Column: Converted by all the Halloween hype

I’ve been accused of being a Boo-Humbug.

A Halloween hater.

A scare Scrooge.

And, if I’m being honest, the accusations are not unfounded.

It’s never been my favourite holiday (and I use the term loosely) but I couldn’t tell you exactly why.

Actually, come to think of it, I can.

Dressing up in costume has never really been my thing — at least not since I passed the age where it is socially acceptable to knock on strangers’ doors and beg for candy, while at the same time issuing vague threats of retribution, should that candy not be delivered.

I’m annoyed by the fireworks that seem to go off all night — not constantly, but with just enough frequency to prevent me from ever actually drifting off to sleep.

I confess, I don’t get why ‘Sexy Yeti’ becomes a thing every Oct. 31.

And, of course, Halloween always provides the perfect opportunity for at least one poor sap at any given party to grossly misjudge the line between funny and offensive when it comes to their choice of costume.

But it’s becoming increasingly clear that when it comes to giving the spookiest night of the year a big thumbs down, I am in the minority.

Halloween, it seems, has plenty of fans — both young and old.

At least, that’s certainly the case if the number of submissions to our list of ghoulish displays is any indication. (You can find those in last Friday’s newspaper and  here.

The proliferation of haunted houses, gruesome graveyards, spectral swamps and phantom pirate ships — and the sheer number of hours (never mind the expense) that Langley residents are willing to put in to ensure they’ve created something that will scare the pants off visitors — is truly impressive.

We’re long past the days when a glowing porch light and a couple of inexpertly carved jack-o-lanterns signaled that a homeowner was ready to welcome trick or treaters.

Even filling your lawn with those giant orange plastic leaf bags that someone was genius enough to paint pumpkin faces on, will only give you so much Halloween street cred these days.

Add to all the displays, the wide range of family-friendly community activities  being offered by everyone from municipalities to the historic fort and it’s clear that as celebrations go, Halloween has come into its own.

That’s not even counting the scare-fest that hits movie theatres every October.

So, the question becomes whether to jump on the bone-chilling bandwagon or carry on pooh-poohing this mass one-night-a-year fixation with the paranormal.

Turns out, I’m a big believer in baby steps (or, perhaps, a zombie shuffle).

This year, I’ve got my hands one of the hottest tickets in town — Grave Tales at Fort Langley — and while I haven’t actually committed myself to attending a costume party, for a change, I’ve left that creaky door open a crack.

That is to say, I know where and when one is happening and there’s a ghost of a chance I might actually show up.

Whatever you decide to do this All Hallows’ Eve, make sure your night is as safe as it is scary.

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