Adventist "Halloween" or Nah?

Bonus Episode
October 28, 2023
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Episode Notes

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Santiago and Saoirse discuss their very different childhood experiences with Halloween and read some stories from the ex-Adventist subreddit. Abby, Ami, and friends talk around a bonfire (bone fire?) about their experiences with Halloween. That last part of the episode is a little loud, but there's some fun stuff if you're patient.

Topics Mentioned:

Scared Straight | Hell House - How Gay Thou Art Podcast
The Addams Family - Wikipedia

Wednesday (Netflix Show)

The Addams Family (1991 Film)

Addams Family Values (1993 Film)

Beetlejuice (1988 Film)

Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988 Film)

Full Transcripts, resources and more:

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Credits: Abby and Ami, creators of the Seventh-day Atheist Podcast • Music: Hall of the Mountain King Kevin MacLeod ( • Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Santiago: Welcome to Haystacks and Hell, an ex-Adventist podcast where we tell stories about growing up Seventh-day Adventist, leaving faith behind, and building new, fulfilling lives.

Happy Halloween!

[00:00:16] Santiago: All right, are you, uh, are you comfy?

[00:00:19] Saoirse: Enough, I guess. As I'm sitting in a fucking closet, yeah. Do your listeners know that you literally sit in a goddamn closet?

[00:00:30] Santiago: I guess they will now.

[00:00:31] Saoirse: By the way, he sits in a fucking closet and he shoved me in it. You shoved me back in the closet, you ho. Welcome, everyone.

[00:00:52] Santiago: I can't even get started.

[00:00:55] Saoirse: Hey everyone, I'm your host, not Santiago. That's this ho who can't speak over here.

[00:01:13] Santiago: And on that note, hey everyone, I'm your host Santiago, and as you just heard, I'm joined today by my lovely partner and co-host, Saoirse.

[00:01:25] Saoirse: We love a cold open.

[00:01:27] Santiago: Yeah, honestly. And for this episode, we're talking about Halloween. We're going to share some of our childhood experiences. We're going to share and react to some stories from the ex-Adventist subreddit. And then I'm going to play Abby and Ami's original episode on Halloween. So first off, I don't know, should we, should we do an intro? This is, this is your debut on the show.

[00:01:54] Saoirse: I guess. It is spooky season, bitches. Uh, this is when I come alive, even though I sound like I'm dead on the inside, because I am. All the time. Um, so, I'm Saoirse. I'm Santiago's partner of, I don't know what, two years plus at this point? Something like that. You're the one with the, with the, with the tracker on your phone of how long...

[00:02:24] Santiago: Don't out me like that.

[00:02:26] Saoirse: I am gonna out you like that, bitch. He's a sappy piece of shit and I love him. Um, so, yeah. Hi, I glow in the sunlight. I'm like a goddamn Twilight vampire. I just sparkle in the fuckin sun. Appropriate for spooky season. And I have Irish Catholic background on my mother's side and I have Roman Catholic on my father's side. And I am like, "Nah, fuck that" to all of it.

[00:03:01] Santiago: Mmhmm, yeah. And for anyone who knows anything about traditional Adventist views on Catholicism, I am absolutely sleeping with the enemy.

[00:03:12] Saoirse: Yeah. Hell yeah, baby. I mean, I'm basically the devil at this point, so like, "Blegh!"

[00:03:22] Santiago: So yeah, so we figured we would share a little bit about our Halloween experiences and like she just mentioned, she's, you know, not religious, didn't grow up particularly religious. We'll maybe talk about that more on another episode.

[00:03:39] Saoirse: Yeah, I was gonna say, like, way to,

[00:03:41] there's no good way to be like, "Here's my whole background." 'Cause you just wanna be like, we're just doing a fuckin Halloween episode. And I'm like, do they need context? No context. Fuck all of y'all, you get no context. I'm just here now.

[00:03:56] Santiago: Yeah, we, we might, we, we've talked about doing potentially some paywalled content to support the show.

[00:04:03] Saoirse: Patreon.

[00:04:05] Santiago: Yeah, so eventually we might get to doing that, um, when I manage to find time between work and the regular content.

[00:04:13] Saoirse: If you enjoy the spicy chaos that is my existence, uh, that will basically be the paywall. It'll be, like, unedited fuckin nonsense of the two of us, essentially. Where Santiago literally can't speak for the first, like, five minutes 'cause he's laughing so hard.

[00:04:33] Santiago: Sure. Hopefully not every episode, but, uh, we'll see.

[00:04:37] Saoirse: Every episode.

[00:04:41] Santiago: To be determined. All right, so we're going to start off real quick with kind of family traditions around this time of year. So growing up, my family and I never ever celebrated Halloween. The most we would do is we would maybe put up a bunch of Little Friend or Guide magazines out in front of our home, on our porch. You can't see this right now, but Saoirse's like...

[00:05:11] Saoirse: What the fuck is a Friend Maga—what?

[00:05:15] Santiago: So, so this is basically Adventist material for kids. You would get it at church on Saturdays, or maybe you would get it mailed to your home. I don't remember how people typically got them, but I remember getting them as a kid at church. They'd have different stories for kids, and it's basically, think of it like Sunday school type content, but in a little magazine.

