Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Murray Leeder

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733797

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733797.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

‘Black Cats and Goblins on Halloween Night’: Halloween and Halloween

‘Black Cats and Goblins on Halloween Night’: Halloween and Halloween

(p.57) Chapter 3: ‘Black Cats and Goblins on Halloween Night’: Halloween and Halloween

Murray Leeder

Murray Leeder

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explains that Halloween is more than simply a setting in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), but that the film is indeed centrally concerned with the contested meanings of the day when it takes place. The film is a cultural artefact of how Halloween was thought about in the 1970s. In other words, it is not just called Halloween; it is about Halloween. The chapter then studies the history and dangers of Halloween, which traces its roots back to the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain. Halloween is often constructed as a rare time when the anger and discontentment of children, and indeed their capacity for violence, may be demonstrated. The character of Michael Myers is driven by a need to pursue the carnivalesque and violent aspects of Halloween to their violent extremes. It is here where the theme of masking becomes critical. Michael commits his sister Judith's murder wearing a Halloween mask, which reveals his true nature more clearly than his actual face ever could.

Keywords:   Halloween, John Carpenter, Samhain, violence, Michael Myers, masking, Halloween mask

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.