Halloween spirit begins early, bringing nostalgic feelings

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

Though it’s still the second week of October, people are already seeing Halloween come to life.

Decorations and seasonal candy have filled retail stores and Halloween films have started playing on television channels such as ABC Family and Disney.

Associate professor in the department of Popular Culture Becca Cragin said as stores are putting out their Christmas products earlier and earlier each year, there are other holidays being marketed early in order to maximize the amount of holiday related products that shoppers consume.

Television has started to make an impact on the holiday attitude as well, she said.

“Television programming’s purpose is to provide content that is related to, or at least compatible, with the advertising and commerce surrounding it,” Cragin said. “The increase in Halloween programming is an attempt to generate a longer period of holiday spirit that could lead to a longer period of holiday purchasing.”

Although candy is put out early for customers, which is an attempt to get them to buy even more before the holiday approaches, Cragin said television programming is expensive to produce, so it gets reused and recycled for a long time, creating a nostalgic feeling for viewers.

“Holiday programming also includes many shows that much older generations grew up with,” Cragin said. “Halloween is strongly associated with childhood in our culture, even when ‘children of all ages’ celebrate it, which might explain the nostalgic Halloween shows.”

A professor in the Department of Communication Alberto Gonzalez said because of the U.S. being centered on Christianity, it makes people more accepting to celebrate the upcoming holidays as early as a month before the set date.

“People are more willing to celebrate the holiday early and won’t protest about it,” Gonzalez said. “People want to be patriotic and it’s a historical religious reminder that people want to be involved with.”

Senior Brice Tarbox said he gets a nostalgic feeling each year before Halloween from watching movies like “Hocus Pocus” and “Casper” because his family would get together for the holiday when he was a child.

“Those movies are classics and they will never go out of style, no matter how many new things they try to come out with,” Tarbox said. “They show the movies you saw when you were younger and it gives you a great feeling.”