posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 01:34 PM
Well, since you asked, my own experience in this:
19 years ago (my god, was it that far back?) I had just moved to town, was 11 years old, and wanted to trick my pumpkin-bucket out with all sorts of
sugary treats. And it was a well-known yearly ritual at my previous schools to wear your costume on the 31st or the nearest schoolday beforehand.
I was the new kid, and wanted to make a great impression, so I took my meager savings, and set about to make the best costume ever. I bought some
material, had mom sew me up a wizards costume complete with a starry hat (had I read the Discworld series at the time it would have said "Wizzard"
on the top). I got a hiking stick I used in scouts, all carved up nice and cool looking already, found a place with a plastic skull. Found another
place with some paste-gems, and fashioned them into the eye-sockets. Using my leftover science experiments, I hollowed out the plastic filling, rigged
up a battery-operated light bulb so that it'd turn on and "flicker" whenever I pushed a switch, which I carved into the walking stick, set the
skull up top, and bob's your uncle, it was one damned-fine wizard's staff. One flick of my finger, and the skull's eyes would flash with inner
fire, and the faint glowing light could be seen through the walls of the plastic skull.
The entire costume together was probably the single most physical effort I put into anything, ever, in my life up until that point. I was so proud of
it I wanted to take a photo of it and send it to the news, but mom said that probably wouldn't win many new friends even if it did get in the paper.
I had no idea just how incredibly acute she was.
I showed up for school that day, and was feeling proud as punch as the students who didn't wear costumes stared at me aghast. Yeah, they were
impressed all right. Just for show, I flourished my staff and made the skull's eyes flash for them. Some of them ran away, yelling. With little time
left, I walked into my first class...
...to find that I was the only one in costume. In fact, come to think of it, I hadn't seen any costumes in school at all... In fact, I hadn't even
seen so much as a pumpkin or an orange and black streamer.
The teacher looked at me with a mixture of outrage and horror. I grinned sheepishly and--common sense be damned--flashed the light in the skull for
the kids, who drew back like I'd fired a gun. We'd already been taught in school that nothing could move faster than light, but I swear that teacher
went from a sitting position, behind her desk, to whipping that staff out of my hand and yanking off my wizard's hat faster than a photon with its
tail on fire.
Another teacher who was able to see into our classroom through a crack in the sliding partitions poked her head in to see what the commotion was all
Then the bibles came out. One teacher ran for the principle, the other ordered Me out of my Costume and ordered Satan out of Me. I politely refused to
get out of my costume and she got even more angry, telling the kids that Satan had consumed my mind on this, the most unholy of days. She then
basically led the class in a group prayer to ward off "this satanist" and began yanking at my costume.
It was bad enough that they were calling me a satanist. You get raised in Texas, in the buckle of the Bible Belt, during the 70's and early 80's,
the only thing worse to a boy in that circumstance was (at the time) being called "gay" (remember, these were less enlightened times and places).
Anyway, I thought it was the worst possible thing that could happen within my meager but budding social life in this brand new community my parents
had transplanted me to. After all, there was no way these Christian parents were going to let their kid be seen anywhere NEAR a satanist. Even this,
though paled in comparison to the fact that my mom had sewn the costume in mine with hot Texas Octobers, and to basically be worn while standing or
sitting. Wrestling hadn't figured into the stitching.
My robe tore cleanly at the seams, and off, leaving me in nothing but a t-shirt and my underwear, in front of God, the Teacher, the class, and, only
seconds later, the principal, the next teacher, and, of course, the neighboring classroom, who had by now opened the partition screen enough to peek
I wasn't even given the chance to speak. Kids my age in schools like that, in situations like that rarely were. The Principal, already assuming his
students were in the clutches of demonic spells cast at them by a possessed satanist, had assumed the worst. He said something to the effect of "Oh,
so now you want to walk around indecent? Fine. You'll walk all the way to the office like that."
So the rest of the school was treated to my spindly self being dragged by the ears. When we reached the office, they locked me in a room. The first
person they called wasn't my parents, it was a minister. The hellfire and brimstone kind.
Lucky for me, someone called my mom. Lucky for me, my mom was a bit...nuts. If they thought they were in peril of the underworld coming to Earth
before, they were completely unsurprised for the hell my mother raised. Both teachers and the principal lost their jobs once the whole thing went to
trial, but the damage had pretty much been done at this point. I didn't even get the luxury of changing schools.
So, yeah, I have some experience at this whole "community outlawing of Halloween" thing, and the -true- damage that religious ignorance causes.