Halloween ‘too scary’ for Mill Valley residents to celebrate


By Anika Kapan

As All Hallow’s Eve looms on the horizon, Mill Valley residents avert their eyes, hide under their blankets, and tremble at their festive responsibilities. The houses are bare of jack-o-lanterns, spiderwebs, and skeletons, the storefronts decidedly empty of any Halloween music or spooky memorabilia,and the students at Tamalpais High School mindlessly sort through boring, done-before costume ideas. Even the weather refuses to get in the Halloween spirit. Eighty degrees in October? Climate Change is ruining everything!

“It’s too scary,” Lauren Besford, a senior at Tam said. “I like the nicer holidays, like July fourth.” 

That must be the mindset of all Mill Valley residents, because not a single house was decorated when I visited the notoriously spooky trick-or-treating streets of Tam Valley on Oct. 2.

What is the issue here? Are we so afraid that we can’t appreciate Halloween for what it is, the ultimate holiday? Absent of tedious family obligations, awkward sit-down meals, and frantic searches for the perfect gift, Halloween is the fun holiday. It’s the party holiday. It’s the holiday when we get to put on more exciting, hotter, and spookier versions of ourselves and party it up with our friends. And, obviously, we get trick or treating.

Halloween, along with being the “fun” holiday, is also the easiest. Shopping for candy takes only minutes these days, an experience streamlined by the beautiful bags of Twix, Kit-Kat, and Reeses’ in bulk. A variety of delicious candy in a fun, efficient, and completely environmentally friendly package for your darling Trick-Or-Treaters, available at our local Walgreens today. 

At Spirit Halloween, you can find good quality, creative, and not-at-all offensive costumes at the low-low price of just half of your paycheck at your minimum wage high school job (accessories not included). I’m thinking of being a “Sinful Sister,” which actually does include the cross necklace and rosary kit. Other shout-outs include the “Guilty Inmate™”, the “Adult schoolgirl” costume (thigh-high stockings sold separately), and my personal favorite: “Officer Handsome.” 

In all seriousness, the sanctity of this vital holiday is at risk. If we can’t properly get into the Halloween spirit, how are we supposed to enjoy the magnum opus, the Mona Lisa, the absolute masterpiece of holidays? 

Even Sycamore and Tam Valley, notorious Mill Valley trick-or-treating hotspots, are falling victim to anti-Halloween attitudes. If the streets remain as barren and empty as they are now, how can we guarantee that there will even be trick-or-treaters this Halloween season? 

Experts are projecting a significant decline in the number of trick-or-treaters aged nine and up. 

“It’s not cool anymore,” local third grader Eloise said, who was Ted Bundy for Halloween last year. “I’m not a … second grader.” Instead, Eloise plans on attending a sleepover at her friend’s house, where they plan on watching the new “Conversations with a Killer” documentary on Netflix about Jeffrey Dahmer. 

In ignoring Halloween, we are ignoring what’s truly important about our community: the kids. You wouldn’t tell a child that Santa isn’t real, or refuse to put money under their pillow when they lose a tooth, so why is it okay to neglect your decorations and ignore the Halloween spirit?

Neighboring township Corte Madera is wiping the floor with Mill Valley—every house is appropriately decorated with grinning skeletons, blood splatters, and spiderwebs. Even their mall is decorated, and an inside source at Barnes and Noble told me that they’ve sold so much of their Halloween merchandise that they’ve prematurely moved on to Thanksgiving displays. Mill Valley is so far behind, we might never be able to recover. 

If we don’t pull together as a community to make this holiday happen, we are in danger of losing the very thing that binds our school and our town together: our sense of celebration. You heard it here first folks. Tam spirit IS Halloween spirit. So get out there, think up a fun costume idea, wrangle your friends, scrounge for some spooky decorations, and celebrate!