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Halloween Demon With a Sweet Tooth

Our first halloween in the new apartment passed quietly, with our household demon getting into the spirit of things by gritting a mini-Butterfinger bar in his pointy teeth. It sure is nice to be in Arlington, where we now walk to the station and see gorgeous foliage, like this tree near Alewife.

It is a great change from the increasingly noisy and idiotic event that has become halloween in Salem, where crowds numbering in the tens of thousands take over the downtown area and have a group “episode.” I knew that it was time to leave when the historic ambience of Salem, the classic architecture, the historic witchcraft trials, slowly morphed into a shlock horror carnival. How the hysteria surrounding false accusations got conflated with vampires, zombies, ghouls, slasher films, and black magic seems to be symptomatic of American culture. But it really goes too far when somebody felt compelled to open a Lizzie Borden Museum Store in Salem. Yes, at this fine emporium you can feed your prurient curiosity by purchasing framed portraits of the Borden family. Not your ordinary portraits, but ones that change from actual photographs to ghoulish skulls depending on the angle from which they are seen. Charming. And what does the infamous axe murder case that took place in Fall River in 1892 have to do with Salem? Hmm, gore, murder…and they are both in the same state, after all! Well, adios Salem crowds…