A brief thought that may appeal to mathematically minded haunt fans: There are 30 days in September; split them down the middle, and the second half of the month begins on September 16 – the date that Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood opened. That means that the major Halloween attraction in Los Angeles began exactly halfway through September. It’s been years since Halloween was a single-day holiday, but now it’s no longer even a month-long season; instead, it begins a full month and a half before October 31.
One might be tempted to dismiss Halloween Horror Nights as an outlier, but the Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest began one day later on, Saturday, September 17. And just to make the math fuzzier, Disneyland Halloween Time (a somewhat milder event) opened on September 11.
Hollywood Gothique has been tracking Halloween creep for years, but we tended to credit it to fluctuations in the calendar: if an event always opens on the last Friday of September, and the last Friday happens to fall on the 24th instead of the 25th, of course the event will begin a day earlier. Now we see that the calendar has been reset: we have long since passed the time when the final week of September was the earliest that venues would preview their Halloween attractions; after years of extending further and further into mid-September, Halloween festivities now last for more than a month and a half – because, let us not forget, some events extend into November.
How much more can the Halloween season grow? I say we get it over with and simply rename “Autumn” to “Halloween.”