She must have read about it first in a Jack Chick tract, one of those hand-held cartoon books designed to scare you into being good. Those books were always floating around church, and I remember the Halloween one clearly. There were virgin sacrifices, demons rejoicing in the ignorance of humans now celebrating their head boss's most evil day. Halloween was for the devil, my mom told me when I was young. She had tract evidence to show for it, and I never doubted.
We spent the Halloweens of my youth "home sick" from school. The nights, we spent either at the mall or at church, anywhere but home. Each year, my mom drew a sign for our door: "Sorry, no trick-or-treat. Jesus loves you."
In college, I started trying to unravel all my feelings about God and church and the tract-like scare tactics that had formed my life. Somewhere in there I researched Halloween and decided, really, it had nothing to do with the Devil.
The fight with my mother was huge -- so huge I didn't even celebrate. In the years since, I've tried a few times, half-heartedly, to have a real, costumed Halloween. The trouble is, I'm no good at it. Do you hone those skills in your youth? My best attempt was two years ago as Amelia Earhart. I had loved her as a kid and my short hair seemed perfect. Still, my costume was pretty half-assed.
This year, a co-worker invited me to a costume party. This is the year, I thought. I'm going to make a real costume.
I spent the next few weeks freaking out. No costume seemed right. Plus, I didn't really want to spend a lot of money on something I'd wear only once.
Two days before Halloween, another co-worker suggested Where's Waldo, which I loved. I spent two days prowling the town Goodwills until Ryan and I spotted this shirt in the American Apparel window. Ev got one in blue and white to be a Waldo decoy. People recognized us all night. I woke up Sunday morning, feeling not particularly sinful.
Ryan dressed up as health care legislation aka death panels aka socialism.
PS: I found this about Jack Chick's biography. Why does being a teenager mean one is destined for hell?
Right after the book was printed, he was driving down the road, when his eyes were drawn to a group of teens on the sidewalk. Jack remembers, "At the time, I didn’t like teenagers or their rebellion. But, all of a sudden, the power of God hit me and my heart broke and I was overcome with the realization that these teens were probably on their way to hell. With tears pouring down my face, I pulled my car off the road and wrote as fast as I could, as God poured the story into my mind."