TBT^2: Happy Halloween!

Another Halloween is nearly here!  This year, Halloween falls on a Sunday, which has thrown everyone into a state of chaos trying to figure out when to trick-or-treat (the correct answer is “Saturday”).

October always passes by so quickly, no matter how much I try to savor the season.  Predictably, it’s gotten warmer here again after a week or so of blissfully autumnal weather, though the forecast for the Spooktacular is looking appropriately cool.  If it gets cool enough, I’ll brew some coffee and make some hot chocolate for guests.  As long as it doesn’t rain, I’m happy!

In the tradition of the last two “Happy Halloween!” posts (the original and last year’s TBT), here is this year’s Jack O’Lantern:

Jack O'Lantern 2021 - Lit on Front Stoop

I don’t have much more to add, so with that, here is 29 October 2020’s “TBT: Happy Halloween!“:

Halloween is nearly here!  I love Halloween, so I had to dedicate this week’s TBT to last year’s Halloween post.  This Halloween is particularly fun, as I’m hosting my annual Spooktacular this Friday evening (information here).

It’s been a good Halloween season.  My girlfriend and I carved pumpkins this weekend.  It was her first time, but she carved far more elaborate ones than I did.  See for yourself:

Pumpkins 2020

Her’s are the ones on the left—the bat and the drooling pumpkin.  Mine are on the right—the more traditional snaggle-toothed variety.  The one on the bottom right reminds me of King Kong.

We’ve also watched both Halloween and Halloween II, so we’ve pretty much checked off all the boxes.

With that, here’s 31 October 2019’s “Happy Halloween!“:

It’s Halloween!  All the build-up, all the ghost stories, it’s finally here!

Last night I took the opportunity to carve my one of the two pumpkins I picked up earlier in the month ($4 a pop!).  He’s the cheeky little guy pictured above, and in the photo collage below (I’m getting fancy with the production values in this post).

His brother was stolen off my front porch Wednesday night.  I’d just gotten in bed and switched off the lights when I heard some tires squealing.  Thinking it was one of my neighbor’s buddies hydroplaning on the wet street, I didn’t think much of it, until my neighbor began shouting for me minutes later!

I threw on a t-shirt and he and a friend reported that a big dude ran up to the porch and grabbed something.  Sure enough, one of the big fat pumpkins was gone!  Darn teenagers and their Halloween hijinks.

But I suppose that’s all part of the fun of Halloween (although I wanted to carve another one of these little guys).  Tonight I’ll get to see my little niece and nephews toddling around their neighborhood, provided it’s not raining and storming, as the forecast predicts.

As I wrote Monday, Halloween in South Carolina is always hot—and muggy.  The forecast for tomorrow calls for a high of 85 degrees, and a low of 50—talk about bipolar.  Let’s hope the lower end of that is while we’re trick-or-treating.  While I was putting out my pumpkin last night, it was decidedly un-autumnal, with thick, humid air all around.

Halloween gets a bad rap among us evangelical Christians, but its roots are deeply Christian.  My new blogger buddy NEO of Nebraska Energy Observer has a piece up today about All Saints’ Day Eve.  In it, he links to an essay by Holly Scheer at The Federalist, “Christians Used To Do Halloween Better Than Pagans.”  Scheer argues that, rather than All Saints’ Day being glommed onto the existing Celtic festival of Samhain, the tradition goes back to the early Church.  It was a way to honor martyrs for Christ.

The name and date for “All Saints’ Day” were affixed later, by Pope Gregory III, but the tradition was well-founded in Christendom.  The practice of “trick-or-treating,” which Scheer points out developed in the late Middle Ages, originated with children going door-to-door asking for food in exchange for prayers.

Like so many other things that are good and true (and fun!), traditionalists and conservative Christians have had the Truth stripped from them, instead wrapped up in a gauzy, pagan-friendly narrative.  But it wasn’t the Christians who stole Halloween; according to Scheer, it’s the other way around—a bigger myth than those non-existent razor blades in children’s apples.

Regardless, I’m thrilled to celebrate some spooky fun with the family.  Be safe out there, have fun, and Happy Halloween!




24 thoughts on “TBT^2: Happy Halloween!

  1. It’s forecast rain here for Halloween (over the entire weekend) but we still expect the odd few to go out trick or treating. I’m fully expecting the same as last year with our Halloween treats – not many takers – and not wanting to balloon before Christmas, I’ll probably bag them up and hand them out to the neighbours kids rather than eat them over the course of the next few months; my waistline doesn’t need more crap! 🙂

    When you finally see our carved pumpkins, Port, you’ll notice a similarity between ours and yours. Tina tends to go for elaborate and I just make a few holes! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t wait to see your pumpkins, Ponty! Should make for some fun comparisons. I always just freehand mine, and like the results.

