Halloween may be a lot of fun for most people but for some, it is a living hell during which the prejudice they experience every day of their lives is ramped up a millionfold.
Witches are at the top of the list of those ridiculed at this time of year. Why these gentle cunning folk, village herbalists and midwives should be the subject of hateful impersonation is impossible to understand. They have always been a beneficial agent in rural communities, especially in places where professional medics are few and far between. Yet even children parade around as spiteful parodies of these overworked but vastly underappreciated women. It has to stop. Remember, witch-face is not funny. It was unacceptable back in the seventeenth century. Today it is completely beyond the pale.
Of course, witches are not the only minority whose outsider status is emphasised during Halloween because of the behaviour of so-called normal people. Those with disabilities are also subject to cruel caricature. Frankenstein’s “monster” and zombies are obvious hate-fuelled representations of those who are physically different. Try to imagine what it is actually like to live every day with a bloody, great metal bolt stuck through your neck. I tell you (and this is from personal experience) it is not pleasant and it is most certainly not funny.
Probably the most obscene example of blatant bigotry common during this “festivity” is that directed towards people suffering from physical disease or injury. It is because of the vile behaviour of unthinking revellers that people with clinical lycanthropy, haemophilia and those covered from head to toe with bandages because of some horrible accident or yucky medical condition, cannot leave their homes at any time of year without people they meet screaming and running away from them, only to return shortly afterwards with a mob of locals brandishing flaming torches and wooden stakes.
This cruel, offensive and downright discriminatory behaviour has to stop. It should have no place in our modern, enlightened world. It certainly should not be encouraged, even celebrated, in this annual hate-fest we call Halloween.