Why Celebrate Halloween? The Trump Presidency Is A Full-On Horror Show

Can you feel it?

A spine-tingling, cold sense of dread, spiraling up your back…

An ill wind, blowing from the Washington, D.C. metro area…

A giant, glowing, jackass o’lantern leering from a window in the White House…

trump-pumpkin

Yes, this is another post about the orange chowderhead who somehow, by the grace of some 70,000 votes, is now the leader of the free world.

That shudder you feel is the true waking nightmare Americans experience each morning, rising from their beds, dreading the moment they look at their smartphones and see what horrifying catastrophes will dominate that day’s news cycle.

Who needs a dedicated day for spooks and the undead, when you’ve got this thing crawling out of your TV on the reg?

 After you watch this tape, you die in eight years–if my Photoshop skills don’t kill you first.

After you watch this tape, you die in eight years–if my Photoshop skills don’t kill you first.

Historically, the horror movie genre existed to give its viewers thrills, chills, and hopefully no spills. It’s meant to provoke; to go to absolutely repugnant places that our imaginations, and the producers’, would normally never dare take us to. When the movie is over, and everyone has died, and the house lights come back up, you exhale with relief. It wasn’t real.

But once the clock struck 10 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, and it became apparent the next President of the United States would indeed be Donald J. Trump, there was no exhale of relief. The house lights came up on the morning of November 9, 2016. And reality got a lot closer to the murderers, demons, serial killers, and torture porn gracing the box office.

And there’s a matching film for every terrifying situation arising from the Trump administration.

Are you worried about being deported? Watch “It Comes At Night.”

 Traditional illustration of a yūrei.

Traditional illustration of a yūrei.

Do you firmly believe that Black Lives Matter? 2016 gave us the brilliant “Get Out.”

Is the threat of nuclear holocaust keeping you awake at night? “28 Days Later” has you covered.

Are you a woman? Pretty much every horror movie featuring a female character depicts her being brutalized or killed in retaliation for daring to express her sexuality.

But the demonic presence currently haunting every American, would be the “yūrei”, a ghost appearing in traditional Japanese folktales. Typically with long black hair and white clothing–Japanese women are buried in white gowns, with their hair down–the yūrei have died violently, with extreme emotion, and have returned to the physical world to resolve the conflict immediately preceding their death.

You and I know them more commonly as these Westernized versions:

 I still have nightmares about this, fifteen years later.

I still have nightmares about this, fifteen years later.

According to Japanese myth, the only way to get rid of a yūrei is to complete the pre-death rituals they missed out on, or to help them resolve the emotional conflict they experience in their premature death. In “The Ring”, the remake of Japan’s “Ringu”, the premise is built on a haunted videotape that, once watched, will cause the viewer to die in seven days.

The only means of preventing your scheduled death is to duplicate the haunted tape and give it to someone else to watch, thus transferring the fury of the yūrei to another unsuspecting victim. But if the 2016 election is our yūrei, we’re powerless in transferring her fury to someone else. Because every single person in the Western world is haunted by it.

A friend of mine once described Japanese horror as the experience of being stuck in the same room with something that really, really doesn’t like you. I imagine this yūrei haunting every U.S. citizen to be the 2016 election. Whether you voted for Trump or for Hillary, the election is a specter looming in the corner of every room, every contentious family dinner, at every rally, every presidential golf course. It comes for us with every policy change hurting dreamers, LGBTQ people, women, students, the military, the environment.

And it really, really doesn’t like what we did.

This Halloween season, why sit down for a scary movie? Or visit a haunted house?

We’re already living it.