Why I dislike Halloween.

I’m going away this weekend with my husband. We’re housesitting on the Sunshine Coast. There will horses. And a hot tub. “But”, you say, “you’re going to miss HalloWEEEEEEN!”. To which I say good riddance. I gotta say, not my favorite holiday.

I’m a very sensitive person. In fact, I fall in the spectrum of Highly Sensitive People or HSPs. (Maybe you believe in classifying people, maybe you don’t, but when I read the description of the characteristics of HSPs, I so clearly recognized myself, and gained a framework for understanding how I fit in the world). Anyways, here, “sensitive” means having a more reactive nervous system than the majority of folks. I’m more sensitive to sound, smell, light, temperature, and texture than most people around me.

I’m also extremely sensitive to imagery, especially of the violent or gory variety. I am the only person I know of who walked out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because I couldn’t handle the rape scene. My dear husband tried to coax me back by telling me that the victim gets her revenge on the perpetrator, but to me, graphic is still graphic and I don’t want to see it, even if “evil” is getting what’s coming to it. I know, I know, everybody loves the movie, and I was really enjoying the storyline, the characters, and the Swedish scenery, but I was just DONE after that scene. One day I might rewatch the whole thing (with my finger on the fast-forward button of course), but ya. Scarred.

Which is why I don’t really like the whole gore aspect of Halloween. Putting little kids in cute costumes? Great! Carving pumpkins? Fun! (I think the R2D2 pumpkin below is freakin’ sweet). Dressing up? (Great if I’m in the mood, but I generally hate that too because I feel pressure to come up with something awesome). Anyways, all the storefronts in my ‘hood with the blood and guts and meat hooks stuck into fake mangled torsos? I CAN’T LOOK AT THAT STUFF. It upsets me. Real people get murdered. Their brains spill out of their skulls, and their blood gets spattered on the floor (this is exactly what goes through my head when I see these things). I seem to lack the filter that most people have that tells their brains that the fake gore is fake. It bothers me to the core.

To quote my sister (who is also an HSP): “I hate that we’re disturbed by the psychopaths who murdered that poor girl on the island, but people will go out this weekend and see Saw IV and be all titillated.”

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

So perhaps now you understand that I’m really quite content to be away relaxing in a hot tub on Halloween instead of stressing over some costume and trying to not be overwhelmed by all the zombies and headless horsemen and psycho killers and fake-blood-soaked “victims” out there. I admire your Halloween enthusiasm, I’m just not really able to share and enjoy it. However, feel free to bring me any leftover candy you might have… 😛

Side note: I’m also a bit of a cynic (“Shocker”, you say). So I really loved the Oatmeal’s comic How Different Age Groups Celebrate Halloween. I laughed out loud. (Especially because I hate raisins.)

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2 comments

  1. Shandi

    I completely agree. i am another sensitive soul and gore and violence upsets me. Recently Mike wanted to watch one of his favorite movies…Saving private Ryan. I watched 20 min of it (mostly with my head covered) then said that we turn it off or I leave the house for the remainder. Was too much for me.
    Ice cream and startrek are still my favorite

    • Maria

      The funny thing is that I don’t have the same reaction to images of death in movies like Saving Private Ryan or things of that variety. (My favorite mini-series is still Band of Brothers). They make me uncomfortable, of course, but it’s not the same visceral distaste that I have for gratuitous, salacious thriller movie gore. I think it’s because it’s portraying real people (or at least fictional characters that could have been real) and I perceive a certain level of respect for their death on the part of the filmmakers. (And it’s ALL about perception to me. There are gratuitously violent war movies. I do not like those.)

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