Why I hate Halloween

As a country we’ve been slowly becoming more Americanised over the years – it’s aways been something of a cultural bogeyman that threatens the Kiwi way of life, right from the time American TV shows first started airing here.

Some of these changes are small and understandable – we are becoming a much smaller world, after all, with everyone being constantly connected.

Some are nonsensical, such as the image of Santa looking ready for a blizzard in the middle of our summer, or teachers accepting school work with Americanised spelling because that’s often what autocorrect defaults to.

Others, such as the increasing “celebration” of Halloween, are pointless and should be wholly discouraged.

Halloween always reminds me of the scene in ET where Elliott takes the titular alien out trick-or-treating, and his friend recognises Yoda from Star Wars.

It’s parents taking kids out, an entire community getting involved and doing something communal.

All I’ve ever seen here in Hamilton is kids trying to skive free lollies from the neighbours with their parents’ approval – and it annoys me.

I realise my image is skewed by my love of the very media I mentioned in the first paragraph, and I know Halloween originated with the Celts.

But now it has become this homogenised excuse to dress up and bug people for candy.

In a city where you are accosted for free stuff in the CBD all the time, it doesn’t look great to be instilling that mindset in a new generation.

In fact, it goes against the incredibly important lesson we all teach our kids about not taking lollies from strangers.

Here we see people actively encouraging it.

I’ve watched as kids are sent out to harvest treats, and I think it’s wrong.

In a city where high fences and privacy are highly prized, what will allowing kids to scab lollies end up doing to the communities we have here? Continue reading


Paul Barlow is a writer and Film & Stage Crew member based in Waikato.

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