Credit: GG Illustrator Dorota Dziki (@drawing_dorota)

An ode to Halloween

By Rachel Campbell

 2020’s been a horror show in itself, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to miss the Halloween that could have been.

I’ve always been a fan of Halloween. Growing up, I had an abundance of creative costumes courtesy of my mum: from Willy Wonka to Little Bo Creep, from Taylor Swift to a pumpkin. My sister was once The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, with a pointy hat, cardboard box body and fluffy tail. I have to admit though, as you get older and the responsibility of finding a costume and plans on 31 October become your own, it can seem more hassle than it’s worth.

Yet, as coronavirus restrictions now look as though they’re here to stay for the foreseeable, I do lament the celebrations we might have otherwise had. 

I can’t help but think I didn’t truly appreciate standing in the rain for two hours outside Shimmy beside Harry Potter and Hugh Hefner while I had the chance. Yes, we could barely move without getting caught in someone’s angel wings or knocking off someone’s alien boppers. Yes, the drinks were up in price and low in quantity, for all the hassle of pushing your way past Spiderman and Pennywise to get to the bar. Yet, as I sit here thinking about how reading week won’t coincide with hastily messaging friends to borrow devil horns and a tail, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss it.

It’s true that our bank accounts will thank us for not forking out for an entry ticket or a costume we’ll only wear once. DIY-ing a costume from what you already have is great in theory, until you’re sat taping Tinder logos to a t-shirt while your friends text you from the queue outside SWG3. But I for one would happily deal with all that again for the stories and memories one only gets on such an occasion.

How sad it is to think that freshers this year won’t experience seeing their friend get off with a boy in a cheerleading skirt while The Monster Mash serenades them. What more formative experience is there than avoiding someone in the library after drunkenly winching them when they were dressed as Dracula? Halloween at 18 is character building; wiping glitter off your face and fake cobwebs off your shoes, whilst looking after Edward Scissorhands, who took it too far that night. It’s a right of passage. 

I can’t fully explain why I hold Halloween in a higher regard than a normal night out, other than everyone seems to have completely surrendered to the ridiculousness of it all by the time they make it out. Whether you’ve gone all out in a latex superhero suit or thrown on a black dress and cat ears; everyone seems to be bolder under their masks and new personas – consciously or otherwise – and where your average club night concern may be looking your best, the chance of that was long gone when you broke out the Breaking Bad hazmat suit. I just love the idea that everyone stops caring so much and yields to the forces of The Time Warp

I’ll miss the inverted game of Where’s Wally, where avoiding red striped hats and round glasses is the true challenge (Why is that costume so popular?). Oh, the Carole Baskin/Tiger King combos that could’ve been. I know it’s a hassle, and expensive, and you’d probably have a lecture the next morning anyway, but Halloween nights out can give you some of the best memories from uni. Next year, (fingers crossed) I know I will yet again be pestering my friends to get out their witch hats and clown noses and go out for Halloween. 


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