Today, as part of the 10 Days of Halloween celebration, I'm fortunate to have Bea from Bea's Book Blog here at Book Infinity to share her thoughts on Halloween!
Thanks Bea for sharing your thoughts! (And isn't her picture adorable? :))
Halloween and storytelling, for me personally, have always been closely linked. When I was growing up, every changing leaf during October was a sign that it was almost time to write my corresponding Halloween story. One of the first ones I ever wrote was about a tennis shoe that—much like Frankenstein (minus pretty much everything in Frankenstein)—came alive and terrorized its owner until its tragic and untimely demise at the hands of a deftly wielded butter knife. Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, I know: Next Great American novel.*
Recalling those pivotal moments of my childhood Halloween stories got me thinking about the larger relationship between stories and Halloween as well. Halloween, for me, is not so much about fear or the magnetism of the macabre: It is about exploration and experimentation. No other holiday encourages participants to shed their everyday skins in favor of someone (or something) else’s quite like Halloween.
In contemporary celebrations, Halloween swings wide the doors into another realm of lived experience: We can “know” what it’s like to be Lady Gaga for an evening (hopefully minus the meat dress; I hear that’s a pain to store and results in one stanky limo ride). Or Harry Potter. Or a rockstar. Or a zombie. Or a strange and beguiling amalgamation of all four. Halloween allows us to experience what’s it’s like to “be” someone else, and allows us to explore those hidden facets of our own personalities. When we want to do this on any other day of the year, we read.
This ability to peek into the lives of others is perhaps the most striking similarity between stories and Halloween. The fact is that narratives help us make sense of our world, our experiences, and the lives of others. In fact, almost everything we say is a story: Whether it’s describing what happened at the grocery store while standing in line, planning a weekend ski-trip, or writing a college application letter, we are partaking in the grand tradition of storytelling, and Halloween is no exception.
And now, for the most important part of this blog post: What are your Halloween traditions? Do you still dress up? What are you going as?
*I’m not kidding. I really believe in this story.
**Actually, yes I am kidding.
Awesome post, so happy to have you here Bea! Go over and check out here blog here if you want to hear more from her!