[00:05:38] Saoirse: So it's basically, they took Bible shit and they made it like, cartoony, and they're like, "Look, it's fun!"

[00:05:43] Santiago: Yeah, yeah. We would hand those out and there would be like healthy snacks instead of like regular candies.

[00:05:51] Saoirse: I'm s — I'm sorry, hold on, you passed out fucking church shit? You were like, "Hey kids, fuck the devil, have a, have a church pamphlet on Halloween."

[00:06:09] Santiago: Well, when you put it that way...

[00:06:11] Saoirse: Oh, you wouldn't put it that way. No, that's what you did, bitch. That's how I'd put it.

[00:06:17] Santiago: 100%, 100%. So it was this basically propaganda for kids.

[00:06:22] Saoirse: So you were the lame house that everyone knew to run away from and not go to. You were like, you're like on par with the dentist house that passes out the fucking toothbrush. And you're like, "Why?"

[00:06:35] Santiago: Yeah, essentially. So, so I forgot to mention like the other thing that we would typically do more often, was we would just turn off all the lights, so that people wouldn't ring our doorbell. We'd make sure all the windows were closed. Like, my mom genuinely seemed a little bit on edge on this particular night of the year.

[00:06:55] Saoirse: When little children were running around dressed as Disney princesses, she was on edge? That's sad. That's a sad existence.

[00:07:03] Santiago: It, it honestly is. It, it, it really truly is. So my first Halloween ever was as a fully grown adult at work. And my mom was actually disappointed when she found out I participated in my work's Halloween. So, that gives you an idea, just a little window into my childhood with Halloween. So, some churches in our area would hold this thing called Fall Festival. And on the ex-Adventist subreddit, I noticed some people talking about that.

[00:07:35] Another thing that some Evangelical churches would do, I never heard about this being done in an Adventist church, but I heard about this being done in Evangelical churches, is this thing called Hell Houses. Where they would essentially, instead of doing Halloween and, you know, "devil inspired" Halloween decorations and events, they would literally scare the hell out of kids by putting on a simulation of what hell's like.

[00:08:06] Saoirse: That sounds dope as shit. I want to go to that. That sounds like a fun-ass haunted house. That's the shit that like the, that's what the, that's what the normal weeb people probably, like, did, were there any like normal kids who like came to that? And were like, "This is a sick haunted house!"

[00:08:25] Santiago: I don't know, maybe, but just put yourselves in the shoes of a little kid who believes that hell is real and that this might actually be their fate for eternity. 'Cause you gotta remember, most Evangelical Christians believe that when you go to hell, you're burning forever.

[00:08:43] Saoirse: Sure, it's, it's the, it's the super scary Mormon hell dream brought to life, à la The Book of Mormon, for those of y'all who have not, uh, listened. Even if you haven't seen it, literally just Google the fucking soundtrack, it's worth it.

[00:08:59] Santiago: It, the soundtrack is amazing, A+. But yeah, so that, I'm gonna have a link in the show notes for an episode that was done by a podcast called How Gay Thou Art. They grew up as Evangelical Christians, and so I believe they actually went through and experienced hell houses as kids. They did a whole deep dive into that, so that'll be linked in the show notes.

[00:09:24] Definitely recommend that if you haven't heard of hell houses before, or if you're just curious. But yeah, so, the typical Adventist thing that I went to was just called a Fall Festival. There would be some games. I remember the last one I went to, there were just a bunch of adults, like, selling their homemade Adventist veggie meat recipes and prepared food and maybe some other products. I think we had some people within our Adventist community who were really into like water filtration systems and alkaline water nonsense and so they were selling that there, too.

[00:10:02] Saoirse: So, it basically was a fall themed Adventist, like, farmer's market.

[00:10:11] Santiago: In a way, yeah. So, overall, pretty boring.

[00:10:15] Saoirse: Yeah, did you at least have like a fucking hay ride or some shit?

[00:10:18] Santiago: You know, I wouldn't be surprised if some churches did, but we did not.

[00:10:22] Saoirse: Booo, what about like pumpkin carving? 'Cause like even if you're not making like a proper Jack-o'-lantern you'd you'd carve a pumpkin in any w—

[00:10:29] Santiago: No, nope.

[00:10:31] Saoirse: Booo, lame. What about apple bobbing? Did you shove your head in a bucket of water to get an...

[00:10:38] Santiago: I don't remember doing it there, but I do remember doing that at an Adventist summer camp.

[00:10:44] Saoirse: Okay, alright, but it wasn't like part of the fall... That's interesting.

[00:10:50] Santiago: I think I just went to a particularly lame year the last time I went. So, okay, so besides that, the, one of the big things I remember growing up about Halloween was all the fear mongering. My mom genuinely believed that evil people were putting razor blades inside of candies.

[00:11:10] And the hilarious thing, sad but hilarious thing, is I remember telling my cousins on my dad's side, they grew up Lutheran. I told them that this was happening, and I remember my mom encouraged me to tell them about razor blades in candies, because she thought they might believe it more if it came from me instead of coming from her.

