P91009Halloween is a topic that I could rant about for days. Seriously. I loathe it. I dislike any formerly respectable holiday that has been ruined by excessive commercialization. We all know what happened to Christmas. For me, Halloween, in some regards, is even worse. Christmas is at least pretty. Halloween is intended to be morbid and grotesque and creepy and . . . just plain bad.

This should be about gardening though. Yes, there is always that guy who gets too drunk at the Halloween party down the road, but manages to stagger just far enough to vomit on my lawn. Then, I need to figure out how to get all the toilet paper out of the redwoods. The nasturtiums that get trampled by hasty brats who are too old for trick-or-treating will eventually recover.

The worst, though, are the Halloween ‘decorations’ in the front yard! We put too much work into maintaining our gardens in good condition to make them look so bad. I do not care if it is just for one day out of the year. Seriously, it is just wrong, on so many levels. Why on Earth should I want my garden to look as cheap and trashy as young ladies dressed up as naughty nurses?!

Pumpkins and even Jack-O’-lanterns are tolerable, and even appealing in a traditional sort of way, but spiderwebs make me think that the witches could put their brooms to better use than frequent flier miles. All those angry black cats should more efficiently control all the spiders and bats. Tombstones?! – Corpses in various degrees of decay?! – There goes the neighborhood!!P91009+

What about the effigies concealed by white sheets, and the other effigies hanging from trees and porches? Whoever thought those were good ideas?! Perhaps Brent can share some insight.


19 thoughts on “Horridculture – Halloween

  1. I grew up in Scotland, and Halloween then was a) not a holiday in the American sense b) had no commercial aspects other than greengrocers selling more turnips which kids made into lanterns with candles, and then went ‘guising’, dressed in old clothes. Money was collected for fireworks and sweets. It was not called trick or treat. I also hate modern Halloween.

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  2. I continue to find it very strange that modern halloween has sprung from a society\nation that constantly proclaims how Christian it is. Thankfully it has not caught on here to this extent though.

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    1. We seem to be more proficient than we should be at destroying perfectly good holidays, although North American Thanksgiving is still quite excellent. Here in the West, in some Communities, Dia de los Muertos is still celebrated in traditional fashion right after Halloween. I hope it is never ruined.


  3. The only thing I dread worse than Halloween is the stores where both Halloween and Christmas wares are simultaneously displayed. Talk about garish! Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday and fortunately it hasn’t become too commercial yet.


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  4. I always wondered about the people on the corner of my street who had an extensive murder scene completely filling the front yard where no one ever bothered to spend any effort at landscaping, even weed-pulling; it was complete with a “body” lying on the ground, a dagger in the chest. It seems this should at least be considered a disturbance of the peace.

    When you think of the waste of plastic on all of this junk, when some of us are doing without a scrap of food wrap, maybe such garbage will become a political issue and pressure will come from that new direction. But would that mean more toilet paper in the redwoods?

    Recently people bought a house even closer to me on my block, and moved in so recently I haven’t met them. When it was the end of September I saw that they had “decorated” with several tombstones. I don’t even feel like trying to meet them until November. But if they put up a giant inflatable dinosaur Santa….

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    1. When I lived in my hometown, those who moved in from other places had no problem telling me what sort of car I ‘needed’ to live in that neighborhood, or what color flowers to grow, or even what color to paint my bathroom. (Seriously, the neighbor on the next road over built a monster home that gave him a view of my bathroom window, and he did not like the color of the glow when I turned on the light at night.) I could not imagine telling those same neighbors what they told me, even they came here and destroyed our former idyllic lifestyle with their improvements. It still bothers me that they disapproved of my old Buick and Ford, but have no problems with lawns full of Styrofoam tombstones.

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  5. Well, I’m the outlier here, but there are some decorations that can be more positive than negative. There’s a house down the road from me where the people have hung multitudes of jack-o-lanterns from their trees for years. I’ve been here since 1990, and it was going on then. After Hurricane Ike, in the midst of no electricity and demolished homes and general chaos, there weren’t quite as many hanging pumpkins, but they were there. It was amazing how that tradition eased a lot of hearts. It was like a sign from heaven that at least a bit of normalcy remained, and more would come.

    Now, granted — there’s a lot of stupidity and excessive commercialism with the holiday, too. But some of its traditions are fine by me, especially when they help to bring a community together.

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    1. Most of the traditions started out with good intentions, but then several got capitalized on to an objectionable extreme. Not many people know what many of the holidays were originally for anymore. Cinco de Mayo is a day of trashy partying that typically involves looting and arson, yet no one knows what it is about. It is supposedly a Mexican holiday, but Mexican culture does not celebrate it. No one even know how it became such a prominent fake holiday here. Ironically, Mexican culture is what has preserved some of the formerly respectable holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and even Dia de los Muertos (after Halloween), which includes some of the original traditions of Halloween.

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      1. Dia de los Muertos is a big deal here in Texas. In Galveston, there are families galore at the cemeteries: cleaning graves, sharing meals with the departed, and so on. Even in the smallest Hispanic cemeteries around the state, you’ll see fresh flowers (although usually artificial, for longevity) and multi-generational familes renewing ties with the departed. It’s wonderful, and many Anglos visit the cemeteries on the occasion, too, to pay their respects.


    1. That is one of the few lame traditions about Halloween that I sort of like. There were no children in the neighborhood where I lived in town, but parents from less safe neighborhoods took their kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood because it was so easy to get around in, and there were so many doors so close together. It make all the other disdainful behavior worth the bother.

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  6. I think it’s the plastic that gets to me. I am trying my best to use less plastic because most of it is never recycled and much of it just doesn’t last that long in its useful life, plus much of it comes from China. I know this is a different time, but my homemade costumes were made of cardboard, pipe cleaners, old clothes, and I remember using a colander for a hat.

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  7. I proclaimed my loathing of Halloween in the other post, but I am happy to repeat it here. Leaving aside my opinion that Nature decorates herself more than sufficiently to celebrate the ‘harvest-home season’, without the addition of tacky/gruesome/morbid mass produced garbage, it has too often become an excuse for vandalism even in “nice” neighborhoods. A friend of mine used to have to replace their streetside mailbox every couple of years because the local teens (one assumes) were fond of seeing which ones would blow up best via a ‘cherry bomb’ or M-80 firecracker inside it.

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    1. Exactly! Stupidity like that is bad on any Holiday, but on Halloween, it is mixed with all that tacky and morbid and plastic TRASH! When I get downtown to work in the planter box there, I expect to find puddles of vomit. It happens on Saint Patrick’s day also. At least I get some nice wine and beer glasses from the nearby bars and restaurants. I do not drink alcohol, but they are pretty for other beverages too. There should be a few in the planter box.


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