What Actually Happens:
Who would've thought that when you open up the idea of death to a small child for their entertainment, they end up having a mini existential panic?
Most kids up to the age of about six or seven haven't attended many funerals, met people with terminal illnesses, or seen A Nightmare On Elm Street. So Halloween is usually their first brush with the concept of death. They're still getting used to being alive, and one day a year we tell them that we all expire into an unknowable aftermath once our fleshy bodies degrade and our mortal lives cease. But hey, that's a neat Spider-Man outfit!
According to this Halloween study, it's difficult for younger children to distinguish between real death and the Halloween iconography of it, like skeletons and rubber knives sticking out of people's heads. For them, there is no real and fake. In their heads, that bloody rubber foot sticking out of your trunk is probably a real guy who needs help. Kids don't quite understand irony yet, so the concept of laughing in the face of our bleak and inevitable doom is f*****g stupid. "This s**t ain't funny. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE, MAN!" is what little kids would be saying every Halloween if they knew how to verbalize their internal panic as well as I do every night before bed.
The quiet dread and confusion they feel when a zombie walks by with a Frankenstein on their arm is in no way soothed by the fact that ...