[00:11:36] And I remember that they looked at me like real skeptical and just were like, "I don't know about that," and I remember thinking, "Oh man..." I was like genuinely afraid that they were going to go out that night because it was, I guess, you know, the day of, that later that night they were going to go out trick-or-treating and I just, I had to warn them, you know? So that like, Adventist missionary zeal about warning people of impending doom was instilled in me even as a young kid and even on Halloween. So I'm curious like growing up, did you hear about razor blades inside of candies?

[00:12:14] Saoirse: So my mom... [Laughing] Um, I, I've heard of the whole, like, oh, assholes will put razor blades in candy or some shit. I don't know if my mom genuinely believed that part. Same thing with the whole, like, oh, people will switch out candy and put drugs in. And it's like, first of all, that's just not economically sound for drug dealers.

[00:12:42] Like, literally, why would you give the good kush to kids for free? Like, no. So I don't think she actually, like, believed some of that. I'd have to ask to double check. But I just remember, but she's like a huge germaphobe, so I just remember her being on edge about any of the candy that could be, like, unwrapped and rewrapped.

[00:13:06] So, like, Tootsie Pops and, like, Smarties and, like, all those candies that it's just that, like, one thing of plastic that you just, like, you, like, pull it and it, like, untwists. And, like, you could, you could twist it up by hand again and, like, technically no one would, would know that it's been opened or not before.

[00:13:26] So my mom... I would literally go trick or treating, and I would come back, and she would be like, "Give me your candy," and I would have to give her my whole fuckin little stash of candy, and she would go through. And on like, some years, we'd do it together, just 'cause I was like, I wanna eat my fuckin candy, so let's just get this bitch fuckin shit over with, like goddamn.

[00:13:49] We would sit down together at like, the coffee table, and pull out all of those candies. And then that would just be tossed. Like, my mom would toss it. Again, I don't know if it's because she's like they fuckin opened it, and they coulda like, licked it, and then closed it again or some shit. She's like, I don't need, I don't need that germ nonsense.

[00:14:11] But I mean like, I've definitely heard the whole razor blade, I've heard the whole drug thing. But also, that's just like a classic, um, local TV news fear mongering thing. I feel like for some reason that that shit went viral before things went viral, you know, like that was like early day, early viral over your local news shit.

[00:14:37] So, I've heard it before, and I know my mom at least did separate my candy. And I think too, so like I had a, I have like a childhood best friend, and I'm pretty sure he came over one year to go trick-or-treating in my neighborhood, so like we had some houses that had like the good, the good good.

[00:14:55] So I'm pretty sure at the end of the night, like it was, I just like auto, auto mode dumped my candy on the table and was like going through sorting it, and my mom came over to help, and I'm, I like, I'm pretty sure he looked at me and was like, "What are you doing? "Why are you, what are you doing?" I was like, "I gotta take out the candy that my mom says I can't have 'cause, 'cause people do weird shit with candy." And he's like, "What the fuck are you talking about?"

[00:15:22] And I was like, "I don't know, just go along with it." Like, I'm pretty sure he went to his mom and was like "Mom, why?" "Why is Saoirse's mom doing this?" And she had to literally just be like, "Just, just fucking go with it." "Don't ask questions, just go with it." "It's just the shitty candy anyway." You know, it's like, it's just the Tootsie Pops and the fucking, and the, and the, and the Smarties. It's like, it's just the shitty stuff. Just, just don't worry about it. Just go along with it.

[00:15:50] Santiago: I guess when in Rome...

[00:15:52] Saoirse: Yeah, but then on the reverse, I remember if I would go to, like, another friend's neighborhood or something, it would be the reverse. Where it wouldn't be, you know, like, I'm going over. Especially if I went over and it was like, I don't think I ever slept over, but like, I know I definitely went over to my friend's house.

[00:16:10] Like, he came to mine and I would go to his some years. And I, I distinctly remember one year we went as like the Harry Potter characters. So it was like me as like a little Hermione running all around and I'm pretty sure he went as Ron and his older sibling went as Harry. Because I didn't have to do the thing before my mom came and picked me up, I'm pretty sure I shoved, like, ten Tootsie Rolls in my face because I was like, "Fuck this shit!" "She's gonna take it away from me!" "I'm gonna eat it all right now!"

[00:16:46] Santiago: Makes sense. That kind of brings me to celebrating as an adult. The first time I actually tried celebrating Halloween, I was a full on adult. I want to say this was in 2019, and it was a work thing. I had chosen not to participate

[00:17:05] in the past because I either still fully believed, or I was deconstructing. But so, in 2019 I quickly threw together an outfit that went along with this theme that my team was doing. And then another year, my team and I, we actually won like one of the categories. Because our company did these competitions, and like, we went all out. We truly, like, we really tried, and we went all out, and we won, and that felt like a very satisfactory achievement. Actually, you and I, we also won for our kind of neighborhood costume....

[00:17:44] Saoirse: Was that the Addams Family year that I was here to encourage you to do Halloween shit?

[00:17:51] Santiago: Yup, that was, that was our second Halloween together.

