As a person who didn't grow up with Halloween, I can't really get excited about it. No, we didn't have Halloween in England when I was growing up, although it is an old Celtic festival--but I'm not that old! The origin was a festival in which the barrier between our world and the other side was opened for one night. That's why we wear scary masks, because the skeletons and ghosts who come across will think that we're one of them, and thus not try to take us back with them.
The first year I was living in America, I knew nothing about Halloween. I was in the kitchen of my new home when there was a knock on my door. I opened it and a black cat and a fairy stood there, saying "trick or treat." I hadn't a clue what they meant and I had nothing to give them. I was lucky that I didn't wind up with too many tricks that night!
When my kids were growing up, I think it was their biggest holiday. They debated over what they wanted to be this year for weeks ahead, usually changed their minds after I had bought or made the costume and you''d have thought that the bag of cheap candy they brought home was the holy grail. Even when they were teenagers they still went out, on the excuse that they needed to chaperon their younger siblings.
I suppose people read mysteries and thrillers for the same reason--we like to be scared, but in a safe way. I'm personlly not a big fan of vampires, but I can see the attraction, just as readers in past times adored the gothic novels. We can experience some moments of heart pounding terror, knowing that we can close the book whenever we want and we are back in the security of our own world. It is a way of spicing up a humdrum life.
Off to stock up on candy. I always seem to buy too much, especially the ones I especially like. I wonder why that is?