ADVICE: The Science of Halloween

Every week, New York City's own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.

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October 29th, 2014

Hi, Andrew!

Believe it or not, I really don't like Halloween. Out of all my friends and family, I'm the only one who dreads this time of year and doesn't get excited about dressing up or going out and doing "spooky" stuff. I've always been this way. I just don't believe in this sort of stuff -- like ghosts, goblins, haunted houses, and all that supernatural nonsense. I believe in rational thought and science, and to be honest, it creeps me out to see so many millions of people allow themselves to get into such an obviously shallow frame of mind every year during this "holiday." How can I participate in Halloween without bringing everyone else down, while at the same time not compromising my belief that all this is moronic?

Halloween Hater

Dear Halloween Hater,

You don't need to enjoy dressing up for Halloween, and you certainly don't need to believe in stuff you don't want to. But maybe you can celebrate Halloween in a different way: For you, maybe Halloween can be the time of the year where you allow yourself to not believe in your beliefs. Even if just for one day, see what it feels like to doubt that which you think is undoubtable. Embrace the horrifying spirit of the unknown, the untested, and the unproven. Allow yourself to be skeptical of everything, even the idea of skepticism.

On Halloween, allow yourself to live in a world -- for one day -- where certain things cannot be explained, wrapped up, or proven. Allow yourself to exist between the known and the unknown, the rational and the irrational, the heavens and the earth, the earth and hell, the human and monstrous, the demonic and angelic, the tangible and ghostly, the good and the evil. Just because you don't believe in something -- "supernatural nonsense" -- doesn't mean it isn't real, or maybe even beyond the very concept of "real". This is the spirit of Halloween, and it's a science all its own.

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This news item was posted on: October 29, 2014