[00:17:54] Saoirse: Yeah, baby.

[00:17:56] Santiago: Yeah, so, um, love the Addams Family. I'll link that in the show notes for anyone who isn't familiar. I only found out about it not that long ago.

[00:18:05] Saoirse: Yeah, that is my favorite, my favorite movie. The 1991, 1992 movies, A+ would recommend. My mother, I don't remember this, but my mother says that I would straight up walk around and just like quote the shit that Wednesday says. Like, she has this story where my cousin was being a piece of shit or something.

[00:18:31] And, um, I guess one of the lines that Wednesday says is like, "Be afraid, be very afraid," or something. And I said that, like, deadpan to my cousin, and I guess my uncle was nearby, and like, fuckin burst out laughing, and like, told my mom. And was like, "I love your kid." So, so I was just like, "Okay, checks out." Like, that sounds, I don't remember, but it sounds about right.

[00:19:01] Santiago: That, that sounds completely accurate, and I would not be surprised at all. Speaking of which, we, we watched the Wednesday show on Netflix as soon as it came out.

[00:19:12] Saoirse: Ugh, A+ would recommend. They finally gave Wednesday the Latina heritage that she deserves, which is nice.

[00:19:20] Santiago: Yep, so really, like, the first full on Halloween experience that I really had was after we started dating. We went to this big Halloween event, we got dressed up...

[00:19:35] Saoirse: Yeah, didn't we start dating like a few months ahead of Halloween or something? So it was, it was like, "Hi, nice to meet you." "Halloween!"

[00:19:45] Santiago: Basically.

[00:19:46] Saoirse: ♫ This is Halloween, This is Halloween.

[00:19:50] Santiago: Yeah, your favorite time of year. So, it worked out. Yeah, so we did this big Halloween event, we dressed up, we bought ourselves candy because we weren't gonna go trick-or-treating, or we didn't really know of, like, an adult trick-or-treating event.

[00:20:07] Saoirse: It was a spooky Halloween event, too. I feel like that's worthy of note. It wasn't, this wasn't like some fucking Mickey's not so scary Halloween bullshit. This was like a, rawr, we gonna make you scream, bitch.

[00:20:21] Santiago: Mmhmm. People running around with fake chainsaws...

[00:20:24] Saoirse: Yeah!

[00:20:24] Santiago: It was great, I really enjoyed it.

[00:20:27] Saoirse: Fog machines everywhere.

[00:20:30] Santiago: Yeah, and I feel like, you know, years ago, being deeply Adventist and believing Satan is real and believing like all of these satanic things, you wouldn't have caught me dead in a place like that.

[00:20:43] Saoirse: With people fully ass dressed as like demons walking around like, "Ho ho ho..."

[00:20:49] Santiago: Yeah, so for one, you think, A, it's, it's not Christian, it's anti-Christian, but then two, part of you is like, well, even if they're not literal devils, like, there's an evil presence in the place or something. Um, so, yeah, you wouldn't have caught me dead in one of those. Another thing you wouldn't have caught me dead doing is watching a bunch of scary movies. Or even stuff like Harry Potter, right? Like, we, the first time I ever saw Harry Potter was after we started dating and we did a movie marathon.

[00:21:21] Saoirse: It's required viewing in this relationship, as was the Addams Family.

[00:21:26] Santiago: Yeah, although with JK...

[00:21:28] Saoirse: Oh, JK Rowling can fuck all the way off. She didn't... Harry Potter was anonymously written, um, by, uh, by just some amazing person who's not a TERF, thank you. [Laughing]

[00:21:42] Santiago: Yeah, even, even though they did include a bunch of anti-Semitic tropes and other problematic things.

[00:21:48] Saoirse: Oh my god. Also, also Cho Chang. I will never. I'm so mad. Cho is a Korean surname and Chang is a Chinese surname for those of you who did not know. She literally took two surnames of two different East Asian countries and put them together and was like, "That's totally a name."

[00:22:13] Santiago: Yeah, um, not that we're gonna do a whole Harry Potter review, but yes.

[00:22:18] Saoirse: But I could.

[00:22:20] Santiago: Anyways, so yeah, we did that, we did Nightmare Before Christmas, which I hadn't seen before, and Beetlejuice, which was a trip, and that was fun. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.

[00:22:31] Saoirse: We still need to go see the Broadway show, though. I want to see it so bad. It looks so good.

[00:22:37] Santiago: We'll make plans to do that.

[00:22:39] Saoirse: We still need to carve our pumpkin this year. It's just sitting on, it's sitting on the fucking counter. Every time I look at it, I'm dying inside because I'm like, "I'm so sorry that you're still whole." "We need to gut you immediately." "With love and care."

[00:22:57] Santiago: Right, of course. The only way to do it. Um, so yeah, we will, we will do that. But yeah, I had not carved a pumpkin at all before our relationship. So it truly took dating somebody who is really big into Halloween, for me to do the things I never did as a kid.

[00:23:15] Saoirse: The embodiment of spooky shit.

[00:23:18] Santiago: Yeah. From here we're going to jump to some random comments on the ex-Adventist subreddit. And I'm going to have you start off by reading the first one, which I really enjoyed reading this one and seeing kind of how it turns out.

