The first pumpkins have appeared outside a few houses here in Germany, not so much as a precursor to Halloween, but more because people sell their garden produce at this time of year, and it is the season of the pumpkin. Halloween has, however, caught on in Germany, not as much as in the United States, but there is a growing movement of younger people who – leaving aside the religious meaning of the affair as the evening before All Hallows – want to get in to something scary and fun.
It is, above all, a time of pranks and fun with candy being shared, with people going around in masks and deliberately scaring people. There are ghosts, witches, wizards, the Grim Reaper, Harry Potter and all manner of other masks and costumes available to those who really wish to go the full nine yards. And there are clowns too, which some people find very scary indeed. And, of course, princesses.
If you’ve been keeping up with the way Halloween is shaping up this year, to make sure you have the latest trends and are not just oh so last year, you’ll have caught this story about a mother in Canada who felt that one aspect of Halloween had gone a touch too far.
Screenshot Source: Twitter / The Daily Beast
The voyeur mask, designed to be attached to the outside of a window looking in, is probably not in good taste. It is, however, scary, and that is the whole point of the thing. The idea of All Hallows Evening is to chase out all the bad spirits, the fears and phobias we have or are surrounded by, and get ready for the New Awaking, for the festival of the Saints and all that is (religiously) good. From this point of view, the voyeur mask fits in perfectly: it is scary; it is something which will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and make cold shivers run up and down your spine. Clowns have done the same thing to people since well before Stephen King began his writing career.
Clowns, however, are politically correct, unless it is in real life and they are standing on a corner in the dark waving at people. Ghosts are politically correct, as are axe murderers and horrendous white rabbits. If we followed the fears of every single person in Canada, the USA or Europe, we’d have none of those things. Someone could come up with memories of the Witches of Salem, or connect rattling, ghostly chains with the slave trade and force stores to remove them from sale.
In the end it is the decision of each individual what they use the ‘celebrate’ this gruesome event. Just pumpkins and pretty lights? Nothing that wakes up our fears – unless you happen to be Charlie Brown and are waiting hopefully in the middle of the pumpkin patch? People might just as well rename the event to candy time, the celebration of the pumpkins, or whatever. We’re not going to face up to our fears if even a massive hairy spider can’t be hung above some sleeping child’s bed because someone else has bad memories of flushing one down the toilet on the end of a broom.
The woman concerned didn’t have to buy one but, at the same time, she didn’t have to make sure other people couldn’t buy the creepy mask through Home Depot either. Now they are going to have to resort to other sources, and find a fitting price. With all this wonderful publicity, and the company making the masks must be rubbing their hands in joy for the other Western markets, you can still find this item at a price. I see that Amazon has it on offer for fifty dollars, slightly more than the original thirty.
- Viktoria Michaelis.