Opinion: When Halloween Decorations Go Horribly Wrong

Ah, Halloween, the season where we all pretend to be someone—or something—else. It’s the one night when scaring your neighbors is not only socially acceptable but also encouraged. But squad, we’ve reached a new level of absurdity. We’ve gone from “Trick or Treat” to “Trick or Tragic,” and I’m not talking about running out of candy.

The TikTok Frenzy and the Quest for Virality

Remember when Halloween was about kids dressing up as their favorite Marvel heroes? Well, those days are long gone. Now, it’s about adults turning their homes into sets from “Stranger Things,” all for that sweet, sweet TikTok fame. Yes, you heard it right. People are setting up fake house fires, complete with LED lights and fog machines, just to go viral. If that’s not a cry for help, I don’t know what is.

The Absurdity of It All

Picture a suburban neighborhood where every house is in an unspoken competition to outdo the other with increasingly ridiculous Halloween decorations. One house has a faux crime scene, another a “burning house,” and yet another an 8-foot pumpkin named Lewis, courtesy of Target’s marketing genius. It’s like a twisted episode of “Black Mirror,” but with more fog machines and fewer existential crises.

A Whimsical Detour into the Absurd

Imagine a world where Halloween decorations come to life à la “Toy Story.” Lewis the Pumpkin becomes the mayor of Halloween Town, the fake house fire turns into a real one, and the faux crime scene? Well, let’s just say it becomes an episode of “CSI: Halloween Edition.” It’s all fun and games until someone calls 911, and the firefighters show up to put out a fog machine.

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Smoke and Mirrors

But let’s get real for a moment. While we’re all laughing at the absurdity of these over-the-top decorations, there’s a darker side to Halloween that we can’t ignore. How taxpayers’ money is wasted in fire department calls. In 2017, police in Tennessee had to issue a Facebook alert asking residents not to dial 911 over a display that looked like a dead body trapped under a door. Similarly, a “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed setup led to a fire department visit in Los Angeles in 2020. This year, the main character is this house fire in Upstate New York produced with the use of LEDs and another fog machine. This is the crying wolf of the season.

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The Real Horrors Lurking in the Shadows

While we’re all laughing at the absurdity of these over-the-top decorations, there’s a darker side to Halloween that we can’t ignore. According to a 2014 New York Times article, Halloween is one of the deadliest nights on America’s roadways. From fatal accidents in Southern Illinois to hit-and-runs in California, the quest for a perfect Halloween has real-life consequences.

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Four separate fire companies were called after Halloween decorations caused a man’s Perinton (NY) home to go up in flames, according to fire crews.

A North Carolina groundskeeper mowed the grass around a dead body that was facing down in front of an empty house after mistaking it for prop. Now you see where I’m getting at.

And it’s not just accidents. There are also instances of intentional harm, like the arsonist setting fire to Halloween decorations in a Chicago neighborhood. Families, including children, had to escape the flames. It’s a grim reminder that while we’re busy laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, there are real dangers lurking in the shadows.

The Loss of Perspective

So, as we navigate this Halloween season, let’s remember that the real horror isn’t the decorations or the costumes; it’s the loss of perspective. Maybe it’s time to dial it back a notch and focus on what Halloween should really be about: community, creativity, and maybe a little bit of candy. After all, the best memories are made when we’re not trying so hard to impress others but simply enjoying the moment for what it is. And hey, if you’re really desperate for likes, just post a picture of your pet in a costume. And if you don’t have a pet, consider getting a “sentient” jack ‘o lantern that would very much like you to call him Lewis. Thank you very much.

@the_spaceman_says Best decoration ever. Thank you Target #halloween #halloween2023 #halloweendecor #halloweendecorations #jackolantern #pumpkin #lewis #targethalloween #loveit #fyp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #fypage #foryou #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Astronaut Art

A Call for Authenticity

In a world where everything is curated for social media, let’s not forget the essence of Halloween. It’s not about how many likes or shares you get; it’s about the joy and excitement that come from letting your imagination run wild. So this Halloween, let’s focus on creating authentic experiences that bring us closer to our loved ones, rather than driving us further apart in a quest for empty internet fame. And if all else fails, just remember: there’s always Thanksgiving to redeem yourself.

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Ready for some authentic movie and TV show recommendations that haven’t lost their soul in the quest for virality? Browse our curated collections on hitplay.app.

Check our 2023 Halloween filmmakers' curated movie collection here: Halloween Collection.