[00:23:35] Saoirse (Narrating): I was never allowed to go trick-or-treating or watch Halloween shows/movies. My mom would hand out candy along with religious tracts every...

[00:23:48] Saoirse: What the fuck is a tract? Is that that paper thing you were talking about? Those little handouts? Alright. With the paper handout bullshit...

[00:23:55] Saoirse (Narrating): ...every year, while loudly playing religious music. She'd decorate our porch with a huge picture of Jesus that said

[00:24:05] "Jesus is above Halloween" or something like that.

[00:24:09] Saoirse: What the fuck? Jesus, all right.

[00:24:16] Saoirse (Narrating): I even once asked her if I could go trick-or-treating as Jesus or an angel.

[00:24:22] Saoirse: Honestly, so, what a smart fuckin kid. What a smart workaround. Just be like, "But mom, I'm spreading the Lord's word." Um, I love that. But she said no, fuck that.

[00:24:37] Saoirse (Narrating): Obviously as a kid, whose friends were all trick-or-treating and eating a lot of candy, the next few weeks it made me sad.

[00:24:43] Saoirse: I mean, yeah, that candy lasts. That's like, you have candy with your, with your fucking lunchbox for like, weeks. It's great. Unless, well, that's how it should be. That's how your kid should, like, your, your parents should, like, take it away from you and then be like, you could have some every day, but also some parents are like, "Whatever," and then you eat it all at once and then you, like, throw up. So, you know, to, to eat, to each their own. So they're, at least, at least their friends' parents were doing the right thing of, like, "We're, we're stealing your candy to give it back to you in small quantities."

[00:25:18] Saoirse (Narrating): I didn't dress up for the first time until I was 22.

[00:25:22] Saoirse: Is that kind of you? When did you?

[00:25:24] Santiago: No, I would have been in my, like, late 20s, mid, late 20s.

[00:25:30] Saoirse: Okay, well, they have you beat.

[00:25:32] Saoirse (Narrating): Now with my son getting older we do Halloween stuff the whole month of October.

[00:25:37] Saoirse: Ah, as you should, A+.

[00:25:39] Santiago: Yeah, that, that just... stories like this really warm my heart up where it's like, "I grew up like this." "I missed out on all of this." "Now I'm going to make sure that my kid doesn't miss out."

[00:25:51] Saoirse: Yeah, I'm gonna do it with my kid. We're gonna do it together, A+.

[00:25:56] Santiago: Yeah, love that. Alright, so this one is an interesting one, also involves a parent and their kids. It says:

[00:26:04] Santiago (Narrating): I started doing Halloween things with my kids about four years ago. This year is the first year I've really decorated for Halloween, and I love it. We are all five of us getting inflatable costumes this year. My house is the most decorated house in our neighborhood and my kids are so excited about having the coolest house. I got colored floodlights that we can control by an app and sync the lights to music or just make it however we want.

[00:26:35] Saoirse: Those are the coolest.

[00:26:36] Santiago: That sounds awesome, yeah.

[00:26:38] Santiago (Narrating): Tons of spider webs, giant spiders crawling over outside the house, creepy fabric draped above the garage, crows hanging from the trees.

[00:26:47] Santiago: That's, that's a fun touch.

[00:26:49] Santiago (Narrating): Crime scene tape around the flower beds. Still waiting for my floating candlesticks to arrive to hang in my entryway in front of the front door.

[00:27:00] Saoirse: Speaking of Harry Potter vibes.

[00:27:02] Santiago: Yep.

[00:27:03] Santiago (Narrating): I love taking the kids trick-or-treating and since we now live in an actual neighborhood with lots of families, hoping we have trick-or-treaters come by the house for the first time ever.

[00:27:15] Santiago: Honestly, I can relate because I want to say after, like, maybe one or two years of putting the lights out at our home growing up and then pulling the shit with the Little Friend and Guide magazines and the healthy, the healthy snacks and maybe a couple of regular candies. Like, nobody really bothered coming by. Which is not surprising.

[00:27:38] Saoirse: No, the, the word spreads. Kids know how to fucking talk. There was a whole, I mean, like, god, for some kids, man, we had a whole thing. I remember, like, in middle school, especially when you get older, like, you're in middle school and you can start really, like, planning shit. I literally remember, like, my friend group, it would be like five of us or something. And we would all be saying, we would all be listing out what we knew.

[00:28:03] Like, "Oh, I know my neighborhood has this, and this, and this." And someone else would be like, "Okay, but I know my neighborhood has this, this," and like you, we'd literally pick as a group like which neighborhoods we're going to at what times, in order to do things. And then like within the neighborhood you gotta know where the good houses are to try to hit them first before they run out of shit.

[00:28:25] Like in my neighborhood we had a couple, like maybe two or three years, there was someone who gave out Beanie Babies. Like literal fucking stuffed animals. And, so like I would always know to go to that house. In that vein like my background when I was little, like growing up up through maybe high school, we kind of did, like, the normal bowl of candy or whatever the fuck.

