February 12, 2021

Halloween or the death of childhood magic

It was a cool autumn day as a single digit aged child, this was a magical time in my life, or at least it had been until this day, the first day when the magic of childhood started to fade away. You see I was born into an extremely high demand group just like my parents were. And this autumn day was like no other I had before and would certainly have a major impact on the remainder of my childhood and several years into adulthood.

This particular day is the first day I remember the indoctrination taking over part of my own identity. What happened to cause such a jarring experience you may ask; well, you see my parents had been attending additional religious indoctrination classes above and beyond those many which were required of their group. This was the day it was declared that Halloween would no longer be celebrated.

It was a very high-pressure demand, my parents informed us that Halloween was the devil’s holiday, a purely satanic event which we as a family would never celebrate again. We were then instructed to go to our bedrooms, and to pray, to get our own answer. I did as I was instructed and heard nothing in my head, went back to my parents and told them the good news, but was then told to repeat this process of praying again until I received an answer. I never received any such answer, but I did know at this age my parents would never be satisfied with any answer that did not match what they had declared, because that was the expected answer.

So as reluctantly as a young child could, one who had only experienced a very small number of happy Halloween’s dressing up only a couple of times to go trick or treating in the neighborhood and parade about the school with classmates, a child who loved the cookies, candies, treats, and costumes just like any normal child would. This child did the only thing a young child could do, I went back to my parents with a very sad and heavy heart knowing that one of my favorite holidays would be gone forever, and I told them exactly what they demanded to hear, I lied and said that I too had received an answer to my prayer that matched theirs.

This day started a chain reaction of events that caused much anguish and despair for a small child, one who would come to dread Halloween, not because it was an evil holiday, rather all my peers would eventually find out my family didn’t celebrate, and this would result in endless teasing and tormenting every year instead of what should have been a fun and happy time growing up. It would result in all of my peers getting big bags of candy and showing it off and indulging while I got nothing but their mockery and ridicule.

The magic of Halloween was now dead, in its place were feelings of despair, a family lead by fear who would then hide in the dark corners of the house year after year, from neighbors, and pretend to not be home rather than hand out candy to kids. Fear that would prevent participation in any community events engaged with the holiday, including any sponsored by the same high demand group which radicalized their belief into thinking this holiday was “evil”.