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OK I gotta ask and no offense to anyone what is the big deal with pirates not necessarily of the carribean but in general. In my opinion and just my opinion they arent scary and have nothing to do with Halloween. (Johnny Depp) I have always found pirates to be more comedic than scary except in one film which was the fog with jaime lee curtis. This is just a curiosity post and all im wondering is what the big obsession is (Johnny Depp)
 

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Well, I'm no expert, but the real life of pirates and the Hollywood version of pirates are two different things. The Hollywood version is that of swashbuckling, drinking and buried treasure. It is a very romanticized image. It's just high adventure, and people like that.
Real pirate life was not so glamorous. Disease constantly threatened the pirate, and treasure consisted of more than gold: silk, spice and other less glamorous goods were just as coveted by the pirate as gold was. If Hollywood made accurate pirate movies, I think the infatuation with the pirate life would be much, much less.
But, like I said, I'm no expert. Just a theory to your question.
 

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kakos
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I noticed how you snuck in Johnny Depp's name a few times, so my question is are you wondering also what the obsession with him is as well?

I think a big obsession with pirates is also the rebellion part, they don't follow rules made by society.
 
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People have been fascinated by pirates LONG BEFORE (Johnny Depp) for a lot of reasons, many of which have already been mentioned in this thread. Rebellion, riches, romance, freedom, the mystique of the 'good bad guy' (similar to the fascination with the Mafia), and so on. Beyond that, you may as well ask the question for any interest: What's the obsession with Cowboys? Plumbing? Tractors?
As for pirates and Halloween, well... Pirates have as much to do with Halloween as cops, mafia goons, fairy princesses, burglars, cowboys, indians and superheroes. That is, nothing and everything, because each of those costumes and many others are seen every year on my front porch alone, not to mention around the country.
How many pictures can you find over the long history of Halloween trick or treating in America where at least ONE of the kids pictured is NOT dressed like a pirate? The imagery has been a part of the Halloween landscape in this country for generations.
For the record, there are a number of haunts which have been using a pirate theme for decades, again, LONG BEFORE the current Disney-driven cool movie trend.
Also, so much of pirate iconography involves skulls and skeletons; those are SURELY Halloween-appropriate. Whether it's dressed as a cowboy, a Roman centurion or a pirate, a ToT-threatening skeleton on your porch or behind your bushes is perfectly Halloween.
It's about fantasy.
Certainly the current crush of pirate themed haunts has everything to do with the hugely popular Pirates films; no surprise there.
But that's been a fairly traditional aspect of Halloween for decades.
I recall a number of chest-bursting, Alien-blasting haunts in SoCal after the release of Aliens. I recall the same phenomenon occuring after Jaws, and what in hell do sharks have to do with Halloween?
Nothing and everything, because it's all about the celebration of personal fantasy.
I don't feel a need to defend Pirates or any particular theme, just defending
the idea of themes in general. Because if you think about it...
If one really stripped things down, one could argue that unless we observe the exact rituals and traditions of Samhain, NOTHING we do/decorate/celebrate has anything to do with Halloween.
But that would be absurd because really, on Halloween, we are rebelling against the notion of our own deaths, enjoying ourselves and each other while remembering life is short but wonderful, and scouring for treats and treasures.
Sounds Piratey enough for me.

Yaarrgh!


Mike C.
 

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Valkyrie Of Halloween
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Awesome MikeC!

I have been doing my backyard haunt for 6 years now and the hubby has wanted Pirate Skeletons since the first. So last year we went with a Pirate them for part of the lawn and party.

The reason the movie had anything to do with it was there was a plethora of piratey goods available! Plain and simple. Might as well take advantage, and it is much easier to plan for something when you have lots of items at hand.

I am doing the theme again this year mainly because I still had many ideas that I didn't get to do. The fact that there is another movie only helps the cause! ;)

I'm already planning a Vampire theme for '08 and will more than likely revisit my previous Witch theme in '09. Plus having a theme helps add to that particular section of my yard.
^S^
Yo Ho Yo Ho a Halloween Life For Me!
 

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Well said Mike. When you think about it, monsters, witches, skeletons, most likely were not originally part of Halloween either, but were added to the holiday as it evolved into less of a religious holiday and into more of a secular holiday.

My haunts used to be about ghosts and ghouls, but with the popularity of pirates, mine display just sort of gravitated in that direction. Not sure why, but I just had an idea to make a pirate ship one year.

Now I'm hooked.

My current haunt does have a lot of POTC reference in it, and that is partly because that is what's "hip" right now, and also because I'm a big Disney fan. But I'm guessing as the movie's popularity dies down, my POTC reference will probably change also.
 

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Also I believe that many of us, in the back of our heads, our aiming to recapture some of the fun of the great Disneyland/World twosome- the original POTC ride and The Haunted Mansion.

In my mind at least the two go hand-in-hand and having spooks and pirates together seem perfectly natural. :)
 

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See, personally, I don't get the apparant fascination some have with blood and gore either. This isn't scary, just the aftermath of what was scary.

Thing is, though, the beauty of Halloween is I, you, anyone does not HAVE to understand it. The reason Halloween is the only holiday worthwhile is that it has one underlying theme, and one only. Fun.

