I know around Halloween there is always debate among Christians about whether or not Christians should participate.
I’m not entering the foray and pick up on the origin of Halloween, etc. I want to focus narrowly more on how the way some people dress up and decorate for Halloween is something that celebrate the grotesque and unusual violence that alone is enough for me not wanting to do anything with it or tolerate that it’s okay for one time a year.
Let me begin by saying that my revulsion towards Halloween has nothing to do with being “sheltered.” I think I’ve seen more dead bodies, horrible wounds and other terrible physical suffering than most, or at least most people my age, having been a Marine veteran. Actually, I think it is actually seeing the morbid ways people get killed that drives me to find Halloween’s morbid decorations and costumes repulsive.
The question in the back of my mind is this: “What is the reality that some of the morbid decoration depict? What is it that some people spend so much time and energy trying to depict as real as possible, that is somehow entertaining?”
A couple of days ago in Fox News there was a news piece that caught my attention titled, “Professor beheaded in what witnesses first thought was Halloween prank”
Here’s an excerpt to the story:
A man with a history of psychiatric problems beheaded his mother in her Long Island, N.Y., apartment late Tuesday and then dragged the body and head out onto a street, where onlookers initially thought they were witnessing a macabre Halloween prank, police and witnesses said.
Patricia Ward, 66, was killed inside her apartment by her son, 35-year-old Derek Ward, who jumped in front of a commuter train near the Farmingdale, N.Y., home moments later, killing himself, Nassau County police said.
The story goes on to say
Witnesses told the New York Post they saw Derek Ward drag his mother’s body out of the building and onto the street, where he kicked her head some 20 feet before going to a nearby railroad track and jumping in front of an eastbound Long Island Railroad train approximately 25 minutes later. Police said his body was found about a mile from the apartment, where the two had moved recently from the neighboring county.
On the street in front of the apartment, witnesses described a gruesome scene first thought to be part of a prank.
“There was blood all over the floor,” neighbor Nick Gordon told the Post. “You can see smears going down the stairs … as if somebody were pulling a body.”
Witnesses told the Post that some of the woman’s neighbors initially thought the headless body in the street was a Halloween prank, only to discover the body was real after attempting to lift it.
Witness Jack Imperial, 41, of Queens, was taking a taxi to a meeting when he came across the grisly scene, he told the New York Daily News.
“The body’s feet were at the curb, the shoulders were at the middle of the street. The head was across the street,” Imperial told the newspaper. “I’ve seen some gruesome stuff in my years of living … but nothing like this. I didn’t expect to see something like this, especially not out here.”
A night dispatcher at Yellow Cab in Farmingdale, blocks from where the woman’s was found, told Newsday drivers also “thought it was a Halloween prank.”
“At first, everyone thought it was like a Halloween prank,” neighbor Barbara Smalls told The Associated Press, recalling Wednesday morning how she had seen the sheet-covered body. She also “thought maybe it was a mob hit or something.”
Note how much emphasis there is by witnesses that looks like a Halloween prank. Halloween decor has gotten so realistic, one might be incline to see a real violent crime scene as something not real.
Imagine if people didn’t realize the crime scene was real: they would have walked away smiling and enjoying the “view.” It is “entertaining.”
But upon realizing it’s real how do people react?
Grossed out. Disgusted. Surprised. Shock. Horror. And for some, they use words like “I am traumatized.”
Should we be entertained by audio and visual stimuli that celebrate the violent violation of humanity as made in the image of God?