10 Reasons Why Halloween is the Best Holiday EVERby Meg Elison on Oct, 21 2012
10. Costumes! Some of them are slutty (as my friend Arielle mentioned). Some of them are funny, some are detailed and all-out and badass, and some are ironic or DIY or just silly. They’re a way to get out of yourself and pretend for a little while to be someone or something that you’re not. It’s fun to choose something that might scare people… but it’s more fun to pick something that scares YOU.
9. Movies! This is the best time of year for spooky, scary, or weird movies. My friend Denise wrote this list. But there’s so much more! The Addams Family, Practical Magic, Sleepy Hollow, Once Bitten, Ghostbusters, Shaun of the Dead… not to mention literal thousands of zombie movies. Cuddle up with friends or more than friends and unwind after those killer Cal midterms.
8. Scary stories! Author Neil Gaiman created a new holiday tradition in 2o10 called All Hallow’s Read. The idea is that the traditional gift for Halloween should be a scary book. This is a fantastic idea – pass on your favorite scary book to a friend, or buy a bunch of thrift-store Goosebumps and hand them out (WITH candy, don’t be dumb) to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. If you don’t have a favorite, go buy a copy of House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski. Read it first, with the lights on and preferably not alone. This is the scariest thing I have ever experienced, hands down. Until I gave my copy away, I kept it in the freezer. When you’re terrified of looking at it, pass it on.
7. Alcohol! Once an individual is of legal drinking age, he or she is inducted into the secret adult society called “Making the Holidays Bearable or Possibly Awesome.” Bearable is when you can have a glass of wine during family table talk on Thanksgiving. AWESOME is trick or treating among your friends for shots at every house. Halloween happens on a whole new level when you can drink a bit and go out dancing. Imbibe responsibly, and have a great time!
6. Decorations! Every year, they get creepier, more realistic, and better! I’ve been to parties where everything was dollar-store cheap, and they still had skeletal hand-stemmed wine glasses and creepy tattered curtains made out of cut strips of black garbage bags. It’s super easy to make a space creepy and haunted-looking, and it sets the mood for any gathering, even if it’s only movie night. Stretch out those cotton cobwebs and hang those paper bats! Take a cue from the Campanile!
5. Tricks! Everyone says “Trick or Treat,” but not many people engage in fun tricks for Halloween. Set up a huge box and jump out of it screaming. Sneak an eyeball into someone’s coffee. Play some old-fashioned ding-dong-ditch. Make a batch of caramel onions. Stop a stranger on campus at night and tell them you thought you saw the Slenderman. Hang pictures of Nicholas Cage in the shower for your roommates to find.
4. No pressure! It’s a major holiday, but nobody expects you to buy gifts, go to church, make a statement, or put up with a gaggle of cousins and nephews. It’s also not a holiday where every older member of your family will ask you what you are doing with your life, or when you’re going to get married and have kids. You are expected to look ridiculous, avoid your family, and disappear into the night to do mischief. Enjoy it now, because November is running us down.
3. Pumpkins! A gorgeous and delicious new-world squash, these things fairly define the Halloween season. From their color to their extreme carve-ability, these strange orange orbs are one of the best parts of the season. Even if you only taste it in a latte, pumpkin is delicious. And the only thing more fun than carving a pumpkin is smashing it when Halloween is over. Just ask Billy Corgan.
2. The dead! Every culture has a different tradition, but for many people Halloween/Dia de los Muertos/Samhain is a time to honor the beloved dead, and to celebrate the fact that life is short. Those ghosts people see and feel aren’t just part of the holiday; for some people they are the representation of those who have gone before. One of the traditions of this time of year is that it is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, and that they can be contacted, appeased, or even glimpsed during this festival.
1. Treats! Candy candy CANDY! Ok, we’ve all grown up, but candy is still the best. Whether you buy Green & Black’s organic or the giant bag of Reese’s, this is the time of year to enjoy it and share it with friends. Get some and hand it out on campus, or wait for that timid knock on the door, then jump out and reward their shrieks with a handful of delicious dark chocolate lovelies. Better yet, wait until November 1stwhen Halloween candy goes on sale, take your pillowcase, and tell the cashier, “Trick or Treat.”