My youngest daughter appreciates the “treats” part of Halloween, but the “tricks” still confuse her. “Why did they invent Halloween?” she asks, when confronted with gory, skeletal creatures. Though Halloween was invented by the ancient Celts, I doubt a little history lesson would do much to calm her fears. In considering her question, I reflected on Halloween’s hold on our culture. Is there a part of us that likes to be frightened, as silly as it sounds? It must be why horror movies and amusement park thrill rides are so popular. On Halloween, we feel the adrenalin rush of fright.
When my daughter dons her costume on Halloween night, I’ll encourage her to think of the good things about the celebration—the candy, time with her friends, the fun of dressing up, and her dad’s warm hand holding hers as she “trick or treats”—and to ignore those things that frighten her.
Dear Reader, please comment:
What do you like about Halloween?
How do you handle the fears your little ones may experience?