That's it, that's all.

What do you ask your kids (if you have them)? "What do you want to be?" Not "what among these Halloween approved themes would you like to be"? The Sky's the limit, for one night, you can be anything. It's the same with us haunters, for a season, we can make our yards anything we choose.
 

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It's the popular thing now. Consider - if the recent movies had been stupid (like Cutthroat Island), pirates wouldn't be on everyone's mind (and in everyone's front yard).

Remember when Jurassic Park came out? You couldn't get away from dinosaurs - they were everywhere - and still are to a fair degree.

I figure it's mostly a phase. As has been said, pirates translate very well into Halloweendom. The Depp movies made pirates a little bit scary and attainable to haunters. I feel like more of a traditionalist, so things like Michael Myers and skeletons (even pirate skeletons) and witches have more of a Halloween draw than movie pirates.

Just my $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great responses folks Just thought id stir up some stuff hereI didnt want to offfend anyone at all just wondering what the big deal was with pirates. Just my two cents as someone said before I just dont think pirates are very scary and im not into blood and gore eitherIm more into classic themes such as vampires witches and the like also. All I was wanting was opinions and got em. Thats what we need as a community opinions and that is what we are a community.

Thank you all for your wonderful posts
 

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Reaper Queen
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I like UnOrthodOx's answer, it is all about fun, and you can be any one or any thing you want to be. I also do more of the ghost, witch, skelly thing, but am thinking something different for 08, and one of the things is a pirate theme. I think the with pirates also is that kids love pirates, and the TOTers are kids, and alot of the house haunts, and like when I go to the camp ground, are to enertain the kids. As for the (Johnny Depp) obsession, as Captain Jack, yumm!!LOL!!
 

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The challenge

In addition to the great points, tradition, popular and availability, the couple years I went for a pirate theme there was the sense of a challenge. Building a recognizable pirate ship and animating skeletons, rafts, chests, etc was part of the fun. For me the best part was a spouting whale the kids could play in. (Of course this was in AZ and felt good, not chilling).

A final point is they're a little scary, but not Really scary unless you're doing a more historically accurate depiction. I like the kids to jump but not going for the screaming and crying stage. (Did that when I was younger, now that I have kids of my own I like the FUN part of being scared).
 

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Yeah I was thinking about making my entire backyard a pirate theme for my haunt.... I would have a couple of pirates hanging from a tree with a "ye be warned" sign next to them along with a mast up ahead. As the guests come closer to the right is the Cabin of a pirate ship (which would actually be built on my deck, and they would walk through) and on top would be a corpsed bucky at the steering wheel.

Anyway after I became realistic I said screw this and stuck to my original theme, which is both scarier and better. It would still definetely be cool, but I like making small children cry.
 

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As others have said. It's all about fantasy! I've wanted to be a pirate ever since my first ride at POTC some (ahem) 30 years ago. Now I get to live out my fantasy and entertain oodles of kids at the same time. And believe me plenty of them think pirates are very scary indeed. For kids halloween is about being whatever you want to be! Last year our household costumes consisted of three pirates and one very happy red power ranger. My six year old had been talking about being a red power ranger for months preceeding Halloween and was thoroughly stoked when I brought home his costume. Here it is May and he has already decided that this year he will be the blue ranger. As much fun as it would be if we all did pirates, it's not about what I want, therefore a blue ranger he shall be. What an awesome holiday! You get to be whatever you want and people give you stuff! For me it's not about the "scare" it's about leaving an impression. I know that the kids I see now will someday be telling their grandkids about the "Pirate House" that they used to go to on halloween. And maybe, If I'm really lucky, they will be saying this as they take those grandkids around their very own pirate haunt...

DB
 

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People like pirates. Pirates fit the holiday. A character that easily fits in with the idea of looting and pillaging your neighborhood for candy. Plus pirates are on the mainstream conciousness. Avast me hartys there be kraapy pirate movies about, and they be rated arr!!!


Or much more likely, it has to do with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster
 

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See, personally, I don't get the apparant fascination some have with blood and gore either. This isn't scary, just the aftermath of what was scary.

Thing is, though, the beauty of Halloween is I, you, anyone does not HAVE to understand it. The reason Halloween is the only holiday worthwhile is that it has one underlying theme, and one only. Fun.

That's it, that's all.

What do you ask your kids (if you have them)? "What do you want to be?" Not "what among these Halloween approved themes would you like to be"? The Sky's the limit, for one night, you can be anything. It's the same with us haunters, for a season, we can make our yards anything we choose.
AAAAAAAMENNNN!
 

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When we recently attended Starfest/Horrorfest in Denver there were pirates coming out the wazoo! Because we spent so many years at conventions that were overrun by Klingons (including us!) the large number of pirates seemed annoying and too tame (although a few had great costumes and one guy could have been Johnny Depp). Of course the trends follow whatever is popular at the time - as defined by Hollywood. Klingons are "out" and pirates are "in". I have to say though, the pirate-skeleton look is very cool.

I guess it is just that if something is popular but you aren't crazy about it, it just seems like too much. Like the radio playing the same song over and over and over...
 
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