Nerd Factor: Where Did the Monsters Go?

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

Another October has come and gone.  As the big box stores start to gear us up for Christmas, our collegiate minds are at last starting to turn toward final assignments and Thanksgiving breaks. But Halloween just happened.  Am I the only one left who is wondering about where the beasties and baddies went? After all there should be plenty of opportunities for things to go bump in the night when the nights are getting longer and longer. What would cause the ghosts and ghouls to vamoose so quickly? I have some theories.

1) The door closed:  Halloween originated as a Celtic celebration of a new year. These people believed that as the time changed from one year to the next, the doors between the real world and the spirit world opened up. Visitors from beyond were free to roam the land for one night. Catholic missionaries appropriated the holiday, arguing that the spirits in the night were actually their revered or “hallowed” saints returning. While the name of the night before became “Halloween,” much of the original ideas and energies of the holiday survived.  

So, if the night is one big open transit system for the residents of the beyond, it stands to reason that the last moments of the holiday are a mad dash for the ghostly partiers to get back before the undead metro closes. They had their fun and late at night they stumbled home, supernaturally wasted.   

2) The big nap:  A closing door might explain where all the ghosts and phantoms went, but the scariest monsters have a more corporeal existence. All those things that prey upon humans don’t ride the spirit subway system. They should stick around for the buffet.

Burning vampire

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

But the idea of predation offers one clue as to why these things may not be seen much right after the holiday. Ever watch one of those nature shows where the lions, cheetahs or jaguars take down their prey? After the hunt, the feast and the occasional squabble with hyenas, the big cats take a long nap. Full bellies tend to make a predator sleepy.  

So right now, the supernatural predators are having a big rest after their meals. Who can say what their metabolic rates are like? Maybe some of these monsters can keep for a whole year on one night’s feeding frenzy.

3) Florida:  Frankenstein was created in 1818. Dracula showed up in 1897. These are just the documented cases. It’s safe to say that these guys and their friends seriously put the old in old school. Where do old folks go this time of the year? They go south.  

True, there is a certain risk for photosensitive creatures like vampires. Florida is the Sunshine State. But the warmth must be nice for them. “Frankie” is stitched together from corpses, which probably just makes him colder than the average dead body. Dracula is probably only warm right after guzzling blood. Comfort is certainly worth the risk.

Plus, they can get out of all these d*mn rustling leaves on the ground. That noise has to reduce the effectiveness of their nightly stalking rates.

It’s fun to think of them relaxing by the pool side, picking up a game of Mahjong and maybe occasionally picking off an unwary retiree.