This Halloween, like every Halloween since my kids have been too old for me to trick-or-treat with them, I plan to sit out in my front yard, handing out candy and comic books to kids in the neighborhood. I always have creepy old movies or movie trailers playing on an old TV set that has a built-in VCR. A makeshift graveyard and other decorations add to the fun.
I have a blast doing this. Not only do I love Halloween, movie monsters, and in general being goofy, I have a great time talking to the neighbors who walk up with their kids, and it's a lot of fun seeing all the different costumes. The kids love it, and my house now has a reputation as a fun place to go on Halloween, mainly because of the comics and the "scary" movies. The little ones approach with cautious eagerness, and it's fun to see the excitement on their faces. Many of the parents shake my hand, tell me they remember me from previous years, and express gratitude for my silly little set-up.
I say all of this because I feel sorry for people who hate Halloween, including those who worry about "offensive" costumes that are scary or politically incorrect, and those who think Halloween and its fantastical, imaginary trappings--witches, warlocks, wizards, demons, devils, ghosts, and goblins--somehow propagate true evil.
There's a lot of evil in this world--terrorism, racism, violent crime, and child abuse, just to name a few examples--but it has nothing to to with Dracula, Frankenstein, or the Wolfman, or with spreading some literacy around, or with getting to know your neighbors and their kids a little better. Rather, it has to do with the dark hearts and misguided desires of flawed human beings.
Happy Halloween, everyone!