This time of year, Autumn is renowned for its biggest holiday, Halloween. These past few years have led to a substantial interest in all things creepy, scary, and of course, spooky. Across the internet, the phrase "spooky season" has begun to describe a rising celebration of the dark and mysterious, and we're here to explore what that means, why it's been a stable trend, and what this means for the future of Halloween in the US.
Where Did "Spooky Season" Come From?
Spooky season is a specific expression and concept that's been circulating across the internet over the last few years. It's become a phrase that any Halloween lover, horror enthusiast, witchy fanatic, and gothic icon has come to love. Halloween has always been the holiday of mischief and evil spirits, but in previous years, October wasn't considered a season of holidays, nor was September or November. But today, it's become a staple of internet culture. So, where did it come from?
The phrase "spooky season," according to sources from Grammarphobia, showed up in the early 1900s, with the earliest examples from London tabloids. It originally meant a time during Autumn when unexplained events would happen. The phrase would appear every ten to fifteen years until the 20th century took hold of the term and ran off with it.
Some variations of the term also had a massive impact on the dark subculture of the strange and unusual. During the early to mid-2000s, the word "spoopy" became a term to describe something funny and spooky simultaneously. First appearing in 2009, the word appeared on a misspelled Halloween sign. Today, this term is used in many Halloween memes and is often used to describe old Disney Channel Halloween movies, such as Halloweentown.
Whether you prefer spooky or spoopy, the spooky season has taken control over when Halloween celebrations start and end. While there is yet to be a complete consensus, spooky season memes with skeletons dancing are starting to appear earlier and earlier in the year, as early as July 23rd, which is the 100-day marker for the upcoming Halloween day.
The Rebranding and Changing of the Halloween Season
So, what gives? Halloween has been celebrated for hundreds of years; now it's the spooky season. It can be a bit jarring for those who don't like the term. However, for fans of the unwholesome and even comically scary, the spooky season attempts to bring back more emphasis on the multifacetedness of Autumn, the light and dark. The Christmas season has been advertised and capitalized on for generations by businesses and marketers, often reinforcing the idea that "it's the most wonderful time of the year," a term that's circulated and has become a recognized marker of the US's love of merchandise and positivity. But through a silly term called "spooky season," people who are put off by Christmas and want to embrace the morbid and weird can thrive.
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