If someone were to tell you that Halloween 2020 would be spent in lockdown due to the fault of a pandemic, would you believe them? Samhain 2020 was the dullest Halloween on record, even the jack-o’-lanterns weren’t grinning as their interiors were lit with tiny candles. The light from inside them may have been trying to shine bright to give us some hope that lockdown will end someday, but it still didn’t ease our doubts. The streets were dead and dark; a typical horror movie setting, but no final girls or any main characters were to be seen. Children’s laughter and shouts of “Boo!”, “You scared me!” and “Trick R’ Treat, give me something good to eat” were but an echo from 2019. We don’t seem to notice these small little things until we can’t hear them anymore; those little things all adding up to the fact that Halloween is a time when people come together, when children can be anything they want to be, where life itself can be celebrated in the form of looking dead.
Halloween or Samhain was the one time a year when the barrier between the living and the dead was at its thinnest; spirits would be granted permission to visit earth and wreak havoc upon the living. Children dressing up in costumes meant that spirits would leave them alone; it was a form of blending in, but when the ghostly spirits visited our world in the year of 2020, they were quite baffled to encounter that no humans were to be seen. It shouldn’t be too presumptuous to say that they missed our company!
Halloween 2020 in lockdown:
My boss in work granted permission to wear a costume and I’m not one to break Halloween tradition. A pair of dungarees splashed in fake blood, a striped long-sleeved shirt, converse and a few decorative scars on my face and I was to be the first Chucky that ever packed shelves in Tesco! However, I was alone in that regard. I was the only one to dress up, the only one to wish everyone a “Happy Halloween”. Children stared up at me in amazement and sadness while everyone else thought I was a bit mad, but I still got the lovely compliment of “I love your will to try and spread Halloween spirit”. That night, I returned home and switched on all my Halloween lights, lit up my carved pumpkins outside and then proceeded to carve my last pumpkin for the year with a handful of sweets in front of me. The usual tradition of trick r’ treating and the Annual Macnas parade may have been taken away from us, but the pandemic was not going to take away the pumpkin carving and the many hours of watching scary movies.
I’ve witnessed a huge increase in the number of people purchasing Halloween treats and spooky décor for the interior and exterior of their houses; it is rather enlightening. People are excited to get a taste of some form of normality this year and they deserve to bask in the glory of buying costumes and preparing for Trick R’ Treaters and visiting scare attractions and pumpkin patches around Ireland. Last year, Halloween was spent alone with the company of my animatronic spooky dolls and hollowed out pumpkins, but this year it’ll be spent with close friends who are all putting in the effort to dress up, to go on cinema visits to see the new Halloween Kills, to go shopping for costumes together. These are times that are priceless and having these times taken away from us last year was simply horrifying and upsetting, but this year we make up for that lost time. This year, our pumpkins will be smiling from our windows or from our doorsteps, their one final tooth being tempted to bite into the candy that we hand out to trick r’ treaters and the spirits that come to visit earth won’t even want to wreak havoc upon us, they’ll simply be grateful that our company has come out to play again.