By Avainte Saunders
When I was younger, one of my favorite Halloween movies was Hocus Pocus. In fact, though I am older and my tastes have become more refined, I still have a special place in my heart for that movie.
If you have never seen the movie (you really should because it is a cinematic masterpiece and absolutely hysterical), here is a short synopsis: The movie is set in Salem, Massachusetts (of course) and focuses on the legend of the Sanderson sisters, three witches in the 17th century who were obsessed with remaining young. When the townspeople of Salem capture the sisters and sentence them to death, they put a curse on the town that on the night of a full moon a virgin will awaken them and they will take the life-force of every child in Salem. Fast forward three hundred years, and a young kid from LA does just that. He awakens the Sanderson sisters out of youthful arrogance and they are brought back from the dead, in search of the life forces of innocent Salem children.
Riveting stuff, right? Well, as a child I thought it was the greatest thing ever and I made sure I watched it every Halloween. One of the great things about Hocus Pocus is that when the Sanderson sisters are brought into the 20th century, they look at Halloween through very different eyes than we do. They were initially perplexed by all the costumed children and adults and thought of them as the real things (this was especially humorous when they encounter a man dressed as the devil and his wife with snake-like curlers in her hair).
As the Sanderson sisters were brand new to Halloween, they did not know to take the precautions necessary to have a safe, fun time (although I’m not entirely sure that they would have cared). Today is Halloween and it’s important that, unlike the Sanderson sisters, we make sure we are fully prepared for everything that Halloween night can bring.
Remember these safety tips to keep you and your family as safe as possible on All Hallows Eve:
- Map out your route that you plan to follow as you roam the neighborhood.
- Have a flashlight or glow stick with you when you go out.
- Use face paint instead of a mask.
- Never enter the house of a stranger when out on Halloween.
- Wear light-colored clothing so that you can be seen in the dark.
- Walk on the sidewalks and look both ways before crossing the street.
- Use a glow stick instead of a candle in your jack-o-lantern.
- Most costume attire is flammable, so make sure you avoid open flames.
- Remain visible to drivers and do not hide between parked cars.
- Only visit homes that have their lights on.
- Be cautious of strange animals, especially dogs.
Many of us love to go out on Halloween, whether we are trick-or-treating or going to a Halloween party. Even though Halloween is not brand new to us like it was the Sanderson sisters, we still should follow safety common sense to make sure that this frightful night doesn’t turn into a frightening nightmare!