Halloween Haunts: All The Treats! by Linda D. Addison
Halloween Haunts: All The Treats!
by Linda D. Addison
Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays my whole life. As a child the idea of dressing up that one day and going house to house to collect candy was magical. Back then, no one worried about being poisoned or razors in fruit. I felt stronger and magical in costume then in regular clothes. The thin awkward kid who read books all the time and didn’t talk much could become a powerful witch, one of my favorite costumes, and no doubt the easiest for my mother to create, since there were nine of us.
I thought more and more about the power of transformation while writing this blog entry. How great it felt, if I was wearing a mask because there was something freeing about others not seeing my face. I could find a side of my personality to match that costume, even if it only came out on Halloween, and get candy!!!
As I got older I still went trick/treating, because I had to take my younger siblings out. My costumes were simpler, but I still dressed up a little, and basically stayed on the sidewalk while they collected sweets. Back at home I only took what candy they offered to share—I didn’t have that voracious need that my younger self had and my Mom always made sure we didn’t eat it all at once. One thing I remember about chaperoning them is that there was still a sense of strength around wearing a mask or outrageous makeup, a feeling of being untethered from the shy, book worm I was in daylight back then.
Later as an adult I bought a beautiful handmade leather mask at a convention, which I have wore at a friend’s wedding, and years ago when Jack Ketchum aka Dallas Mayr was having a book party at a convention he asked me to wear it to draw people in from the hallways into the venue for his event. I happily did and although at that point I was pretty outgoing without a mask, that mask allowed me to be another kind of person and I filled that room (not with candy, but with human treats—have at it my horror friends)!
If you do any reading about “Why Humans Wear Masks”, there are many reasons, but I really love the concept in many cultures that it’s to honor saints, avoid being recognized by dead relatives aka ghosts when winter arrives, or a way to commune with gods/goddesses, animals and ancestors. The treats gained or collected aren’t sugar based, but they can be sweet to the soul, like putting on a mask and for that time releasing a part of our personality that we tend to hide. So mask up (for any of the reasons you like) and have a great time, collect all the treats you want, candy-based or not!
by Linda D. Addison
Raven, sweet dark dream
split open my eyes
peel away my hope, bring me
your joyless cry, your visions
held tight in a decaying breast,
I drink my desire
from the sharp folds of your wings
lie naked in your beak, become a seed
let me rise in the endless night
through your dying breath.
[from Being Full of Light Insubstantial collection]