Divisive Vices: Yay or Nay on These Halloween Staples


Samantha Phan

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you all are having a great start to the spookiest night of the year. As someone who is an avid, and longtime Hallows Eve celebrator, I find myself qualified to discuss some of the most polarizing aspects of this great holiday. You might find you agree or strongly disagree with what I am about to share, but what is Halloween without a little trickiness?

On Horror Movies:

Horror movies: you either love or hate them. Some people shy away from the guts and gore, preferring to watch films that don’t make their  hearts beat one hundred times its usual speed. Others crave the thrill and adrenaline, watching scary movies from dusk to dawn. Is there any better time of year than Halloween to indulge in a few horror flicks?

Yes, there is a better time of year, and that time of year is never. Don’t get me wrong, I love holiday movies. But something about the disturbing, bloody nature of the horror genre makes me want to run for the hills instead of sitting on the couch. I would prefer to spend my first week of November free of nightmares and jump scares. A happy and fun Halloween movie would be much better in my book, which brings me to my second divisive opinion. 

On “The Nightmare Before Christmas”:

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is one of my favorite movies ever. The songs, the animation, and the characters are all top-notch. When I was younger, I tried to watch this movie every year but was too afraid to finish it. But, once I quit being scared of the opening sequence, it was like I had seen magic. For me, the film is a wonderfully nostalgic and exciting experience every single time I watch it. This holiday movie definitely goes in my top five.

But, for what holiday? The question I seek to answer is whether “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. My gut instinct is to say Halloween; for us non-horror watchers, this is one of the few spooky (but not scary) movies available. But, after some consideration, I would conclude that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Christmas movie. Most of the movie (spoiler alert) involves preparing for Christmas. Halloween is merely the backdrop for which the characters are motivated. Plus, Christmas is in the title. But, honestly, who cares? I could watch this movie in the middle of July, and it would still be just as good. 

On Plastic Pumpkins:

Oh, pumpkins. The best way to tell that Halloween is approaching is by keeping an eye out for this brightly colored gourd. Come the end of September, you start seeing pumpkins everywhere. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and of course, the classic pumpkin spice latte: all amazing. However, nothing — even the PSL — is better than decorating your front door with a beautiful pumpkin. But, does it have to be a real one?

Of course, a real pumpkin is more authentic. You can get one by going to the pumpkin patch for a true fall experience. Get creative, and carve some jack-o-lanterns, giving your front door a more spooky feel. But, be warned, it will go bad pretty soon after Halloween, and if you do not clean it up, you will have quite a frightening sight.

Plastic pumpkins, on the other hand, are artificial and boring, but they are also convenient. You can use the same ones every Halloween, and they never go bad. Also, even though you cannot carve them, you can still use some paint and glitter to decorate.

But, which to choose? I honestly prefer real pumpkins; I love the smell, the carving experience, and the look of a grown vegetable sitting on my front porch. However, if you indulge in plastic pumpkins, I hold no judgment. Though they do not look as cool, they still embody the Halloween spirit. 

On Candy Corn:

I would say this Halloween treat is the most divisive thing on this list. Candy is a staple of Halloween, and what candy celebrates the holiday more than candy corn? Sure, you can buy it year-round, but we all know it’s a Halloween snack. 

Now, is it good or not? Is candy corn a sweet, delicious treat that puts everybody in a festive mood? Or is it chalky, colored wax that looks too similar to teeth for anyone to enjoy? You are all entitled to your own opinion, but me, personally? I think candy corn is delicious. It used to be one of my favorite candies, and I would eat it year-round, even if I had to go to the very back of the store to find it. I acknowledge that it might be too sweet, look a little weird, or have a gross texture. In fact, I think all of these things are true. And yet, none of them will stop me from enjoying the quintessential holiday snack. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about all of these Halloween staples. While you might disagree with some of my opinions, just know these are the right ones, and if you think anything else you are wrong! My opinion is the only right one. But, all jokes aside, I hope everyone has a happy Halloween and a lovely first week of November. 

Scare you later!

Image courtesy of Mary Jane Duford from Unsplash