[00:28:52] But by the time I got to high school, my parents were doing a lot more well off, like, they got some better jobs and stuff. So my mom, her, like, her goal that she wanted to achieve in life as a, as a, suburban Halloween mom was to be the full size candy bar house.

[00:29:12] So we were the full size candy bar house, starting when I was in, like, high school and going into college. So we would have, like, the little tiny ones for when all, like, the itty bitty babies are coming by first, before it's, like, even dark out. But once we started getting to, like, elementary school, like, middle school, and ages, like, once we're past, you know, like, six or seven. You know, we get all the itty bitty babies first, get the itty bitty tiny chocolates.

[00:29:40] But then mom would break out the full size candy bars and it would it was so fun watching 'cause literally we'd have like a fucking eight year old. Like I don't know, fuckin Buzz Lightyear or some shit would run up and you'd like I would be there like fully decked out probably in like a Wednesday costume or something because that was just an easy one for me to do.

[00:30:02] And I'd be like handing out the candy. And, oh my god, it's so fun to see their eyes, they just get so big, 'cause they're like, "Oh my fucking god, is that a full size fucking candy bar?" And I remember vividly, like, one of the kids, like, grabbing it and being like, "Thank you!" And then, like, running back down the driveway and literally screaming, like, full kid level screaming, "THEY HAVE FULL SIZE CANDY BAR!" Like, to his parents, just, like, freaking out.

[00:30:34] And you bet, within like 20 minutes, we, we were instantly the full size candy bar house. And, and because my mom kept up with it every year, every year, we like almost, if, if kids were gonna start anywhere in our neighborhood, they tended to start like at our house or in our little cul-de-sac area because they knew that we had the full sizes and that my mom would run out.

[00:30:58] Santiago: Yeah, so basically, your home was the complete opposite of mine.

[00:31:04] Saoirse: Oh, 100%. I mean, we didn't go all out with decor, but part of the reason we didn't was because we couldn't compete with our neighbor down the street. Like, no one could. So we all had, like, our basic decor, but then everybody kind of gave up because the guy on the corner down the street, like, owned a fucking Party City or some shit.

[00:31:26] Like, he, he, he owned one of those companies that does the fucking decor shit. Like, he, his, his cars, he would have, like, a car, he would have, like, a truck parked in front of his house on the street with one of those little, like, mobile, like, mini climbing wall things that you see at little, like, fairs, like little fairgrounds. Like he was like that person. So, so like he owned shit. So every year, I mean every fucking inch of his house had, had, he put shit on the roof. I don't know how, he had a two story fucking house and the motherfucker found a way to get a goddamn ladder to go up on the roof and he would have like fucking clowns on the roof and like shit in the palm trees and like, it was fucking, it was insane.

[00:32:17] Santiago: I gotta cut in here to say that I saw Killer Klowns From Outer Space when I was a kid, on TV. And it freaked me out. There's this one scene if you've never seen it....

[00:32:35] Saoirse: My dad loves that movie.

[00:32:36] Santiago: It's incredibly fake, right? But little Adventist kid me who just stumbled across it. I don't even think it was around Halloween. I just think it was randomly on you know, like over the air TV because we never had cable growing up. So, little kid me, I see the scene where this like, you know, tiny clown head is like coming up through the toilet, and I kid you not, for at least a month after that.

[00:33:05] Maybe not every day, but at least every other couple of times when I had, I had to use the, when I had to, when I had to take a shit... Maybe this is, maybe this is too much information, but I'm sitting on the toilet and I'm freaked out that a killer clown from outer space is gonna come up and attack me.

[00:33:27] Saoirse: Can we tell my dad this story? He's gonna lose his shit. 'Cause he loves, he loves this movie. This is like a classic horror sci-fi for him. Universal, um, Studios does like Halloween Horror Nights, right? They had a Killer Klowns from Outer Space house one year. It was pretty fun. Like, you would, like, you walked through and it was like, oh, oh, it was great. It's good stuff.

[00:33:50] Santiago: Nice. Yeah, but yeah, that's, you mentioned clowns. That's, that's right, my brain goes straight to that. Little kid me being freaked out. All right. Do you want to take this next? Do you want to take this next one?

[00:34:04] Saoirse: Sure.

[00:34:06] Saoirse (Narrating): I got to experience Halloween once through a nifty little Adventist loophole.

[00:34:13] Saoirse: We love those.

[00:34:14] Saoirse (Narrating): Every year in my Pathfinder club...

[00:34:18] Saoirse: Side note, this is so funny, just that the fact that this shit's called Pathfinder because we have a friend who's a fuckin nerd and plays Pathfinder, like, the D&D-esque game. It's so funny to me every time, like, he'll say Pathfinder, and you'll say Pathfinder, and I have to keep switching my brain's nerdness on and off to be like, "Which one are we talking about?"

[00:34:44] Santiago: Right, completely different things.

[00:34:46] Saoirse: Totally different. But, yeah, both called Pathfinder. Anyway. Um, so if any, if anyone looks at you weird when you talk about ex-Adventist Pathfinder shit, and they have, like, nerd vibes, that's why. They're talking about, like, a Dungeons and Dragons-esque game. Okay.

