As a child I was at once terrified of Halloween and in love with it. When we would walk past the racks of masks and decorations in the store I would cry, or close my eyes and hide because it all scared me. I was often scared of other trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood, their costumes being to scary for the incredibly timid, shy and easily scared me.
Once my mom worked very hard to make me a Miss Piggy costume, but a kid in our neighborhood was dressed as a very spooky wolf with light up red eyes. I was no fool and read a lot of fairy tales, so I knew my little piggy self would not stand a chance against that wolf on the street. I made my mom take me home early, because the promise of candy was not enough for me to risk getting torn to bits by that wolf. Did I know in my head that it was just another kid in a costume, yes, but to my incredibly active imagination there was a chance, however small, that the wolf was real and I was at risk.
I was a child with an overactive imagination and Halloween was sometimes just too much for my poor head to wrap around. I also had very little understanding of the line between fantasy and reality (my first crushes were on Disney’s Robin Hood and Kermit the Frog and I did not consider either of them to be anything less than real). It is an issue that I still occasionally have problems with, but at least now I can usually tell the difference between a monster and a mask on a wall.
Halloween would grow from a force of fear and fascination into a proper obsession. Many of my everyday home decor comes from the Halloween decor in stores; skulls, bats, ravens, crows, and the occult. Every year less and less of our Halloween decorations are taken down, so the house gets more and more Halloween all year round. I think it is amazing that I am still somewhere inside the little girl who would hide her face when Halloween was out in the stores. Maybe I am just the brave woman that a scared little girl becomes when she faces her fears. If you can’t beat it embrace it?
I wasn’t quite as timid as you, but I did sometimes have the same issues with blurred lines between fiction and reality, and confusing which side of them things are. Still do at times, though I’ve learned to think about it logically, and figure out which side of those lines things are on. I think it’s what makes good writers. 😉
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It is very possible that has something to do with it. 🙂