Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Halloween and Haunted Houses - Some Thoughts

As we approach the end of October, Halloween will soon arrive. In this article I don't want to focus specifically on Halloween, but more specifically these haunted houses that pop up everywhere. It may seem trivial for an article, but I'd like to expand the points into something bigger.

Some traditional Catholics cut out Halloween all together and call it the Devil's feast, while others see no problem with little children going door to door for candy. I understand those that are strict with the holiday, but never judge the others that go trick or treating. After all these innocent five year old's dressed as kitties and dogs excitedly gathering treats have no fault in trick or treating. They don't know any history, perhaps their parents don't know either. So any readers who would like to debate about the evils of this day, I understand, but there are some that take some good out of the day, and make it a fun time for their children. There is nothing wrong with that. Now that I have covered that, we can move to the point I want to make - if people want to celebrate Halloween innocently with candy and treats, why does there have to be this occurring theme of violence?

People may argue this is because of Halloween having satanic roots, but I speak more specifically of a holiday that has been very commercialized and watered down in order for it to become the family friendly holiday that it is. And yet there is always that side of Halloween that I can never agree with. Haunted houses start appearing, and the youth pile in to as many as they can. It's the principle of people using terror and violence to be entertained. It may be all fake and simulated, but why would a soul choose to see bleeding bodies and murderers chasing after you as their choice of fun? Some of these children's houses may be harmless enough, but I speak of those for adults that display the worst kind of torture and horror.

It is a culture of violence that our generation is growing up in. Whether it be these houses, or extremely violent video games, or violence on social media, we have been taught to treat the shock factor as entertainment. Our minds begin to get used to all this, and we become desensitized to it all. Nothing scares or effects us anymore, so we need more and more violence to appease our desires. This numbing of the soul can lead to people no longer caring about the effects of evil. We lose that sense of shock at the sight of a dead body, or the remorse at the idea of sin. The list continues, and the effect is anything but healthy for our souls.

I may seem petty, but firmly believe that the generations on the earth today need to relearn what entertainment is, and why we need to regain a repugnance to violence. After all, if it isn't so repugnant, why be gentle and kind to our neighbours? The fun does not lie in charity, but in shock! God never intended us to live this way, He wanted to use our desire for entertainment for the benefit of our souls. These forms of fun do not have to be reading the Bible all day, or saying tons of rosaries. It could be relaxing with friends, fostering a passion we have for an art form, learning an instrument, going on hikes, anything and everything you could possibly imagine! We don't need blood and gore to satisfy ourselves, and if we do need it we need to reevaluate things. Because once Halloween is done, what will we search for next if this is what we desire?

I will then say I understand Catholics that cut out Halloween for these reasons, and encourage them to shield themselves from a culture of death and terror. But those who go out trick or treating, there is no need to judge their carved pumpkins and treat bags. All I want to put out is that we should always shield our eyes from violence and chaos, and do our best to form our minds and desires around the good and enlightening.