[00:35:05] Saoirse (Narrating): Every year in my Pathfinder club, we'd do a food drive for Thanksgiving food baskets.

[00:35:10] Saoirse: Oh, that's fun.

[00:35:11] Saoirse (Narrating): We'd go around the neighborhood dropping off bags and explaining what we were doing. Then about a week later, we'd go back to pick up any food people donated. One year, the day we went to hand out the bags happened to be on Halloween, October 31st. We were out in the late afternoon, not the evening, so we didn't come across any trick-or-treaters, but people were more than happy to give us some candy they had ready.

[00:35:38] Saoirse: Aw, sick.

[00:35:40] Saoirse (Narrating): My parents even let me keep the candy after so...

[00:35:43] Saoirse: Oh my god, are you fucking kidding me?

[00:35:46] Saoirse (Narrating): ...after sorting through it to make sure there were no demonic influences on the packaging. What does that mean? What is that even, what the fuck are, like...

[00:35:58] Santiago: Whatever you want it to mean.

[00:36:00] Saoirse: Is it like the M&M? Is the green M&M lady in her flat shoes instead of her heels, like, demonic according to Tucker Carlson shit? Like, what the fuck are they talking about?

[00:36:14] Santiago: It means whatever you want it to mean. There's people going around on social media right now saying Taylor Swift has satanic influences.

[00:36:24] Saoirse: Our lord and savior, Taylor Swift?

[00:36:27] Santiago: Okay, let's not go on that tangent.

[00:36:29] Saoirse: [Whispering] Our lord and savior, Taylor Swift. Okay, moving on. Um...

[00:36:38] Saoirse (Narrating): It was so much fun. There was no way to explain how fun getting free candy from all your neighbors is as a sheltered Adventist kid who doesn't usually get to have candy or fun.

[00:36:49] Saoirse: I mean, yeah man, just being a normal kid and getting free candy was the shit. So yeah, if you can't do anything fun, then yeah, that's mega the shit.

[00:36:59] Saoirse (Narrating): I can't even imagine how much more fun it would have been to dress up in a costume with a bunch of other kids running around, too. It's a crime that Halloween was stolen from us.

[00:37:07] Saoirse: It is, Halloween's the best. It's just, it's just fuckin pagan shit turned into free candy time. Like, bruh, it's so good.

[00:37:21] Santiago: Yeah. All right, and then we've got one last one. This one says:

[00:37:26] Santiago (Narrating): One year when I was little, probably between six and eight, instead of going trick-or-treating, my siblings and I sat around doing craft projects about why Halloween was bad.

[00:37:40] Saoirse: No.

[00:37:42] Santiago (Narrating): Especially that year, since it fell on Friday night.

[00:37:46] Santiago: Which, for all of the non-Adventists listening, Friday night means it's already Sabbath, so, absolutely...

[00:37:54] Saoirse: I was gonna say, on Friday the 13th? Like, that doesn't check out.

[00:38:00] Santiago: It's Halloween.

[00:38:02] Saoirse: I know, that's why I was like, the math isn't mathing. Like what? My, my brain, when you're like "Friday bad," I, I automatically think you mean Friday the 13th? Because 13 is the whole, you know, "Ooh, scary number," but also, uh, the number of our lord and savior Taylor Swift, so...

[00:38:22] Santiago: [Laughing] No, Friday night, as in every Friday night of your entire existence, is part of the Sabbath.

[00:38:31] Saoirse: Ah. So like when the sun goes down kind of thing?

[00:38:36] Santiago: Yeah, we've talked about this.

[00:38:38] Saoirse: I thought it was just Saturday.

[00:38:41] Santiago: Nope, 24 hour period from sundown Friday to... Alright, for everyone listening, can you just appreciate how not indoctrinated my partner was as a non-Adventist? She's like, "Wait, what, wait, what?" "It's twenty — Friday sundown?" [Laughing]

[00:39:00] Saoirse: "What?" 'Cause like, Sunday is holy or whatever in Catholicism, and it's just Sunday. So it's like, until that, until you get to midnight mass, no one gives two shits. Like, it's not Sunday yet until that clock says it's Sunday.

[00:39:18] Santiago: Well, you know, I found out the other day that apparently within some Mormon communities, apparently the more conservative Mormons. Sabbath observance for them is an actual thing, you know, they go to church on Sunday, but on Sunday some Mormons, not all of them, would actually also choose not to buy or sell. Which I found interesting, because I think most Christians in the United States didn't really care about buying or selling on Sunday, um, but apparently some Mormons did. So that was an interesting thing I found out.

[00:39:49] Saoirse: I mean, yeah, Christian Sunday brunch is a, is a huge thing.

[00:39:55] Santiago: Mmhmm.

[00:39:56] Saoirse: And that would count as, like, buying and selling, right? Like, going to a business?

[00:40:01] Santiago: Yep, going to a restaurant. It depended on how strict you were. I had an Adventist friend who thought there's nothing wrong with going out to eat Sabbath lunch with her family and so they did that. That was, when I heard that, I was like, "Wait, what?" "That's breaking the Sabbath."

