Halloween decorations gone too far? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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I love creepy/scary/spooky - skeletons, bats, ghosts, vampires, mummies, even just garden variety old fashioned zombies (adult zombies). I am NOT a fan of gore - ripped up body parts, blood everywhere...it's just too much. And while things may not be *scarier* than they were 30 years ago when I was my son's age, they are definitely gorier.

I live in a very small upstate NY city in a great ToT neighborhood, where there was a mix of all types of decorations and costumes. The kids just hid their eyes when a scary costume came towards them or skipped the houses that looked too scary/gory. We had a great time though as there were plenty of creepy/spooky houses that weren't just gross out gross.

I read the article posted above, and I couldn't agree more - Halloween is really about kids IMO, not about drunken parties, totally gory gross out nightmare inducing decorations, and "sexy whatever" adult female costumes. Halloween is about bowls of spaghetti brains and peeled grape eyeballs that you KNOW aren't real but pretend and squeal anyway. I was really struck by the comment in the article about this being the first generation of adults that doesn't want to grow up, that wants to hang on to their childhood at all costs, and I wonder how much it IS really costing our kids, that we're co-opting it and not turning it over to them to do/live their way. And I'm pretty old for that demographic (37 ) so I may be on the tail end or a little older than the age he's speaking of, but I see what he's talking about. It's a very, very fine line between remaining current and keeping interested/involved in things you like/enjoy and not having to "give up who you are" when you have kids, and not letting your kid have their own time as a kid without you involved/hovering/directing it all. **generic you, not anyone specific here**

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#32 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 02:07 AM
 
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I totally agree with R.L. Stine on this one. Grownups taking over Halloween is the scariest aspect of modern Halloween. R.L. Stine, the kids-scary-story-master thinks gore-fest adult Halloween is lame and uncreative: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/opinion/31stine.html

When I was a kid, there wasn't much gore, there were 3-4 houses out of 20 that were "too scary" for little kids and you knew that from street level. It was a right of passage to be brave enough to go up. No one thought it was "fun" to give little kids nightmares. And we never gave out candy to adults or teens, especially those not in costume.

Now I'm in New York City. Actually less gore than in previous years here. We have few homes that can decorate at street level though, ours is all stores, and they apparently got the messages from customers that we won't come in if you put real gore.

The Halloween pop up shops have tons of gore of course, but they also had, today, looked like still-full shops. I bought a few kids discounted costumes (75% off, hoorah) for Christmas presents. The woman in the store said they had "a bad year, especially the kids stuff." I did say that I couldn't have come in their store with my kids in tow, so we didn't choose our costumes there. Money talks, so who knows, maybe next year they'll have a kids section that actual kids can get to without stepping over zombie baby flotsam, which appears to have been a non-starter on sales anyway.

We have the Village Halloween parade, biggest in the country, and then a little kids parade earlier in the day. The big parade is gigantic and DD just went for part of it for the first time this year. It's much more about creativity than mindless gore. And there was only one inappropriately gory costume at the little kids parade/festival that I saw. Conveniently, the teen was too big for any of the rides or bouncy castle, and the people running them enforced that and told him no. I don't think he stayed long.

I would recommend scouting out a neighborhood with young kids nearby, OP. Scout out houses you know; maybe arrange a group with little kids to trick or treat to one another's houses with kid-friendly decor. Or put on your own Halloween party with friends, which could be very cool.
Yeah this!!! My kids love costumes but I wouldn't take them into of the Halloween stores b/c they're just too gross. Like so many posters are saying--not scary, gross and in incredibly bad taste, and obviously intended for adults, not kids.
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#33 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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I have not seen super bad decorations here in our Ohio location.I think someone in a nearby city was on the news for their deadly daycare theme,which had bloody/disfigured dolls.

We don't do ToT anymore.Well we did go to the mall one or 2 years,but it got to be annoying with the crowds and line cutting kids.Another time we went to my moms neighborhood and very few houses were handing out candy.

Some years we just stay home,watch movies,and fill a huge bowl with way more candy than we could ever collect going ToT.

I would be very upset to have adults going around with bags.Bad enough teens doing it while not dressing up.

I overheard a person at the store he other day talking about 2 people dressed up and carrying axes and whatever tools in the middle of the road.REAL axes. That would freak me out.
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#34 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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You know, I have absolutely NO problem with adults and older teens ToTing, so long as they're:

1) In costume
2) Polite and defer to kids getting a turn first
3) Friendly and in the spirit of fun for Halloween (as opposed to gross out theme or sexed up theme).

I will give candy to anyone, no matter what their age is, so long as they say trick or treat to me. Which would initially seem to not make sense when I agreed with the above article about the adult co-opting of Halloween, but my problem with adults on Halloween is when they try to make it too gory/gross/sexy and "adultify" it that way, not if they're an adult dressed in a fun costume trick or treating - participating in Halloween on a kid-based level as an adult is A-OK with me; turning Halloween into a horror film/porno (and I have nothing against porno, incidentally ) when it's really a holiday meant for kids (at this poitn in our culture) is the part I have a problem with.

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#35 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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I'm in Sw Portland, Oregon. I saw scarecrows, jack o' lanterns and black cats. Maybe a green witch. I did not see anything like you are describing.


I'm so sorry this happened to your little one. Maybe you should only take her to homes of people you know next year.
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#36 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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Where I live, I do think some people have gone too far with the decorations - truly graphic stuff that is in poor taste, stuff protraying stabbings, hangings and such. Just when did representations of murder become acceptable?

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#37 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Just when did representations of murder become acceptable?
Isn't a crucifix showing murder?

And folks used to attend public executions.

