The Case Against Halloween

Oh, the traffic, the parents, the hangover, the costumes...

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Call it cheekiness, contrarianism, or all-out churlishness, every year there are a handful of people who crawl out of their lairs to growl at Halloween. Citing an assortment of factors ranging from the insightful to bizarre to the banal, they make their arguments for why All Hallows Eve won't be a [groan] treat.

  • Traffic and Crowds  New York Magazine's Dan Amira says that the Big Apple will be like hell on earth thanks to a ghoulish combination of overlapping events: "The widespread service disruptions return this weekend, with work scheduled for seventeen out of twenty lines. Of course, you can always take a (slightly more expensive) cab -- just make sure to avoid the areas around the Halloween parade and the New York City Marathon, because those are going to result in a lot of closed streets. Have fun!"
  • Parents Have Ruined It  New York Sun columnist Lenore Skenazy used to like Halloween until politically correct, helicopter parents took control and ruined it for everyone, especially kids: "If you want to see what childhood is becoming, look how at what Halloween has already become: A parent-planned, climate-controlled, child-coddled, corporate-sponsored 'event,' where kids are considered too delicate to even survive the sight of a scary costume."
  • Pumpkins Are Overhyped  At the Columbia Journalism Review, Cristine Russell tracks a crop of suspiciously similar articles on the health-boosting powers of pumpkin. She traces them back to a news release from the American Chemical Society. Too bad the results of the study described in the release are only preliminary: "Those are the kind of caveats that science and medical reporters often include in their stories, but aren't likely to make it into the quick-and-dirty medical tidbits that populate the online world--especially in stories pegged to holidays like Halloween...In the meantime, stick to the inside of pumpkins for pies and pumpkin seeds, and please don't treat your wounds or infections with leftover pumpkin rinds."
  • Daylight Savings Time  "Your Halloween Hangover Will Start An Hour Earlier." The Awl's Alex Balk helpfully reminds his readers to set back their clocks by an hour on Sunday if they plan on observing Daylight Savings Time. "Or forward an hour? I can never remember which is which. Spring... awakening? Spring forward? Lemme go hit up Google and get back to you. UPDATE: Yeah, it's definitely back. Mmm, more cold and dark for everyone!"
  • Formulaic Costumes  Writing for Automation City, Emil Grecian thinks Halloween is pathetically predictable. He rants against men's costumes for being pop-culture allusions, children's for being only slightly better, and women's for sexually objectifying "respectable professions." Plus, he says, Oct 31st is an arbitrary date for hedonism: "Halloween sucks. It does every year, but people still put up with it. As adults, people can throw a costume party at any time of the year. They usually do not, likely to protect themselves from the small chance of getting pulled over by a police officer or accosted by someone who would inquire as to why they are dressed in anything other than normal clothes. Halloween affords everyone the opportunity to disregard clothing, as disregarding blood alcohol levels can be accomplished at any party, and usually every weekend."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.