( October 28, 2017 )

Just what are we celebrating?

Hi All

Just thought I would put finger to key and update the blog with something thats been playing on my mind for a little while.

Its Halloween next week and as a storyteller it is naturally the busiest time of the year. I think most storytellers would agree with me when I say that I do more work in October than I would in the six months previous. people tend to remember that they love stories at this time, people seem to recall that the darkening nights mean getting together and being spooked by old tales and memories that have scared them since childhood. Its a fantastic time of year.

Halloween however has always been a controversial  time of year , what began as a Holy day in the Christian year has in the last fifty years or more become a celebration of something darker. A celebration of things that go bump in the night and things that hide just beyond the veil of the mortal realm. It does not sit comfortably with some people and that is fine. Where do I stand ?, I love myths and legends, I love stories and I love Mysteries, I love Halloween but in the last few years i have noticed a shift towards something else and to be honest I really don’t like it at all.

I love America, I have spent a many a happy holiday there and am proud to say that many of my best friends American. Without a Celtic or Saxon or Norse background their Halloween has always held a more modern slant I feel , a celebration of the old universal Monsters and creatures from literature or even just “Dressing up” in general (Kim Kardashian is this year dressing up as that well known Halloween icon Cher). They really celebrate with almost the whole of October given over to Halloween events and parties in some places. their fantastic theme parks are alive with Halloween  decorations and scares and trick or treat is a national institution .

The last few years in the States has also seen the rise of the “Walk through ” haunted house, these often pop up in theme parks or even in unused warehouses etc and usually for a fee customers can walk through and be scared by actors jumping out at them as they travel through the set. Great fun, it really is. However as each attraction tries to outdo the other I have noticed the ante growing and growing and now many of these attractions are themed on the latest slasher movie or scary icon (chainsaw wielding clown seems popular this year) and thats where things don’t quite sit as nicely with me as I would like.

There are many horrific things happening in the world today sometimes it feels on a daily basis , do we need to celebrate this?. Halloween to me has always been  a celebration of the unknown not of the all to familiar. I feel we have a responsibility to protect our tradition and not let it be hijacked and become a festival of horror.

The slasher movie is a form of entertainment thats for sure but lets leave it where it is and keep halloween a celebration of the imagination. There is much that is frightening about the unknown and our myths that it does not need a chainsaw wielding maniac to scare us. The world is full of evil folks lets protect what is good.

Im not saying for people to keep away from these attractions if thats what you like but just remember its not what the day is all about . There just got off my soap box before my word count runs out.

Take care everyone and Happy Halloween



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