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In today’s pre-fab world of factory-made costumes and punch-’n’-go jack-o’-lantern templates, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Halloween.

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To the ancient Celts, of course, Samhain was a very special time—it was the time when the entire village would judge you based on the amount of thought and creativity you put into your costume and Halloween decorations. (Those foolish enough to “just pick something up at Target” were sure to find themselves and their livestock chosen as wicker-man “honorees” in the following year’s spring fertility festival.)

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Today, of course, we don’t burn unimaginative folk alive and sprinkle the fields with their ashes; we simply shun them for the rest of the year. From the looks of the photos he sent in, however, Salt Lake City reader Derek Meik will require no shunning this year. His “Cemetery of Shame”—a spooky collection of political headstones constructed using styrofoam, spray paint, a Dremel tool and imagination—would be the envy of any neighborhood and reminds us why Halloween truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

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