There is nothing like a wholesome day at an amusement park all decked out for Halloween to make one wonder about the future of civilization. A beautiful, sunny fall day combined with a theme park dressed for frightening makes for the strangest of adventures at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. At night, skeletons and zombies and crazed clowns are frighteningly fun. By sunny day, they’re just plain strange—especially as little kids in strollers nonchalantly pass all sorts of made-for-their-amusement mayhem, oblivious to what the skeletons and blood pools and walking dead might really mean.
When did Halloween turn toward blood and horror? I embraced the holiday when I was much younger both for the sweets and for the collective let-down-your-hair-and-be-someone-more-interesting-for-an-evening dressing-up element of the night. Over time, I began to appreciate that just maybe departed ones were a little bit closer to Earth on October 31. I like black. Halloween was the cool holiday that appears just before all the gaudiness of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
How we as a society transitioned from bobbing for apples to enjoying fountains of blood and zombie takeovers, I am not really sure. Clearly, Fright Fest is meant for a younger crowd.
I suppose when the big night comes, I’ll just enjoy a blood orange cocktail (even Martha Stewart has embraced the creepiness) and not worry about it all too much. I’ll just start thinking about Thanksgiving and what we all did to the indigenous people after they shared with us their corn.