Halloween may not be an adults’ holiday, but a growing number of grownups appear to be taking it upon themselves to trample on little children’s fun. Already parents have found themselves navigating a sea of inappropriate costumes for young girls, or trying to head off overly scary or age-inappropriate tricks in their trick-or-treating. Now, there’s a whole line of Halloween Grinches out to spoil the fun for the young and young at heart.
This year’s nominee for Halloween Killjoy is a woman from Fargo, N.D., who says she will be eyeing the ghosts and goblins coming to her front door. If the child looks chubby, then there will be no candy for that little creature. Instead, she claims she will drop a note in the child’s bag informing him or her that he or she appears overweight and that withholding candy is the best idea for the little pumpkin.
“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight… I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it,” she allegedly told a radio station, trying to defend the public hint to diet.
Of course, there are a number of ways that a person could address childhood obesity if that was really forefront in one’s mind on Halloween. Passing out healthy treats, stickers or small toys is a simple way of ensuring that children still get to participate in the social fun of trick-or-treating while not contributing to an epidemic of high sugar, processed foods.
Of course, that wouldn’t be nearly as morally satisfying as sending a smug note to parents telling them that they don’t know how to raise their children.
Forcing your opinions on Halloween fans isn’t just for handing out candy, either. Once more, Halloween means the introduction of the yearly “Hell Houses,” which are becoming a growing phenomenon across the country. These church-based haunted houses, meant to show the evils of living a sinful life in lurid and graphic detail, are supposed to send the “come to Jesus, repent and be saved” message. Instead, they are taking on a kitschy quality all of their own.
In fact, as saving souls becomes even more attached to making money, Hell Houses are spreading via “DIY Hell House Kits.” For just $300, you can address the major sins facing this country: Homosexuality, Abortion, Suicide, Drunk Driving, Satanism, Hell and Heaven in seven easy scenes. Or, if you want the Hell House special, you can order Domestic Abuse, Rave Scene and “Mother’s Womb Abortion,” a la carte.
“In most hell houses you’ll be scared not by a ghost, but a vision of a woman bleeding to death from between her legs—she’s terminated a pregnancy, and now presumably pays Satan’s price,” writes the Pacific Standard.
Some Hell House operators claim that they are going for a gentler, more tolerant proselytizing experience this year — less “cherry pie filling botched abortion” and more implied violence and gore. Still, the message is the same: We disagree with any other life choices, and this holiday provides the opening for us to be sure that you are aware that we disapprove.
So why is it so hard to just let young people, especially small children, have a little fun on this one day? Perhaps it’s a retaliation of one too many smashed pumpkins or tee-peed houses during childhood. Either way, don’t expect your trick-or-treat experience to be all sugar. Not with these Halloween killjoys on the prowl.
Update: North Dakota’s Forum is now saying that the Halloween “fat letter” is likely a hoax. The radio show that initially broadcast the interview, Y-94, is known for hoaxes. Last year, the show made national news with its fake bit on “Donna the Deer Lady.”
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