As Halloween Dies…

Jen Sullivan
3 min readOct 31, 2023
Our carved pumpkins in 2016

Halloween used to be my favorite day of the year, but since I moved to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the Halloween spirit has been seeping out of me until it was fully drained. Lebanon is very anti-Halloween compared to York thanks to the droves of Mennonites and uneducated idiots who think this is a Satanic holiday. This is extremely true in my neighborhood where the Mennonite vans appear just before trick-or-treat begins, taking the children away for a special bible study night.

There are no Halloween parades or celebrations in Lebanon, there is no trick-or-treat at the mall, and there are very few, if any, spectacularly decorated houses. There is bible study during trick-or-treat and the children of my neighborhood are ushered away by the willingly suppressed women from the 1800s as their husbands wait to drive the children to some church. How is that not viewed as a cult-like obsession? To take children that are not yours away from an American tradition and force them to learn about your religion? To imply that anyone who partakes in trick-or-treating is evil? And what kind of parent agrees to this nonsense?

Am I really the devil in their world? A woman who not only loves Halloween, but who dares to wear pants, get an education, work at a job, and take control of the household. A woman who does not “obey” her husband and sees him as her equal, not as her superior. If I am the devil to them, then the devil is right: equality, understanding, and knowledge are far superior to ancient traditions that harm others. Allowing children to enjoy a night of dressing up as someone, or something, they love, having fun, and eating candy is not evil; it is letting children be children.

In Lebanon, there are a ton of Christmas festivities — a holiday that has become so commercialized that it is disgusting — but there is nothing for Halloween, other than a basic trick-or-treat night. I hope to someday once again live in a place that celebrates the best holiday of the year — the only one that isn’t overly commercialized and that is purely about fun.

If we had real management in my townhouse complex, I would suggest a special trick-or-treat night, as we had in Cedar Village in York, to allow an extra night of fun for the local kids. There is not much for kids to do in Lebanon, and especially not in my neighborhood, and a night of dressing in fun…

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Jen Sullivan

I am a gamer, a geek, and a gardener, among many things. I enjoy writing as a way to share with others. You'll find no AI content here--I am a real writer.