29 October 2014

Uncommon Commentary #432: In a World Like Ours, Who Needs to Make up Scary Stories?

Unlike many of my fellow Christians, I’m not an anti-Halloween hardliner; I have no objection to taking children trick-or-treating, or to watching frightening films, on 31 October.  I do, however, consider it a travesty that the observance of this quasi-holiday overshadows the real holiday that falls on the following day, viz., All Saints’ Day. (It’s an ironic travesty, since Halloween derives its very name, which is short for “All Hallow Even”, from its being the eve of the celebration of all hallowed souls.) Film networks like Turner Classic Movies, which always air horror flicks on Halloween and usually begin doing so days or even weeks in advance, could certainly devote 1 November to pictures about persons who have been canonized, like Francis of Assisi, The Song of Bernadette, and The Passion of Joan of Arc.  Doubtless there have been many more features concerning ghosts, vampires, and zombies than martyrs and confessors, but networks that have large-enough cinematic libraries ought to be able to avoid showing the same biographies of the beatific year after year. (Even showing films of Eva Marie Saint, Jill St. John, &c., or those featuring the character Simon “the Saint” Templar, would at least remind viewers of what day it is!)