Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Halloween: A History

Like everything else, Halloween was invented in China. Sometime around 732 AD, Emperor Liu Han said to the eunuchs, “You guys should really take a night for yourself. Just go wild.” They ended up murdering the entire royal family in a drunken frenzy, and afterwards felt very bad about that, but really enjoyed the part of the night where they wore costumes and ate candy. This tradition continues today, and we honor those eunuchs by scooping the seeds out of pumpkins, symbolizing the removal of their testicles.

In 1382, Marco Polo heard someone shouting his name. After following the voice to China, he stole Halloween and brought it back to the West, where he traded Halloween to the Druids for several large rocks that may have been a calendar, or possibly a clock, or maybe a temple: the Druids were not very clear. The holiday was now known as Sam Hain, as when you translate a word from Mandarin to 14th-century Italian to Druish, the pronunciation starts to drift.

For years, the Druids were the kings of Halloween–Druids are among the spookier of ancient white-person tribes–but then some Goths joined the party one year and they were all in: from that moment on, all Goths did was Halloween and destroy the Roman Empire. (The Roman Empire banned Halloween, and would feed spooky ghosts and sexy draculas to the lions every year as a warning to all.)

The first settlers in America, the Pilgrims, did not celebrate Halloween. I mean, those fuckers didn’t celebrate Christmas, so Halloween is completely out of the question. Also, the Pilgrims only owned one set of clothes each, so costumes were impossible. The whole basis of a costume rests on there being extra clothing lying around, and there was no extra clothing back then: if there was a shirt, someone was wearing it.

1946 saw the return of Halloween as a major holiday in America. The candy corn factories were still working at a wartime rate, so President Truman–attempting to prevent a crash in the candy corn markets– came up with a wild scheme to sell the product. Costumes and trick-or-treating, the whole deal. Halloween was a hit, and soon there were children in sheets on every corner, though not as many as when Truman desegregated the schools.

A Halloween-Industrial Complex sprang up within months; America can now be said to run on a partially Halloween-based economy. The Mars company has spent billions on ensmallination technology to shrink normal-sized candy bars down to fun size: for years, they could get the bars small enough to be “amusing,” but not small enough for full-on “fun.” (Unrelated side note: every single employee who asked why they didn’t just make smaller candy bars died mysteriously. The Mars family runs a tight ship.)

Which brings us back to China. Like I said: everything was invented in China, but that was a while ago; now everything gets made in China. There is a city called Hangzhou, which is near Datang, and it is called Halloween City; all year long, the workers thread cheap elastic cords through the holes of flimsy children’s masks–it has to be done by hand–and stamp out the patterns on the plastic jumpsuits: Captain America, Thor, Minion. The warehouses run all night and day, and the suicide nets twang at E-flat above middle C. One factory makes nothing but Harley Quinn hot pants. Halloween City is the spookiest place on earth.

2 Comments

  1. NoThoughtsOnDead

    November 1, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    “…though not as many as when Truman desegregated the schools.” This is one of those times when I wonder, which came first, the big joke or the wisecrack?

  2. Luther Von Baconson

    November 1, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    …..

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