened to the days when a scary costume meant dressing up as Dracula or Frankenstein? I remember being maybe eight or nine and dressing up as a mummy. My friend Greg wrapped me in toilet paper and newspaper. It was a little misty so my costume fell apart pretty quickly, but it was fun.

Of course, people started putting razor blades into Snickers Bars...and the Atlanta Child Murders happened, so that ended my trick-or-treating days pretty quickly.

I'll tell you though, back then it wouldn't have crossed our minds to coat a costume with fake blood! But nowadays, someone thinks my son needs a "Dripping, Bleeding Mask".

Fortunately, my son thinks it's disgusting and wasn't even happy to pose with this awful thing. I feel sorry for the kids who've been brainwashed into believing this kind of thing is okay.

Seriously, what in the world is wrong with Halloween?


Jameil said…
Ian Lidster said…
I thoroughly agree with your sentiments, and what a fine looking son, by the way. But, like mother like son, genes never lie.
M said…
Well, I'm going to have to come out of the closet here and tell you that my son is one of those kids who totally feels like he needs a dripping bleeding mask. And, er, got one this year. And he's only seven.

In my house, growing up, my mother was always insistent that you should be the scariest thing possible on Halloween - I was never allowed to be a princess or a cheerleader - unless the princess had a cut throat (done with makeup) or cheerleader had blood coming out of her mouth, and I guess I believe in that, too. See, in my thinking, Halloween should be SCARY - not cute. It's about the day when the line between the living and dead is supposed to be thinnest - and that's a little scary right there, right? (Or it could be spiritually nice- depending on how you look at it). And I also think it's sort of a chance for kids to own their fears - normally my son can't even look at his own skinned knee without getting faint, (and believe me, has hasn't ever seen any of the films that a lot of these costumes are based on) but he will happily wear his bloody, drippy mask. And I think he can do it because he knows it's fake - it's kind of like when he was a littler kid and he using a stick and pretending it was a gun, and I said I didn't really like him doing that, and he said "Mom! I know the difference between a real gun and a stick! I am using my imagination!" And I had to give him that. He did know the difference. So I think being something really gross or scary is just his way of owning his fears, using his imagination. I think that kids walk around with a lot of anxiety about real life monsters and violence, that a lot of kids feel unsafe in our society - and dressing up or playing pretend is a way of shrinking down those real life fears into something manageable - something that they can control.

Not that I didn't try to convince him to be a flying monkey so I could be the Wicked Witch of the West. Because I did. And he was not having it.

So that's my two cents. He's got a bloody mask, and I swear I'm a pretty good mom!
Too much PC crap with Halloween. On the other hand, lunatics and pedophiles have made it into an adult "holiday" which ranks only behind Xmas in terms of $$$ spent. Kids are an afterthought.

PS I blogged on Ellen DeGeneres in the vein of Field Negro...after my affirmative action post.
Did you congratulate FN on the shout out in the LA Times?
West said…
It all comes down to inflation.

What scared the pants off of us yesterday will hardly get a rise out of us, today.

The stakes keep rising, whether we're talking about the cost-of-living, recreational drug use, or scaring the crap out of each other.
Liz Dwyer said…
Aagh! I hate when that happens! I always copy my comments before I hit publish because I know how temperamental Blogger is.

Why thank you! My son's such a good boy. He wanted to be Dracula this year but I said no, so he's going to be Spiderman again. And I really think he got the best genes from me and my husband. Sometimes I wonder where he came from!

Kudos for admitting your son has a bleeding mask! Rereading my post, I sorta sound like a judgemental beeyotch, huh?

I have always found it fascinating how Halloween has had much of it's superstitious and religious roots sanitized away. I'm not trying to do some sort of retro Samhain celebration because I'd hope we'd progressed education-wise beyond that level of superstition. But, there's a part of me that thinks that when you dress up as grotesque or evil things, it attracts that sort of energy to you. It's sort of like in the Exorcist when the kid starts playing with the Ouija board and then brings the evil on herself. I really believe there's a mystical/supernatural plane of existence that we are better off leaving alone.

Of course, there are those that would argue that by participating at all in Halloween I'm secretly worshiping the devil. What can I say...I guess I'll just blame it on my Irish heritage. Can't leave those Celtic festivals alone!

Yeah, I gave Field some love today! Clearly, this is a sign that he needs to break out of Philly and move himself to LA. I'll come over and check out your post. I'm really tired of folks talking about "adoption" of the pet. You adopt people, not pets.

