Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form


Shame on

So: the NOA (Nannies of America) and Big Money want to create a "safe" Halloween on the last Saturday in October.

Just what we need: another fake holiday.

As is usual with Nannies and Big Money, of course, they're entirely missing, not just one point, but many.

The true power of Halloween lies precisely in its decentralized nature. No one owns it; no one controls it. It's not an official holiday anywhere. This is what vivifies it with its own irrepressible life. Any attempt to domesticate Halloween will inevitably fail. Like deer, and witches, it's wild by nature, undomesticable.

The only safe Halloween is a denatured Halloween. The great lure, and profound significance, of the holiday lies precisely in the fact that it's not safe. That's what makes it a rite of passage. On their own, kids get to tear around in public, in the dark, in the night. You take candy from strangers. That's why I loved it as a kid. That's why people love it today.

That the Nannies of the world and Big Money will get their way, I have little doubt. They usually do. Fine. Let them have their sham on the last Saturday in October if they like.

In that case—since, let's admit it—there's absolutely no way that real Halloween on the 31st is going to go away, we'll need a way to distinguish between the two Halloweens: the new and the old, the safe and the traditional.

Here's my proposal.

I hereby move that the safe new holiday be known (for obvious reasons) as Shalloween.

You can think of it as a portmanteau of sham + Halloween if you like.

Last modified on
Tagged in: halloween
Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Wednesday, 31 July 2019

    lol I love it, let them have their Shalloween. We'll still hold the real one. Halloween isn't even part of my heathen trad but it's still one of my favorite holidays as an American. (This is where I'm tempted to plug my book. No, my other book. Then I remember that one's out of print too. lol.) I always decorate my house a different way every year, with a different theme. My neighbors love it.

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Wednesday, 31 July 2019

    I loved Halloween as a kid. When I was too old to Trick or Treat myself I took my little sister around and that was fun too. Now that I have a home of my own I stock up on the candy I like and hand it out to kids that come around to my door and that feels good too.

    In the online comic Full Frontal Nerdity one of the main characters is informed; by a demoness no less, that ghosts and demons disguise themselves as trick or treaters to get free candy.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Friday, 02 August 2019

    A few years back, I took our youngest coven kid out trick-or-treating. What a blast! In this neighborhood, Halloween has become the last outdoor party of the season. People have bonfires in their front yards; one house was cooking hotdogs and had a cotton-candy machine. I was offered so many shots en route that--if I'd been of a mind--I could have been blotto by the time we got back home for the ritual, had I been so inclined.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information