Halloween is dead in all the wrong ways

So, what’s scary?

When I was a kid I couldn’t sleep in the same room as the book Coraline. Now the only thing scary about having button eyes is constantly matching your outfit with them.

The costume stores seem to have it all wrong too.

Clowns? I am a clown.

Vampires? I think the politically correct term is European.

Hockey Masks? I’m already scared of jocks.

Witches? Have you seen Hermione lately?

Besides, I bet Health Ledger looks a lot scarier now than he did as the Joker.

Nothing is really as frightening as it was when I was a boy. Except maybe talking to girls.

***

When I was in elementary school I thought I was pretty clever. When I heard the whole monsters-under-the-bed issue, I told my parents I’d rather have my mattress on the floor.

The things that truly scared me were raccoons. I blame the Grade 1 rabies movie. These mask demons are like crafty al-Qaeda terrorists out to eat our garbage, our decorative corn and our freedom. Come on, a little sympathy? Animals are not supposed to have hands that can undo locked windows and fit around our unsuspecting, sleeping necks.

Around this early age my father started to sit me down in front of horror films – I suspect for character building or maybe just a sick laugh.

Take The Shining for example. It scared the shit out of me. But, now that I’ve hit puberty, I know when two girls covered in blood ask you to “play” with them, you should wait a week.

Signs was another. I couldn’t sleep for a month. But the film loses its spine-chilling scariness when you realize aliens who travel across vast distances of space can’t open doors. That’s just tin-foil-hat dumb. Besides, the thought of aliens out in the cornfields is nothing compared to what sheep go through on those lonely farm nights.

The scariest movie he showed me was Rocky Horror Picture Show, but that had more to do with how I felt towards Rocky in his golden underwear.

The only film he showed where I cried out in horror was Black Beauty when I realized the chestnut-coloured horse had been worked too hard and all three-year-old me could do was burst into tears and scream, “GINGER DIES?”

Not really the film he was hoping to terrify me with. But he still brings it up when he thinks I need to “man up.”

Still, in the age of new Facebook privacy settings and Miley Cyrus, it’s getting harder and harder for traditional monsters to scare us.

Maybe it’s just my aesthetics class getting the better of me, but what really scared me about the Paranormal Activity demon is that the director rarely uses the Rule of Thirds.

When it comes to the Exorcist films, I often find myself identifying with the possessed children because, honestly, if a Catholic priest came into my bedroom at night, I’d be on the ceiling too.

And as far as haunted toys go, I’d love it if my stuffed Charizard came to life.

***

I’m starting to wonder whether Halloween is dead and not in the way it should be. What happened?

Sex.

Somewhere along the line, Halloween morphed from trick or treating to tweets and twerking, from the Walking Dead to the Rocking Bed.

I go to Halloween parties and all I see are sexy bee and nurse costumes. The only thing these girls are scared of is getting an STD.

Maybe I should go with the flow. Maybe this year I’ll wear one of those sexy costumes – wrap my naked body in Saran wrap – and show those girls what true horror is.

Or maybe I’ll take off my tinfoil hat and actually try to talk to one.

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