In a time of Ebola and ISIS, school shootings, race riots and global warming, do we really need Halloween to increase the world’s quotient of fear?

That’s one way of looking at the arrival of another All Hallow’s Eve, but we have a different view. Halloween isn’t really about terror, but our ability to laugh at life’s darkness. We need comic relief now more than ever, which is why Halloween’s presence on the calendar is especially welcome this year.

A Friday Halloween is a special gift, relieving parents of the urgent need to nudge sugar-energized trick-or-treaters to bed for school the next day. It’s a nice windfall, although Friday nights in south Louisiana during the autumn mean high school football, too.

Balancing the demands of the gridiron with trick-or-treating hours will be a challenge, we know, but south Louisiana residents have long experience when it comes to juggling several varieties of fun at once. We trust that our friends and neighbors are up to the job.

Halloween lightens the heart in other ways in south Louisiana this year. October is ending, marking the home stretch in hurricane season. The state’s been lucky on that score in 2014, escaping major storm activity so far.

The arrival of November, typically a quiet time for hurricanes, increases the hope that we’ll be free of big storms the rest of the year.

Halloween offers a much-needed respite from political season this year, and who doesn’t need a break from the campaign noise about now? We know, of course, that politics will work its way into tonight’s Halloween frivolity to some degree. Rubber masks mocking the politician du jour, whether it’s President Barack Obama or Sarah Palin, have long been a tradition of the holiday.

The freedom to poke fun at those in power — and those who aspire to power — is a sign of a healthy democracy, and we look forward to that kind of tomfoolery each Oct. 31.

We know, too, that Halloween begins the especially intense period of caloric indulgence that takes us through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve — an eat fest that tapers off, if only briefly, on Jan. 1, that solemn day of resolutions to be good. We applaud dietary restraint, although we realize, in south Louisiana, that temptation looms especially large.

We wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween, and we remind motorists to be cautious as streets fill with trick-or-treaters. Halloween should be an escape from tragedy, not an occasion for it.