Doesn't it feel like someone hijacked Halloween? Years ago it was a simple holiday where kids like me would go out into the night to beg for candy. Anyone accompanied by a parent was a wus. Our bags, stuffed with candy by the end of the night (well, 8 pm), were a dentist's dream.
Things changed. Maybe it was the bogus poison candy stories from the 70's or ramping up the gore in horror movies. On October 31st, you couldn't trust strangers anymore. Decades ago parents stopped letting their kids take candy from strangers.
Now it seems Halloween is more for grownups than kids. It's a mega-industry with people spending big bucks on parties and costumes.
Last Friday you could have had a "wild evening" at Zoo Miami for $75.
I walked into a local pop-up Halloween store last week and saw six-foot zombie selling for $159. Who'd buy such thing? Perhaps a younger generation making up for lost time, the ones who were not allowed to trick or treat like we did years ago.
What do the Chinese factory workers who make them think of their distant customers...a month's wages for a full-size, plastic zombie?
I am inspired by people who are shun the Halloween industry, the ones making costumes and decorations from old stuff and recycled materials.
These three were created by Bev Murphy and her posse at Fairchild Gardens.
Tomorrow night, Francesca and I will be doing what we always do, visiting the secret little Coconut Grove street that celebrates Halloween the old way, where kids still happily accept candy from strangers.