Halloween Offers Opportunities For Mentally Ill

October 23, 2013 Alistair McHarg

For children of all ages, Halloween is a time when vampires, zombies, murderers, psychopaths, the undead, succubae, and other creatures of the night roam far and wide across the landscape, terrorizing young and old and demanding food in exchange for safety from unpleasant tricks, rather like a Mafia protection scheme.

But the American public is difficult to shock since it subsists on a steady diet of horrifying fare including political ineptitude, reality TV, and social media, in itself a swamp of deception, intrigue, and awesome-sauce. Hollywood contributes to this atmosphere of doom, fear, paranoia, dread, terror, angst, despair, misery, alienation, and fin de siècle ennui by churning out an almost endless supply of apocalyptic dystopian love songs featuring all manner of dark vision. The result is a jaded populace.

This leaves would be trick-or-treaters with a dilemma, what costume is left that has the intimidation factor required to guarantee top shelf candy, not those lousy second-rate candies, the really good stuff, individually wrapped chocolate bars because after all, if you're going to go to the trouble of putting on a costume or, yes I'll say it, making a costume, you are looking for substantial return on investment. That means high-end candy and lots of it.

If you are familiar with the concept of every cloud having a silver lining, a stopped clock being right twice a day, and even bad luck not lasting always, then you will be delighted to learn that stigma, that most unpleasant aspect of life as a mentally ill person, really pays handsome dividends on Halloween.

We may agree that any other time; stigma is a particularly unpleasant, unfair obstacle to happiness for us, predicated as it is on stupidity, ignorance, and fear. But these are precisely the qualities that come to our rescue on Halloween. You see, America may have become blasé about zombies, indifferent to vampires, and cool to killers, but if there's one thing that still has the power to terrify, it's mental illness.

So, calling all you Whackadoomians out there, get ready for some free food and a lot of laughs. The best of it is, you don't even need a costume, just write the name of your disorder on a small piece of paper and attach it to your clothes with a fork. You will howl with delight as your neighbors recoil in fear, merely at the name of your illness. Make sure you double bag it because you'll be bringing home a hefty heap-o-candy.

Life as a mentally ill person is no bed of roses. It’s no bed of lettuce either. Consequently, it behooves us to take full advantage of every opportunity we’re granted. Think of Halloween as your payday. You, my friend, are scary.

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2013, October 23). Halloween Offers Opportunities For Mentally Ill, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

October, 26 2013 at 3:46 am

Hi Alistair! I hadn't really thought of Halloween as a Mafia protection scheme before, it fits though. Love the fork thing, perhaps some new disorders can be invented to use on Halloween: Kleptophobia-fear of kleptomaniacs; Blobitis-where a mentally ill person turns into a movie blob and devours copious amounts of Halloween candy from unsuspecting Trick or Treaters. We will blend right in. On another note, my friend and I took my mom out trick or treating with us one year. She was 4'10" around 40, and German. We dressed her up as a witch and told people she had a sore throat when people asked why she wasn't saying trick or treat, with her accent the jig would have been up fast. She hauled in more candy than the two of us put together,people gave her more because of her sore throat. She had a great laugh about getting more candy than us. Overall, she had a blast, so did we. Anyways, have a terrific Halloween. ;)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
October, 26 2013 at 4:44 am

Hi Cindy: Your grandma story is wonderful! Thanks for sharing it. Cheers, Alistair

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