Do you know why humans love Halloween, ghoulish costumes, horror movies?
Neither do we, but they’re great. However, in all seriousness, there’s research behind it. According to Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein, a professor of psychology at the University of Utrecht,
“People watch horror films because they want to be frightened, or they wouldn’t do it twice. You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you. That’s certainly true of people who go to entertainment products like horror films that have big effects. They want those effects… [Horror films must] provide a just resolution in the end. The bad guy gets it. Even though they choose to watch these things, the images are still disturbing for many people. But people have the ability to pay attention as much or as little as they care to in order to control what effect it has on them, emotionally and otherwise.”
This is the same for Halloween. In the United States, Halloween is a $9 billion-a-year industry. Just goes to show how popular it is, right?
And it’s not just the psychological effects of fear that people crave. They love Halloween because it’s romantic. Think about it. What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to Halloween?
Autumn colors, the smell of rain and fallen leaves and chestnuts in the air? Candles, pumpkins, candles in pumpkins, romanticized nightfall, celebrations, good food, cozy homes, images of bales of hay and innocence? It is a day when you can be anyone you want to be when your masquerading can take you anywhere from the middle ages, the industrial revolution and the Dark Ages, to the horror films of today – perfect privacy in a non-private age.
So, this year, in order to show our excitement for Halloween, Hipper has decided to put together a short list on how to prepare for it (we sell gorgeous flowers:). Initially, we had two separate lists, one for the kids and one for you, but decided to merge them together into a single list. Naturally, you as parents decide which points on the list are for you, and which ones for your kids (reminder: #4 is definitely not an activity for your child). Let us read on.
1) Carve a pumpkin. No one can truly celebrate Halloween without a pumpkin. Carve it out, light a candle, and enjoy the romantic ambiance it creates.
2) Are you up for a practical joke? If you’ve felt the need, an overwhelming urge to scare someone throughout the year, but didn’t really think it appropriate – this is your chance. Halloween is, traditionally, full of ghosts and ghouls and witches and vampires and all the other miscellaneous horror paraphernalia, which makes it a perfect opportunity for scaring someone in a ‘socially acceptable’ manner.
3) Buy lots of candy. In the sake of being neighborly and not labeled as ‘that loony who doesn’t open his door to young children,’ come prepared. Trick ‘n’ treating is a quintessential Halloween tradition and isn’t going away anytime soon. Throughout the evening you will hear that annoying doorbell ring time and time again, but don’t worry – think of it as a beautiful way of connecting with your neighbors and their children.
4) Buy lots of alcohol (Hipper is not liable for any and all damages incurred by adhering to this advice). On the other hand, if you do decide to be the Town Grinch, and don’t really care about the children and their trick ‘n’ treating, get yourself a case full of alcohol to survive the relentless attack on the senses – the dreaded doorbell. Open up a bottle, put some Mike Myers movies on with your significant other, and enjoy.
5) If you’re one for fancy dressing, plan ahead! It won’t do to decide on the 30th October that this year you will, in fact, be putting on your costume. And then you’ll go down to the first supermarket and buy a pair of cat whiskers and a tail. Yeah, no, there are no real cats dressed in a suit. Plan accordingly and come prepared – the photos of your amazing, well-thought-out costume will make you happy for years to come.
6) Rent or buy a horror movie. Halloween is known for horror movies, right? Movie fans recommend that you watch at least one horror movie for Halloween. Here are some suggestions: Scream, The Babadook, Halloween, Eyes Without a Face, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, Night of the Living Dead, etc.
7) Engage in community activities. Decorate, clean the city, or start a workshop for making Halloween costumes. Even if you don’t have a habit of doing things like this, getting included in your community’s activities may prove to be as rewarding as it is fun.
8) Or, if you’re one to gladly forget it all, by all means, do it. Ignore that it’s 31st October. Lock your windows and doors, take the phone off the hook (doorbell too), and enjoy a peaceful, quiet, relaxing evening by yours. In many ways, this is similar to advice #2, minus the alcohol.
This year, Halloween is not going to catch you unprepared. You will stock up on everything you need: gift cards (oh, what do you know, Hipper stocks these!), face paints, costumes, pumpkins, party accessories, Halloween recipes, your horror movies, in short, everything you may need for a perfect Halloween.
Even though you may not be a fan of Halloween, or perhaps you never celebrated it, or you may hate dressing up… it is, in fact, a fun and joyous celebration. Partaking in it will break your everyday routine, disconnect you from the stresses of every day, and, most importantly, show you what it’s all about. And what it’s all about, despite what everyone says, is family – it is a family celebration, romantic and unorthodox and just plain fun. If you invest some time and energy into it, Halloween will pay it off threefold.
And this concludes our pre-Halloween post. You can expect another one shortly – the official Halloween one!