I was completely on board with Halloween until it became less about candy and costumes and more about horror movies and haunted houses. The thought of walking through a rickety house covered in blood and giant cobwebs where people in creepy masks can pop out at every turn is my exact definition of non-fun. NOPE.
And yet I am fully aware there are hoards of people who love that sort of thing and consider Halloween their favourite holiday. (Seriously?! More than CHRISTMAS?) In fact, a close friend of mine is one of those people, so I can say with full confidence: they’re crazy.
“It’s just a costume,” or “It’s just a movie,” offers zero comfort, and here’s why: I know it’s not real. That creepy girl from the Ring (who just needs a good hair tie) is not actually coming at me through the screen (I hope). That maniac in the haunted house chasing after me with a (foam) chainsaw isn’t actually going to hack me into little pieces.
I know all this.
BUT that does not help me when I’m home alone … in the dark … fairly leaping up the stairs to the safety of my room … or when I’m walking past a mirror while getting up in the middle of the night.
“It’s just a costume,” doesn’t stop me from cringing when I have to close a door, even though I know there’s no creepy clown standing right behind it. “It’s just a movie,” doesn’t make me wonder if I really did hear a creak down the hall or see the shower curtain move.
My mind plays enough tricks on me as it is. Believe it or not, the scariest ghosts are not the ones on the screen; they’re the ones in my head, feeding on my fears and transforming my own home into a haunted house. Those ghosts don’t disappear when the lights turn on and the credits start rolling.
All of this is why I only tolerate ghosts of the Casper variety. And if they can’t all be as friendly as Casper, can they at least be non-threatening? Here’s my alternative — the ghost of “a rather mediocre man who lacked enthusiasm but had a nice ‘stache.”
Dragons are not so scary, but that’s my extra-non-threatening version anyway, just for good measure. (Can you hear horror fans’ eyeballs rolling in their sockets?) Now if everything could just be a lot less scary around this time of year, that would be fan-freakin’-tastic for those of us with ultra-vivid imaginations.
Side note: In case you were wondering, the second scariest type of ghost is of course the child ghost. They’re always singing some eerie, drawn-out version of a formerly beloved childhood song. (“Ring around the rosey” has never sounded the same. Thanks a lot.)