Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Pretty Scary!!!




With Samhain/Halloween just around the corner I decided to talk a little about what it means to me and a few of things associated with one of my favorite holidays.

Surprisingly, Samhain/ Halloween is not my favorite holiday. My favorite is actually Yule. I think both holidays are fun, but to me Samhain is about remembering lost loved ones. Halloween to me is a commercial holiday, much like Valentines Day. Modern Halloween is more about kids in costumes begging for candy, or women in bars dressed like slutty versions of popular character begging for drinks.

Now I get to enjoy Halloween as a dad. I get to see my daughter dress up and have fun. That is good enough for me. I still get the candy she doesn't like and I'll still light my candles for lost loved ones.

It may also be surprising to some people that I am not a fan of haunted houses. I remember going to a few when I was a small child and being ejected from the attraction for kicking one of the characters in the head, because he slid across the floor toward me brandishing a chainsaw. The kick was a product of built up anxiety that started from the first scare. I had asked to leave several times, but my grandmother insisted that we go all the way through, since she had already paid for it.

I didn't go back into a haunted house until I was 15. That time I pushed my way through it as fast as I could. This is twice as funny since I knew 99% of the people in the costumes. It still make me incredibly uncomfortable.
The only time since then I tried to do a haunted house was at Universal Studios Hollywood. I wasn't that bad, but I was warned several times to put my hands down. I finally hide behind two girls and my friend Jason. I didn't enjoy it and I'm sadly not going to try it again.

I've come to terms with the fact that haunted house, and other haunted attractions are not for me. As a general rule I don't like the feeling of being scared. That is why I don't watch movies that are actually scary and I don't go to haunted house. I prefer to stay calm, cool, and in control. That is hard to do when you have people yelling and threatening you, even if they are just actors.

To take it one step further, I am also not a fan of “real haunted” stuff either. I'm not a ghost hunter and I don't feel the need to check out “haunted” or “paranormal” places. It's also just not for me.

I write a lot of weird and crazy stuff, but I don't consider anything I write scary. I think scary changed a lot for me when my little girl came into the world. Haunted houses, paranormal stuff, and other things make me uncomfortable, but nothing terrifies a parent more than the idea of someone invading their home or something happening to their child. I have written about these things, because they freak me out, but when I write it I have control of the situation and I know it's just fiction. I think scary things need to stay in fiction and I'll just avoid the ones that make me uncomfortable.

With all of this in mind I hope everyone has a happy Halloween and blessed Samhain. May we put on our mask, party to remember the ones we've lost, and gorge ourselves on candy and drink!!!

-Travis