Halloween used to be a holiday that centered on little kids getting dressed up and going trick-or-treating. Now, adults have taken over the day, knocking down the children and turning Halloween into a gore-fest. Adults have injected both sex and violence into the day, with one-up-manship centered on how to outdo one’s neighbors in images of sado-masochistic horror.
That’s not just me talking, it’s “The Washington Post.” Read Terri Sapienza’s article entitled When Did Halloween Get So Gruesome? A sampling:
Next to the standard witches, ghosts and black cats, many specialty stores and catalogues are selling creepily realistic corpses, severed limbs and butchered body parts. One catalogue advertises an animated ghoul who can vomit into a barrel on cue (special order only, $2,750). An online company sells a Tortured Torso Prop (for $149) you can lean near your front door to welcome trick-or-treaters. . . .
Horchow, the high-end Neiman Marcus affiliate, sells fake buzzards and chocolate coffins. Target sells a 15-piece cemetery kit, a hanging grim reaper and an oversize maggot. Spirit Halloween, a Spencer’s specialty store, sells the Tortured Torso Prop and a child’s costume called Sailor of Death. Fright Catalog, seller of the Vomit Barrel, also serves up John Doe, a latex corpse with a hollow chest cavity for displaying a food buffet inside.. . .Halloween has become much more adult-driven and sexualized, according to Paul J. Donahue, a clinical psychologist and the founder and director of Child Development Associates, a group practice that works primarily with children and families in Scarsdale, N.Y. Costumes sexual in nature have become more popular.
“We’re a culture of extremes,” Donahue said. “We have to push things. At Halloween it becomes a competition among adults to outdo and go further and further.”
The technical term for this is “decadence,” a sign of a culture in dissolution.