This year I didn’t go to a Halloween party but, instead, I put cobwebs around the flat and I carved a pumpkin (it is already decomposing quite considerably! Damn it Lidl!). Although my celebrations were not huge this year and I didn’t dress up, I still feel satisfied with my level of halloweeness but it got me feeling rather sad about my Halloweens from my past.
My halloweens growing up were non-existent. Halloween is becoming a bigger deal in the UK nowadays, but 20 years ago, not so much, and especially not in Northern Ireland. Some people did go trick or treating, but there weren’t loads of people doing it. Even if it had been popular in Northern Ireland, my parents wouldn’t have let me do Halloween because, according to them, it was evil. My mum still believes that it is evil.
I was brought up to believe that if I celebrated Halloween, even just a little bit, then I was worshipping Satan and thus giving him power. Halloween was his special day, just like Christmas is Jesus’. I was told that if I got involved in anything to do with Halloween (dressing up, occult-related movies, trick or treating etc) I was giving the devil power. The more people that celebrated Halloween the more powerful he would become. Being the sensitive child that I was and eager not to do anything bad (so that I wouldn’t go to hell), I avoided Halloween and anything associated to it. I developed a fear of anything Halloween related and stayed away from any parties.
In the first year that I was in my new flat with my incredible partner he surprised me by decorating the flat for Halloween. I had never decorated for Halloween before and at first, the old christian me inside thought “this is awful and evil, I can’t believe he brought this evil into our home!”, but then my logical atheist brain kicked in and I told myself, “this is just some fun and it is not evil, go with it!” Once I got past the old me thoughts, I was able to finish decorating the flat with my partner. That was four years ago, but it is still a memory that I get warm feelings with, a lovely memory of decorating my flat with the person I loved and laughing as we did. As we decorated, I realised that Halloween isn’t meant to be a fearful time, like it had been for me, but is meant to be a time of fun.
Not only have I missed out on fun times at Halloween but I have missed out on the creativity. It was only in the past four years that I have started carving pumpkins and although I am terrible at it, like proper terrible, I love carving pumpkins and wish that I had started earlier. I am also sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to dress up for Halloween more in the past. I am in awe of people’s creativity with the costumes that I see online and wish that I had grown up making things like that. I hope that next year that I get the opportunity to dress up for Halloween and to do those things that I didn’t do before.