[00:40:19] Saoirse: Yeah, 'cause it's like you're making other people work on that day, right? Okay, yeah. Yeah, Christians don't give two shits. They want their goddamn brunch. Those heathen assholes can cook them their fucking pancakes.

[00:40:34] Santiago: Yeah, anyway, before we got off on this tangent, I'm going to go back to the, I'm going to go back to the comment. So it's Friday night, Halloween happens to fall on a Friday night. So they're doing craft projects. So continuing:

[00:40:50] Santiago (Narrating): This was unprompted by our parents. It was really just the only thing we could think to do to occupy our time.

[00:40:58] Saoirse: That's so sad. That hurts my soul. I want to give these kids a hug.

[00:41:08] Santiago: Yeah, hey, if you wrote this comment and you're listening, like, give a hug to your...

[00:41:13] Saoirse: I will give you a fucking hug. Hit me the fuck up, bitch. I will give you the biggest virtual hug. Like, goddamn.

[00:41:21] Santiago: Yep give yourself a hug, we'll give you virtual hugs.

[00:41:24] Saoirse: Get some therapy. You know, we love therapists.

[00:41:30] Santiago: Yes, absolutely.

[00:41:32] Santiago (Narrating): If I remember correctly, we even ended up taping some of our projects to the front door. This was such a depressing Halloween.

[00:41:43] Santiago: And, yeah, you made arts and crafts to say why Halloween is bad and then you taped it to your door. I'm wondering if that was your idea or if that was the parents' idea at this point.

[00:41:55] Saoirse: To tape it to the door?

[00:41:57] Santiago: Yeah, I don't know.

[00:41:59] Saoirse: I mean, they're saying the arts and crafts is their idea, so I almost wonder if they were, yeah, I don't know, maybe it could have been the parents idea, be like, "Wow, good job!" "Now go show all the heathens your godly work."

[00:42:12] Santiago: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, continuing:

[00:42:16] Santiago (Narrating): When I was a freshman in academy, our school held a food drive. Some of the kids in my class decided it would be fun to go trick-or-treating for food instead of candy. That was my first time going trick-or-treating, and it was a lot of fun. Our class won the contest for which class could collect the most food, and we were given a lot of candy, too.

[00:42:41] Saoirse: So they kind of did what, like, the earlier one did. They found the loophole.

[00:42:46] Santiago: Yeah, so actually, that's, that's kind of a theme, especially for people who go back...

[00:42:50] Saoirse: It's not trick-or-treating if you're collecting food donations.

[00:42:54] Santiago: Yeah, I mean, that's basically a recurring theme that you'll find if you listen to enough of these episodes and up to the episodes that Abby and Ami originally did. Growing up Adventist sometimes was a lot about finding loopholes.

[00:43:09] Saoirse: So basically, you need to make sure your lawyer is ex-Adventist. If you need loopholes, get an ex-Adventist lawyer.

[00:43:20] Santiago: Yeah, sounds about right. And then I just want to throw this in, it's not a full on comment I'm going to read, but I, this just made my day when I saw it. Someone on the ex-Adventist subreddit got a job at a Spirit Halloween this year.

[00:43:35] Saoirse: Aw, fuck yeah!

[00:43:38] Santiago: I love that for them. Yeah, they wrote:

[00:43:43] Santiago (Narrating): I get to be surrounded by forbidden things I never got to experience, and I'm loving it.

[00:43:50] Santiago: And we love that for you. So yeah, that's basically what we had to share about our Halloween experiences. Um, I don't know if there's anything else you wanted to end with for this part of the show.

[00:44:02] Saoirse: No, but we should definitely end because our daughter is crying on the other side of the door.

[00:44:07] Santiago: Okay.

[00:44:08] Saoirse: I can just hear... [Whimpers]

[00:44:09] Santiago: Just, just to clarify for everyone listening, not a human child, but our dog.

[00:44:18] Saoirse: We don't have humans in this household, we just have dog children. So, we gotta go take care of her. 'Cause she's just like, "Y'all motherfuckers left me alone." 'Cause we are in closets. Let me emphasize closet, this motherfucker put me back in the fucking closet. Closed door. We closed the doors. He's, he's in one closet. I'm in another closet. And our dog is just crying, like, "Why the fuck are you two in closets, not including me?" If she was in one of them, she probably wouldn't give a shit. But she's like, "You left me out." "Let me in!"

[00:45:00] Santiago: Normally, it's just me in the closet, so now she's confused. So yeah on that note, we're gonna turn it over to Abby and Ami's episode on Halloween. Happy Halloween everyone.

[00:45:13] Saoirse: Happy Halloween!

[Transcripts not available for Abby and Ami's episode due to audio quality and number of speakers]

Haystacks & Hell Outro

[01:06:12] Santiago: Thanks for listening. If you have a story to share about your Adventist or fundamentalist experience, we'd love to hear it. You can submit stories on our website at — that's H E L L . B I O, or leave us a voicemail at 301-750-8648 and we might feature it in a future episode. Thanks to Abby and Ami for their original podcast audio, and thanks again for listening. We'll see you on the next one!

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