Protecting children from violent images is a new idea. My kids are teens now but I did protect their little brains from certain things when they were younger. The human mind has many more pleasant things to contemplate than beheadings and dismemberments.
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#38 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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I think decorating for almost all the holidays has gotten more elaborate, whether it's Halloween or "Easter trees" or massive blow-up "snow globe" blower things in people's yards. I blame Martha Stewart, HGTV, and to some extent certain bloggers.

But, hey, if people really want to that's fine. My son skipped a couple of houses. What bothered him the most was a tiny skeleton in a cage saying "hey help me out here? I want to get out!"

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#39 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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We're in a small town and this was our first year ToT (the baby is too little to appreciate it but we went with friends who have toddlers and a preschooler). In my opinion it was actually a really great way to meet neighbors and to show off the adorable baby One house was over the top, but it was easy to skip and it wasn't so much gory as just really BIG decorations and loud music. The age range was baby to teen with LOTS of parents out. Also, something I had not seen before, the local police and fire department had cars out and were handing out candy and saying "hi" to folks. I thought that was a nice way to ensure that nothing got too crazy and nice public relations too! I do think Halloween has gotten over the top--trying to scare littles is not something I think is EVER appropriate. But, I also think the Christmas decor (which will go up in our neighborhood in the next couple of weeks) also goes way over the top. Commercialization sucks.

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#40 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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I think decorating for almost all the holidays has gotten more elaborate, whether it's Halloween or "Easter trees" or massive blow-up "snow globe" blower things in people's yards. I blame Martha Stewart, HGTV, and to some extent certain bloggers.

:

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#41 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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Also, something I had not seen before, the local police and fire department had cars out and were handing out candy and saying "hi" to folks. I thought that was a nice way to ensure that nothing got too crazy and nice public relations too!
I like that. It would be good to see that here, too.

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I do think Halloween has gotten over the top--trying to scare littles is not something I think is EVER appropriate.
This is the part I really dislike. I don't get why people want to scare little kids. A bit of spookiness - the house that kids take a couple years to work up to - is okay, imo. Plus, ime, the people who do that kind of house (lots of atmospheric spookiness...fog machines, spiderwebs, some flying bats, etc.) are usually very friendly with the kids, and very understanding of the ones who are overwhelmed, etc. Some people really obviously want the kids to be scared, and I don't get that at all.

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#42 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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hmmm i dont agree with R L Stine.

halloween is not just for children. its for everyone. and today i truly enjoy how young adults and older people enjoy halloween today.

on our street actually halloween has become less gory because the gory people have moved.

when dd was younger our tot was much different than it is today.

in fact my 2 year old who was even scared of clifford, this year at 8 was choosing specifically ToT at really scary houses and come out saying oh that was COOL. her same age friend refused to go up certain houses.

our TOTing at 8 looks much different than it did at 3. her costume - choosing to go as a vampire shoudl have clued me in. there are houses and stores i wouldnt go in when dd was 3 as opposed to today.

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#43 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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For the last few years, it's been hard for me not to grump around Halloween, because my NEXT DOOR neighbor loves the gore. He seems to think, the more shocking, the better, so it gets worse and worse every year. It's hard to hear my young child ask why that man's head is in the lawn mower, even if it's just pretend. He points to a graveyard where there are little demons (?) eating body parts and asks what those babies are eating (they really do look like babies). There is also a little demonic-looking skeleton about the size of a baby, riding in a baby stroller! It's just sick. And you can see it all from my front window. He has some really neat, scary stuff, too, and I wish he would just stick with that, which is way more creative and interesting than the let's-see-how-gross-we-can-get-just-to-shock-people stuff.
I would be suspicious of this
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#44 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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I would be suspicious of this
What do you mean "suspicious"? I'd hate the yard described and wouldn't even look at it, but I don't get "suspicious".?

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#45 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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I would be suspicious of this
I dunno, last year our neighbors across the street actually dug up their front yard and made a graveyard, and I'm in a part of TX where people are really into their lawns like Hank Hill or something. They have 2 teenage boys and the whole family made an outdoor haunted house w/ graveyard, "seizure room" (have no idea what that was about) and they all dressed up like ghouls, hanging out in the yard eating fake body parts and such. Strange? To me, absofreakinglutely, totally not for kids IMO but they say they just really, really, really like Halloween. Luckily this year they moved it to their place of business, b/c I had my 4 y/o pretending to be a ghoul (pretending to eat a severed foot) for almost a year afterward. He was afraid to even go up to the house, we could see the action from across the street. But anyway, I don't think my neighbors are bad people nor am I suspicious of them.

ETA and oh yeah, every other neighbor I talked to HATED it (and some complained to the city), but the teens who came seemed to have a great time.
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#46 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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In my area we have a big mixture. They either have the really cutesy decorations or they go all out and it's beyond creepy. I actually remember a few years ago hearing about a woman who killed herself by hanging herself in a tree and now whenever I see those type of decorations I get physically ill.

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#47 of 47 Old 11-03-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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My personal hate this year is for the zombie babies. As the mother of a son who was stillborn at term - and who I was in prodromal labour with on Halloween - I just can't handle them. They disgust me...but they also hurt me. I saw them in every store this year...but, thankfully, nobody in my neighbourhood decorated with them.
OMG the zombie babies... Ugh. Terrible in every way. DS was not terribly bothered by all the random skeletons and monsters in the stores. In fact we made up a fun game of dramatic, overly exaggerated hugs every time we saw one, but DH and I nearly died ourselves when we saw those babies. I didn't even want to look at them. DH tried to make a game of DS looking up at the ceiling until we could high tail it out of the store. So tasteless and inappropriate.

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