Through the Eyes of Mark Zen Ryejiff: Has the Celebration of Halloween Disintegrated?


Campus Press Student Columnist & Humorist- Mark Zen Ryejiff


“I don’t call for the abolishment of Halloween, barring my own opinion, but I advocate that we ought to think about Halloween and determine if it really is a good thing.”

As another Halloween has passed, I was, once again, greeted by the ghosts and ghouls that haunt the night. I continued my usual tradition of barricading my house and getting ready for the onslaught of Zombies.  Yes, in fact, I did have a sawed off shotgun and combat knife — but not because of the zombie training I received from Call of Duty’s Nazi Zombie mode.  I shut off all the lights and thought to myself, how on earth did it come to this, as I glanced up at the ceiling wearing my steel helmet?   Specifically, I pondered why, no, how is the harassment of individuals and having a fanatical devotion to scaring people such a huge part, and desired trait, of society that, every October 31, I have a personal The Purge and, for a month leading up to it, we glorify inhumanity, sadism, and other forms of horrible horrors — not to mention the normal, accepted horrors that are regularly aired on TV?

Desensitization of America   I will not bother to discuss the desensitization of the nation because that has been discussed — I hate to say it but, to death. However, I will say that dressing up and parading as horrors and watching these nightmarish shows has significantly affected some children. No, as I said I’m not going to bother flogging that dead horse that’s dangling at the top of this paragraph, but it can truly traumatize people.

Picture this: it’s dark and rainy; a five-year -old is playing with his toys in the living room and is within view of the front door; someone knocks on the door; parents go to open it; in walks a person, donned in black and wearing the screamer mask, the kind that shows blood if it gets wet, carrying a scythe. Besides the fact that a child hopefully hasn’t seen that movie, masks are scary, whoever it is carrying a weapon, and there is blood dripping all over his, her, or its face.

 Scary Thoughts on Halloween   Is this healthy for the child? Some will say, well it was obviously for a party, but I say, irrelevant! I have noticed as the years have gone on that trick or treating has been starting earlier and earlier and getting more and more graphic — both due to blood, realism, greed, impatience, and some other reasons. How would five-year olds, assuming they haven’t been scarred prior, react if someone were walking around in broad daylight with a fake pulverized arm and glass imbedded in his skin, with a fake scar over their eye? Unless it’s Barney, I’m willing to bet, not well.


Halloween: A Tricky Treat? I don’t call for the abolishment of Halloween, barring my own opinion, but I advocate that we ought to think about Halloween and determine if it really is a good thing? We no longer believe in ghosts and goblins, nor are the children’s minds left unmolested to the truths of the world, so what is its real purpose? Also, how does having a bloody arrow through the head or skin riveted with glass help anyone?  Are there any redeeming qualities for Halloween? Get free candy I hear someone, frothing at the mouth, shout, with his right eye red and twitching; no dear sir, candy is never free and I urge you to truly think about how much it really costs to have Halloween— both monetarily and mentally.


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