What’s the first thing to come to mind when you think about Halloween?

Without a doubt, images of pumpkins and candy and happy trick or treaters flow freely upon the first mention of this classic October 31st holiday, and with good reason – come the end of the month, you can’t walk three feet in any direction without tripping over half a dozen of any or all of the above, which is fine, don’t get me wrong. I mean, if there’s one thing kids like better than getting to dress up as their favorite superheroes and cartoon characters, it’s getting to dress up as their favorite superheroes and cartoon characters and then also being given candy for their troubles! Factor in a few jack ‘o lanterns because, well, who doesn’t like carving jack ‘o lanterns, and it’s easy to understand why these icons have become so prominent for All Hallows Eve.

But while sweets and scary pumpkins are certainly plentiful on this day, it’s important that we don’t let their commercial influence overshadow the real meaning of Halloween. Amid all of the playful costumes and goofy pumpkins, delicious, tooth-rotting treats and spectacular spooks, we must be certain to pay special tribute to always remember what Halloween is really all about … witchcraft.

Behind all of the glamour and glory of modern day Halloween, it’s easy to lose sight of the cauldrons and pointy hats and wart-covered nostrils, but to do so also makes light of a rich history that witch covens have celebrated for thousands of years. Long before a stay-at-home mom, destined to be wild and free if not but for a single night, paired her slinky, black dress that she dare not wear out in public anymore with a common broom to become a moderately sexy, middle-aged witch for Halloween night, men and women from around the world gathered day in and day out around golden campfires and large, non-descript black pots to eat, drink, and share stories about their favorite black cats.

It was a beautiful thing.

Sadly, however, today the whimsical wonders of witchcraft have been cast aside by most modern day citizens, opting to spend All Hallows Eve dashing from house to house in search of sweets and treats instead of practicing spells or gathering the herbs necessary to make a potion that could turn their siblings into frogs. The true magic of Halloween has been cast aside in favor of blatant consumerism where fun comes in the size of a mini candy bar in place of a handful of worms; where mystery and mischief come in the form of pranks and toilet paper in place of spooky tales and rats’ tails. And really, when was the last time you saw anybody fly to work on a broom anymore?

Now I don’t want to knock a little chocolate during Halloween and I certainly would never mean to discourage the act of women dressing up as scantily-clad versions of, well, anything, so in that spirit I’d like to ask that simply put, as you’re out running about on the 31st of October, proudly wearing Superman’s cape or even far less if you’re of age and of the feminine persuasion, take a moment out of your fantastic, candy-and-or-sex gathering evening to stop and think about witchcraft and what it means to you. It may seem like nothing more than theatrics or cheap parlor tricks on this, the spookiest night of the year, but really, if the pointy-toed boot was on the other foot, you’d like everybody else to believe your crazy stories, now wouldn’t you?