THIS IS US

Halloween Again

Notes on a recurring nightmare

Lisa Renee
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readOct 23, 2021

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It’s not a popular opinion, but I sort of hate Halloween. I know it’s fun for the kids, and I love the season. But the holiday, not so much. I’m not fond of a lot of things that seem to make people happy: fairs, clowns, circuses, carnivals, zoos. They suggest excess and madness, a human striving to control the impossible. Funnel cakes aside.

I enjoyed those things as a child. But even to my child’s nose, they reeked of something slightly off. The cheer was forced, the animals dead-eyed. Toilet paper streamers and razor bladed apples. Old clowns reeling in playgrounds, like drunk Santas. Horror and ghosts, manufactured fear. I’m already afraid, thank you very much.

Perhaps I’m overthinking.

The only Halloween costume I clearly — and fondly — remember wearing was the pioneer girl, handmade by a forgotten relative, complete with calico bonnet and lace-edged apron. Why this is my favorite Halloween memory is one for the head doctors; Little House on the Prairie is decidedly not an aspirational look. I don’t know what happened to that outfit. There must be a place where Halloween costumes go to die. It must be a very sad place. The island of misfit memories.

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