Wearing Masks, Halloween and the Draw of Anonymity

Halloween is kind of creepy. I don’t find the idea of ghosts and ghouls creepy. That is obviously the pretend stuff. Pretend things are easy to brush aside. What I find creepy is when you cannot tell who someone is.

We just had a Fall Festival and it was a fantastic success with hundreds of visitors from the neighborhood and friends and co-workers of members. What creeped me out the most weren’t the clown masks or even the bloody costumes…again, it was the costume that didn’t allow you to identify the person. When someone doesn’t have a discernible, recognizable face…it is a little strange. You don’t know who they are so you don’t know what they might do! Creepy!

Anonymity has a draw that leads people to wear masks at times other than Halloween. The anonymity of the crowd leads some to the mega churches and others even in tiny churches to slide out on the last song. This is the fear that someone might get to know the real them and might be frightened by something far worse than a fake mask. They might get frightened by the real me or the real you. That is truly terrifying. So people wear masks in many ways as a defense to keep people at arm’s length…to not let people in so that you don’t have to worry about their perception of you.

It is all very sad and it is very difficult to help people feel safe enough to remove the mask and just be real. The scariest thing about Halloween is not knowing who someone really is. I think that is scary because that isn’t just scary at Halloween. I would say that is something most people find a bit scary about real life as well.

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