      It’s raining here, but it’s looking clear for this weekend (thank goodness!). I’ve managed to keep my candy supply up even after distributing some of it among my music students. It was very sweet (no pun intended): several of my middle school students brought me candy corn, specifically the candy corn pumpkins, which I LOVE. They heard me talking about how much I like them, and several of them were inspired to bring Mr. Cook some Halloween cheer!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the things we like doing as we’re busying ourselves with Halloween chores is to put something spooky on in the background. If you go onto YouTube, or the like, and type in horror music (either ambient or instrumentals), it should bring up a whole list of interesting and creepy music. One of those we tend to put on is this:

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sounds like a fun practice! Lately I have been listening to videos from The Salt Factory (https://www.youtube.com/c/TheSaltFactory), who does lengthy reviews and playthroughs of great RPGs from a decade or more ago. Makes me want to dive back into _Morrowind_. I beat the main quest of the vanilla game as a Bosmer (Wood Elf) Bard back on New Year’s Day 2005, after playing that save file for a few years. I’m thinking of doing another playthrough as a Breton healer type specializing in polearms.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Morrowind – isn’t that part of The Elder Scrolls? I bought those for Tina a while ago but they need updating for the console. Skyrim was supposed to be pretty good but we haven’t got around to it yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! It’s the third _Elder Scrolls_ game. _Skyrim_ is quite fun, but very shallow compared to the depth of _Morrowind_ (which is quite shallow compared to _Daggerfall_, which is INCREDIBLY deep). _Morrowind_ seems like the sweet spot to me: the differentiation of skills, etc. The world in _Morrowind_ is much more mystical and intriguing what _Oblivion_ and _Skyrim_ offered up, and I lost myself in the lore of _Morrowind_ for hours (and hours—and hours!) on end.


  3. Well, quite frankly I can’t wait to get Halloween out of the way even though I don’t take part and then I can start getting serious about Christmas. You spook addicts can keep your pumpkins and horror films my Spotify Christmas playlist is over fourteen hours long ALREADY, plum puds are made and stowed away under the bed with one winging its way over the Atlantic to Audre’s house as I write. Candles and ribbon were bought in July for this year’s new project – a bona fide Advent wreath. So, bring it on Jesus, Alys is readyand raring to go.

    Liked by 3 people

    • As much as I like Christmas, I find myself becoming hardened to it. Personally, I think that’s more to do with the politicisation of the church than my own particular feeling towards it. Over the last year, I’ve seen a man I once respected turn to writing about how we can all work hard to tackle climate change and though our priest is a good man, it annoys me that his mind, like many, can be manipulated in this way so it takes the gloss off; attending Midnight Mass or anything like it has just dulled for me.

      I love the lights and the activity of Christmas but with Halloween, that’s something our church doesn’t get overly involved in which for me is perfect. I can enjoy the event knowing there’s nothing external tied to it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well, I understand how you feel 39. I travel thirty miles each way on a Sunday to Taunton to an Anglo Catholic church with a wonderful priest who takes mass every day of the week except Monday. Holy Trinity comes under the See of Ebbsfleet which is part of the Church of the England but which does not allow for the ordination of women. I found Holy Trinity because of information Audre’s APA (Anglican Province of America) bishop sent me otherwise I would still be churchless bearing in mind that I live in a cathedral city which also has two other large Anglican churches – none of which I want to attend. So,this year more than any other at Christmas I can look forward to traditional orthodox services without being lectured to about climate change, BLM or the evils of Brexit. Amen to that.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Yeah, when your church is just a reflection of the world, rather than something set apart from and better than it, it’s easy for the church to ruin what it’s supposed to do best. Christmas and Easter are churches time to shine. Sorry to hear that political correctness has ruined the Christmas experience for you.

        Just remember, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were refugees. ; D <—That's one of the SJWs' favorites to pull out this time of year. No wonder you're hardened!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I sure do love Christmas, Alys, especially the carols, but I’m all for giving the holidays their due in turn. I will slowly beginning transitioning into the Christmas spirit in November as my classes begin working on Christmas music, but I’m going to make sure Thanksgiving gets a fair shake, too—a delicious, succulent, buttery shake of the ol’ turkey leg.

      Liked by 1 person

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