Boo! Halloween Promos Excite Wrong Sort of Horror


Your question today is probably “Where’s the party?” and not “Did you know that this is the 70th Anniversary of Orson Welles’ Iconic ‘War of the Worlds’ Broadcast?” But the Halloween press releases stuffed through Runnin’ Scared’s mail slot have not been especially festive.

For example, the American Dietetic Council seeks to “Help Parents Avoid Sugar-Induced ‘Halloween Hangover’ in Kids.” Also, 10 Manhattan dentists are participating in a “Halloween Candy Buyback.”

White Castle focused on “Angel’s Night,” the anti-arson pseudo-holiday Detroit uses to vitiate its historic violence on Mischief Night (their contribution was free burgers and drinks). Other food promos have just been nauseating, and even Mariah Carey dressed as a “sexy” firefighter somehow isn’t doing it for us.

Don’t count on your local government for help. The city offers “FDNY Halloween Safety Tips,” and the state has a Halloween Safety Coloring Book, advising kids to check their candy and, when they are lost and terrified, to put their trust in a creepy-looking guy dressed as a cop. (They also offer “Halloween rules for sex offenders on parole.”)

Even Sleepy Hollow, home of the Headless Horseman, is cracking down: Authorities “say they’ll disperse large groups of teenagers, if necessary, and confiscate eggs and shaving cream,” and ask parents to “voluntarily have children under 17 at home by 8:30 p.m.”

If Halloween can’t be scary fun, then let it be weird; we are grateful to the self-published “Ed WinKS (a pseudonym),” who today pitches us his The HuMORbid Book, featuring “eloquent musing and dark comedy” on the subject of death. Among the comedy: “Funerals begin with fun.” Among the musing: “Albert Schweitzer held that all life was sacred; he would not kill an insect or mosquito.” That must have made fighting malaria in Africa especially difficult. ThanKS, WinKS, for the odd frisson. (Thanks also to Abe Vigoda.) Now to the video store for our annual rental of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.