I am also really sick of the "naughty nurse" outfits in the party stores. I swear, those are more stripper/hooker than anything else.Craziest thing is that they are starting to put CHRISTMAS displays up in my local Walgreens. All about the benjamins...
Liz Dwyer said…
Too true. I remember being scared by old-school black and white movies -- the ones where Bela Lugosi was still Dracula. Or even "Fright Night", which scared the crap out of me back in the day -- put that next to the vampire gore fest like the upcoming "30 Days of Nights" and kids will be bored and not scared at all. I swear part of me thinks they keep running that 30 Days movie trailer just so we can all see the evil vampire saying, "No God!"
Christmas items are in stores already? That is insane.
Hey Liz,
I would love to add some more womanpower to the workout tree. I will be simling at pre-dawn, knowing that even 769 miles away, someone else is sweatin' too :)

P.S. Do you have any good workout DVD recommendations? Dancey ones with good music?
Dena said…
i think Halloween gives people (children, youth and adults included)the excuse to act crazy. plain. and. simple. all morality goes out the window. all i can say for those who participate is, "don't come cryin' to me when someone scares the sh** out of you!" ;-)
Liz Dwyer said…
YES! I mean, it's still 11 weeks away but I guess we all really need three months to prepare for Christmas, right?

Well I love all those Firm workouts with weights. Those work! But I love Violet Zaki and Tamilee Webb. You can check them both out on the Exercise TV website. http://www.exercisetv.tv/

Yes, people do a lot of stuff on Halloween that they wouldn't do otherwise. Hopefully this year since it's on a Wednesday, folks will tone it down.
M said…
Nah, you didn't sound like a beeyotch. If my own son didn't actually pick out that costume on his own (he spent hours pouring over a catalog before he decided) I never would have picked it out for him myself. I think it's sort of like the people who like to go to the really scary haunted houses (which is definitely not something I like to do) - fear made fun? I don't like to scare or be scared - but I understand why other people (including my boy) do.
Anonymous said…
lucky for me I don't have boys...so no crazy bleeding costume for me...but I do believe in deep discounts (after halloween shopping, or as for this year thrift store shopping). I am outraged at the $15-$40 price tage for kids costume. Lucky for me I found a darling tinkerbell costume with WINGS at the local thrift store. The real one would've cost me $35 @ the Disney store. Not a chance...
Also we go to the mall to trick or treat...it gives me a chance to check on the new styles of today and get excercise and my daughter gets just enough candy to satisfy her sweet tooth!
Anonymous said…
Over the last few weeks I have watched Nightmare on Elm Street 1-4. Love it. I have Halloween 1-3 and Prom Night on order, and a copy of Candy Man on standby. That stuff is still great to me, but I just cannot watch the Saw movies, or anything like it. It's just too real.

My son is not into bloody or scary. I tried to get him to be something creepy for Halloween but he just wanted to be a bus driver. I'm cool with that. My wife and I are dressing up as vampires for a little adult fun.
Anonymous said…
I know a couple of kids in Montessori school whose teachers have put a different spin on Halloween: the kids are told to dress up as a person in history, and to give a 5-minute presentation on that person. So instead of kids dressing up as ghosts and goblins, they're dressing up as Betsy Ross, or Martin Luther King Jr., or Amelia Earhart. I loved this concept!
Liz Dwyer said…
I remember going to a haunted house thing at a carnival once and I absolutely hated it. They had some weirdo chasing us around with a chainsaw! I'm not even sure the chainsaw was fake because it definitely made a whole lot of noise. The one funny thing was that one of the so-called zombies broke character and handed me a piece of paper with his number!

Seriously! The price for costumes is outrageous. The apres-Halloween sales are definitely the way to go...even just to get stuff for the kids to dress up in year-round. My boys wore last year's costumes around the house a regular basis. I don't even know if our local mall does trick-or-treating, but we are going to the zoo a couple days earlier for some "Boo at the Zoo" thing and then we have a cute neighborhood that's not too far from us that we hit up every year. The key is that it be nice and flat so no one's little legs get tired!

I have a hard time staying in the room when scary movies come on. I usually watch until a scary part comes out...and then I run out of the room like a chicken. I just can't take it! I remember when first saw Candyman, it must have been when the video came out and my mom rented it, it scared the mess out of me. Now most of Cabrini-Green is gone, replaced by row houses for yuppies. And I'm with you, I can't even listen to the audio of those Saw/Hostel type movies when the commercials come on.

I like the historical figure idea a whole lot. When I was teaching, I had my students dress up as their favorite book character. It was really fun seeing what they came up with -- one or two would always try to tell me that "Scream" mask thing was a book character! Fortunately, we had chats about what they were going to come dressed up in well in advance of the holiday.

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