When I was a teenager I made a half-assed attempt at being goth. It was the late '90's/early 2000's and goth had yet to transform into emo yet, and I don't even know if emo exists anymore because I'm 28 years old and I don't care anymore.
I listened to a lot of Nine Inch Nails (which I still enjoy) I wore a lot of band t-shirts and black eyeliner and I even dyed my hair black. I did it in such a haste because I thought my mom would come home and bust me doing it and be mad at me and maybe try to make me wash it out, I did it so quickly I missed a few spots and my sister called me "Patchy" for a few weeks.
Along with my new found goth-ness I felt I needed a new spiritual path. A path that a mopey teenager dressed in all black could really get behind, a path called Wicca. I read the Wicca books, and realized it was a lot of damn work. Going outside was involved, and I wasn't really into that when I was 15. As was like, knowing a lot about the earth and herbs and stuff. And direction was important, and I still don't know if I'm facing west unless the sun is rising (that's west, right?) It was incredibility interesting to learn about and I respected those who dove in head first and did all the rituals and whatnot (especially if they did them skyclad) but it just wasn't for me at that time in my life.
Recently, I've revisited Wicca, mostly for a project I'm working on, and I have a new found respect for it. I'm still not going to hang out and be naked with people I don't know while they celebrating me having my period during a full moon or whatever (that may be a broad generalization) but I appreciate it's pro-woman attitude, and the thing I love most about it is that it forces you to take responsibility for your thoughts and actions as they are occurring. It doesn't allow you to do something bad when you know dang well you are doing something bad, and then later just ask your deity for forgiveness and everything is just fine. I think being present of mind and being respectful to all things and all people is important, and it is something that is lacking in today's society.
The other thing I like about Wicca is the disbelief in evil. There is no Satan. And even if you believe in Satan you are giving something negative power, which makes itself manifest. Again, being mindful of your thoughts and actions.
And that is why Hell, Michigan shouldn't even try and bother make itself Halloween Capital of the World.
if we are going to be nitpicky then if Halloween originated from the Pagan festival of Samhain, which was re-appropriated when the Christians took over everything to be a Saint's festival, but the old traditions held steady and fast and it became a general celebration for the dead (since Samhain was a celebrations that signaled the death of the land, bring your cows in from pasture because it's gonna snow, you guys) and then once again re-appropriated by the United States as a yum, yum, gimme some candy night....nowhere do I see the devil in these details.
Hell, Michigan. Tsk. Nice name, btw....