adBlockCheck

Recent News

Biden Opts Out Of Putting Last Few Felonies On Job Application

WASHINGTON—Saying he would be “sitting pretty” if he landed such a primo gig, Vice President Joe Biden reportedly decided Tuesday to leave off several of his most recent felonies while filling out a job application for a blackjack dealer position at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

Departing Bo Obama Lands K Street Lobbyist Position

WASHINGTON—Touting his lengthy tenure in the White House and close personal relationships with the president of the United States and first lady, executives at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck announced Monday that once the current administration steps down later this week, the departing Bo Obama will officially join their high-powered K Street lobbying firm.

How To Combat Harassment Online

Online harassment is an increasingly contentious issue, with social media sites like Twitter and Reddit pressured to crack down on users’ abusive behavior. Here are The Onion’s tips for combating harassment online:

Strongside/Weakside: Deshaun Watson

After leading his team to victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Clemson University quarterback Deshaun Watson announced he would forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft. Is he any good?
End Of Section
  • More News

The Word 'Spooktacular' Used To Mean Something In This Country

Halloween is supposed to be a special time—a treasured holiday when children of all ages gather to celebrate everything dark and macabre and to experience the frights of their lives. But unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s difficult to tell who is legitimately providing ghoulishly good fun, considering how loosely the term “spooktacular” is thrown around. It’s appalling, it’s infuriating, and it’s downright un-American.

You see, I remember when the word spooktacular actually meant something in this country.

There was a time not that long ago when a citizen of this nation could see the word spooktacular on a haunted hayride sign or a flyer for an Enchanted Forest of Fear and know right then and there that he was in for nothing less than a scream-worthy fright fest of monsterrific proportions. Spooktacular was a word that carried with it a certain weight and significance. Why, just hearing that word alone would give you the chilly willies all down your back.

But my oh my how far our country has strayed. The things that are passed off as spooktacular these days couldn’t even raise a single hair, let alone a whole neck’s worth.

Nowadays, it seems every simpleton with a fog machine and a CD of moaning and chain-rattling sound effects is promising a spooktacular night of 1,000 frights. It’s a travesty. People are slapping the word spooktacular on any run-of-the-mill costume party, corn maze, or plain old pumpkin patch without a thought as to whether their attraction is really a terrorific hell-ebration worthy of the time-honored title. Indeed, it’s as if they were entirely unaware of the actual definition of said word.

Why, I’ve even seen the cherished term used to describe charity 5k runs, farmers markets, and dozens of late-October sales events. Is that what we want as a society—to have the bar lowered to such an extent that even a bank or a supermarket circular can use the word spooktacular for an event that will never come close to terrifying (much less scare-ifying) us and certainly won’t send us running for our mummy?

I’m sorry, but that’s just not the country I want to live in.

You see, there used to be clear guidelines. The promise of a spooktacular scare-a-thon once actually represented an ironclad guarantee of goose bumps, shivers, or, at the very least, heebie-jeebies. There was accountability: If you said something was spooktacular, then you had an obligation to provide either bloodcurdling chills or hair-raising thrills. And there was no getting around it. If your event was not capable of tingling spines, then the word spooktacular was off-limits, end of story.

Where’s the self-respect? Where’s the sense of tradition? Sure, today’s Halloween party-throwers know a thing or two about candy and fancy costumes, but what happened to all those subtle nuances that once set our skin, bones, and teeth crawling, chilling, and chattering, respectively? Back in the good old days, hardworking Americans used to take pride in crafting a haunted house that was spooktacular in the truest sense of the word. I’m talking about creaky floorboards, eerie shadows, disembodied cackling, and buckets of cold squishy masses labeled “brains” and “eyeballs” that you’d plunge your trembling hands into.

And let me tell you one thing, if they promised you a spooktacular shriek-stravaganza, you were 100 percent assured of ghastly surprises so heart-stopping you would leave the premises both scared silly and spooked senseless—and most certainly screaming for more.

It’s sad to admit, but I’m beginning to think Americans don’t even care about having a frightfully good time anymore.

I may be old-fashioned, but I believe the word spooktacular should mean exactly what it says: a genuine spooktacle that fills your night with fright. I think we owe it to ourselves to return integrity and dignity to our nation’s Howl-O-Ween Balls, Shocktoberfests, and Haunted Screamatoriums. Otherwise, we’re looking at a lost generation that will never even know what it’s like to be driven utterly batty.

And that would be a monstrous future indeed.

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close