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Family Halloween: Rated R

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Thursday, November 1st, 2012 at 9:36am.

OK, let me start by saying that I really do like Halloween. I like all the little princess dresses, elephant suits, and Start Wars storm troopers as much as the next guy. What I don’t like is the gore, the blood, the guts, and the fictitious facial open wounds. I’m sorry, that’s just me. I don’t get that part of Halloween. I mean, Halloween is for children. Some would argue that it’s mainly for small children. I see this stuff on other people’s kids, and on their doorsteps, and think, “Whatever, to each his own.” It doesn’t bug me that other people like that aspect of Halloween. We all have our separate preferences.

However, last night, the Vanderveen family attended a haunted house with the kids which was advertized with wording that touted that the gathering was for the whole family. So, Clint and I went in there with 5 kids in tow, expecting to find people jumping out at us, some big spiders, maybe some of that fake smoke, and perhaps a craft station. I was astonished by what I actually found. Inside this haunted house there was several people working as actors with fake wounds all over themselves, assumedly dressed as zombies. That’s OK. It’s not my favourite, but it’s a haunted house. So, I guess a zombie or two is to be expected. Then when we took our kids into the different rooms, there was a cut up zombie doctor with an operating table chopping up fake guts with a clever. This was a real person. An actor chopping up guts!  In another room there was a fake maternity ward with about 10 babies (dolls) who looked like the Satan baby from The Passion of the Christ. There was a skeleton dressed in a granny outfit, rocking one of these awful-looking, half-human babies.  One of the babies was gnawing off its own foot. You could actually see chewed-through flesh and bone on this little doll which was startlingly real. Another baby was drinking a bottle full of blood. Our friends who were with us, had to take their son out, because he was too freaked out. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do. I was looking around to see what other parents were doing, and they all seemed fine. Our kids are 10, 8, 4, 2, and 9 months. They were all present. I kept looking at Clint wondering how he was reacting. He, too, didn’t want to disrespect the people who made the haunted house, by making a swift and visible exit. So we rushed through as quickly as possible.

Now after having the night to think about it, I’m a little miffed. I wish I had just gone with my instant gut reaction, and just left. I really do believe that the eyes are a camera to the soul, and those pictures will be stuck in all of our heads forever. I’m at a loss for words in understanding how this could be advertized as a family-friendly event. I get it. There is a sect of people who like this stuff. But is blood, gore, and extreme violence OK for toddlers, regardless of the time of year? How can we glorify this stuff which is so ugly and show it to our babies as entertainment?

I take full blame for this lapse in judgment. I’ve never been to a haunted house in my life, so I was going on what I thought it might be, rather than looking into what it actually was. I should have made a better choice in the first place. But I still hold that these types of things are not “family-friendly.”

You tell me: am I totally off-base? Is this stuff family friendly?

Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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