Since 2006, it’s become a tradition to watch a scary movie on Halloween. It started because it was my first Halloween in college, no longer young enough to be able to go out and get candy door to door. I would either pick a movie out at work, or my dad and I would go to the rental store and pick one out. Then, around 6 p.m., we’d stick the DVD into the player with all the lights off and prepare ourselves for a night of terror.

Since my father’s death, the tradition has felt rather off for me. Yes, I still watch a scary movie on Halloween, but it no longer feels special. Watching a scary movie alone is no longer something I enjoy doing, and yet I do anyway because I don’t want to give up the tradition.

Is this how traditions start, I wonder? We start them with others and when someone’s gone, we continue on because we’re not quite sure how to end it even when it feels weird. Or maybe it’s the sheer fact that I’ve been doing it for so long that it feel shabitual to do it and it’d be too much work to unbreak it.


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