Halloween Ups & Downs

Ju-on, American StyleWell, Fall weather is finally creeping in around the edges down here in middle Georgia — now that it is November.

We all had a pretty good Halloween. The Hatchers live on a big freakin’ five lane highway (two lanes either side, turn lane in the middle) which swarms with logging trucks and UPS vans at all hours (you get used to it), so we get zero trick-or-treaters and, of course, do not walk up and down the lane visiting the neighbors. So we scrambled across those five lanes and down the street of a neighborhood across the way, but no luck. Things were totally dead. And not in a good way.

So we went over to a sort of upper middle class neighborhood in Macon proper — where Sarah was trick-or-treating with a friend from school — and the place was just getting the spill-over from an adjoining street which, for some reason, has become the most popular street for folks indulging the “hop in the car and hit as many neighborhoods as possible” approach to trick-or-treating. Hundreds of cars make their way down Ridge Ave. with their lights on, intermittently parking along the edge of the street while kids run here and there in packs. Sort of a good thing. Sort of a bad thing. The headlights are blinding. And the benefits of revisiting your own neighborhood transformed by Halloween aren’t much there. But at least trick-or-treating hasn’t disappeared altogether — a distinct possibility around here as the number of local churches putting on H-alternative Fall Festivals has tripled since last year. (That may explain the dead neighborhood across the street.) A lot of folks go to the church festivals because of some faint residual suspicion that it is dangerous to trick-or-treat; at least they know their fellow church members at the festival, etc. Kind of an odd trade off. The church Fall Festivals aren’t very spooky in my experience. A tad contrived. Kind of like when public television decides to “celebrate Imagination”.

“Drive-by trick or treating” is probably worthy of some sociological inquiry. For one thing, Ridge Ave. is predominantly white (by far) and on Halloween all the kids from the poor neighborhoods – predominantly black – get their Moms to drive them over to Ridge. It’s an odd sort of candy-driven desegregation. Lots of older black kids galluping around with no costume and a pillowcase full of candy, lots of white folks afraid to say, “Where’s your costume?” Etc. Fortunately, the little kids are always decked out in some sort of costume and get most of the attention — which keeps things on a positive note. I wonder if this is a Southern thing or if similar situations occur across the country. Kind of like that “day of inversion” thing which used to be part of some Christian festivals — the fool becomes king, the poor receive a bounty of Butterfinger bars, etc.

What happened this Halloween with you guys?


P.S. Why the photo? I thought it provides a good example of why “Ju-on, the Grudge: American Style” just doesn’t work.


~ by christianhalloweenfan on November 13, 2007.

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