Aside from the creepy, almost pedophilic combination of the obscene and the preteen—best demonstrated by the Miley Cyrus schizophrenic sexed-out Chuck E. Cheese body-suit costume—the adults co-opting Halloween exhibit cognitive dissonance. They obsess over sex but exhibit a profound annoyance over its bounty. Their compulsion to copulate is matched only by their homicidal drive to forestall the result of copulation. Adults stuck in adolescence can’t stand to be upstaged by the genuine article.

So elders in charge of the other 364 nights reclaim this one for their selfish selves. They won’t be answering the door even if you can see them moving around with the lights out—they’re too busy getting gussied up for the big night to be troubled with handing out miniature Clark bars.

This grown-up encroachment upon what is supposed to be a kids’ night is perfectly in keeping with the times. Parents, slaves to their own childish phobias, have put childhood on lockdown. Parentally-monitored indoor “play dates,” kids armored up for bicycle rides like Evel Knieval jumping the Grand Canyon, and medication for any kid who dares to act too much like a kid all exemplify the ways adults have party-crashed childhood. Do they have to ruin Halloween too?