Fright House: America, Halloween, and the Midterms

I have a new article out today in Wales Arts Review, which tries to capture the strange time before elections in America, when the midterm hype coincides with Halloween. Halloween was not really celebrated in the US until the 1920s, brought over by white immigrants, but it has become a national craze, and far more celebrated than in Wales where I grew up. In fact, ironically, many of the Halloween traditions probably originated in Wales and the UK, but have been taken to the next level in the States’ celebrations. Having lived in the US for quite a while now, every Halloween, I have a feeling as though Halloween is masking something: perhaps the violences that need be prevented in American society. I couldn’t help thinking of Baudrillard too, and his thoughts on Disneyland as a theme park that obscures the true nature of America as a kind of theme park. What would it mean if Halloween itself is a holiday that obscures the fact of everyday violence and horror in America?

Here’s the link:

Photo by MaryKatherine Ramsey