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Those Dark Houses On Halloween!

Trick-or-treating is one of the better perks of being a kid. I feel like we've mentioned that before, but I just wanted to make sure. When you were a kid, you loved to dress up in costumes, and nobody thought anything about it, even if it wasn't Halloween at the time. One night a year, people would actually reward your love of playing dress-up with candy, one of the great joys of childhood. Sure, it was kind of like a job, the way you had to go door-to-door collecting the stuff, but it's never too early to start thinking about a career. No, nothing really bad can be said about trick-or-treating (razorblade in the apple = myth). The only real cloud in the sky when in comes to trick-or-treating is the all too familiar sight of the house with no lights on.

As you're making your way down the block, filling one bag after another with sugary treats, your chaperone for the night would stop you from running up to a dark house and explain that those people weren't participating in the trick-or-treat phenomenon. Inconceivable, you would remark to yourself. An adult that wouldn't want to give you candy? How could so lowly a creature even exist in this blissful life of yours, where your candy desires are met by an endless array of strangers so long as you had the stones to threaten them for it. The idea of someone not wanting to fork over the goods is so galling that you might lose your appetite for candy just thinking about it, so you move on to the next house without giving it another thought. Well nostalgia's a funny thing, and now, I find myself wondering why it was that those people wouldn't cave into peer pressure. Off on vacation, perhaps? Bah, who takes a vacation at the end of October? Were they already asleep? Bah, I saw their lights on that very hour the day before. I've got a few ideas as to what might be the cause of their candy-less reticence.

When I was young enough to really enjoy trick-or-treating, I never thought much about what could be going on in a house on Halloween, but as an adult, the answer is all too clear: sex. Obviously, you can have sex anytime you want, day or night, and you don't even have to have a partner, so what's so special about Halloween night that fires up the people in your neighborhood? You need look no farther than your look Halloween costume emporium. Therein, consider the costume choices for women: nurse, witch, devil, waitress at the Playboy mansion, and so on. All of them designed to help put a little more jack in your lantern. Even that Edith Bunker costume looks pretty darn hot, so who can blame couples who want to couple when the chance to dress up arises? I can. Quit pawing each other and hand over the goods. On second thought, just leave a bowlful with a "please take one" sign. Kids are known for their discipline.

Of course, it's not hard to imagine who don't have the sheer strength of will held by your average young'un. When one prepares to receive an army of trick-or-treaters, you'll typically want to place your candy offerings in sort of container so that you can quickly dole out an equal amount of candy for each trick-or-treater in each group and shoo them away (or you could just buy a mixed bag of candy, cut out the middle man). It's tempting, though, that bowl of candy. When you were a kid, you'd see that bowl and know that you'd only be getting one, maybe two, pieces of candy from that whole bowl. Now that you're older, though, you have money, and you can buy candy whenever you want. Kids these days are spoiled, anyway. They won't starve if you just keep this one bowl of candy for yourself. But what will you do if they come to your door expecting the candy that you've now decided to hold onto for yourself? That, my friends, is the origin of the second group of darkened houses.

As a kid, it makes sense that someone with a lot of candy wouldn't naturally be inclined to share it. It certainly makes more sense than the idea of two people getting it on. Guys kissing girls (and in some cases, other guys)? Gross! It's not all fun and games, though. Granted, having your lights out is a good way to hide your lascivious and gluttonous behaviors, but sometimes, it needs to be dark for when you need to do a little wetwork. You know all those horror movies about people getting killed on Halloween? Those movies didn't form in a vacuum, people. Statistically, 1 out of every 3 people in America is killed every fifteen minutes (luckily, those figures are offset by our enormous birthrate), and on Halloween, those figures triple. Keep that in mind the next time you see a house with no lights on. You might see a couple people getting murdered as you're walking down the street, but at least those murders have the common decency to do their work in public, and not hidden away in some basement/abattoir.

With that thought in your head, you're bound to be a little scared as you make the rounds on Halloween. That's good, believe it or not. Halloween is all about scaring and being scared. And hey, you know what else is scary: Haunted houses. Maybe those people in the dark houses aren't hoarding, or hanging, or humping. Maybe they're just making a little diabetic-friendly Halloween fun by setting up a haunted house inside their home. For a good haunted house, you need to have things dark. A bright haunted house might be unique, but it just doesn't compare to a dark one. All you'd really be able to do in that scenario is excuse yourself to your friends by explaining that you saw it in some Japanese horror movie. Something with some creepy disheveled kid, and a lot of groaning in the background. That's scary, right? I should point out, however, that when a house is all dark on Halloween, it could be that the house actually is haunted. It's kind of a bummer, really: You go to church your whole life, hearing about how good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell, and then you die and wind up spending the rest of eternity wearing period clothing and making the floorboards creak. Fuckin' A(fterlife).

To my younger readers, you must be wondering how I came up with these explanations of what goes on in those dark houses on Halloween. I can assure you that it wasn't through any vast amount of research. When your parents told you, "you'll understand when you're older," this is really what they meant. Answers to questions you may have had as a kid will reveal themselves to you with age, especially answers that involve the mating dance. That, however, is another rant entirely. For now, remember what you've read here on Halloween, while the rest of the kids out there are casually dismissing unlit houses as being just houses that won't give them candy. And don't be afraid to tell other trick-or-treaters what could be going on behind the scenes. Their parents may object, but better their kids find out from you than run the risk of encountering a fat, horny, blood-thirsty ghost.

-Dr. Boogie

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