It’s that time of year again. It’s Halloween. Perhaps the most bizarre of all the strange festivities, each year I moan for the entirety of October, lamenting about how capitalism is abusing popular culture to rip us all off. You won’t catch me paying £16 for a Halloween night at Egg which is undoubtedly just going to be a normal night at Egg with more makeup. I won’t waste hours foraging around for a passable costume. In fact, i’ll laugh as friends churn out £12.50 for a double vodka red bull and take out early mortgages for the triple-price Uber home. How ridiculous, I scoff, that we still senselessly buy into this giant corporate scam.
Yet, come Halloween weekend, here I am. Fake blood dripping down my neck, witches hat lopsided on my head, dignity gone. I sigh at myself in the mirror, now adorned with plastic cobwebs and pumpkin fairy lights. My disappointment comes less from the fact that I caved to the heavy weight of capitalism yet again, but more from the fact that I am, undeniably and categorically, enjoying myself. And really, how can you not?
Is there anything more joyous than seeing a group of students bumping into each other repeatedly because they cut the eye holes in their bedsheet ghost costumes too high to actually see out of? Or seeing a group coming home from their halloween bash when they’ve sweated off all of their £2 face-paint and now look scarier than when they started out? Halloween means a free pass to choose a group dress code which is essentially to see who can wear the fewest clothes without actually being naked. It means experiencing the iconic canteen pre-drinks where everyone stumbles in wearing an outfit they’ve cobbled together out of old clothes and whatever they could buy for less than a fiver at Co-op. For some of us, Halloween then means a panicked attempt to locate your friend when she misses the aforementioned pre-drinks because her fake blood was dripping so far down her top that she had to lie on the floor for 45 minutes to stop it travelling any further. This mildly disturbing holiday really does give you a free pass to be whoever and whatever you want, to truly escape your former self. For example if you play your cards right on the costume front, when people ask if you were the one who got banned from the club for persistently dancing on the tables, you can just deny it. They’ll never know.
So far I have stained at least 3 jackets with bright red fake blood and spent an eye-watering sum of money on ripoff ‘Halloween special’ night out tickets, and you know what? I just don’t care. I squeezed into a PVC catsuit and squeaked all night, sweaty and unable to achieve full movement of limbs, and I unabashedly loved every second. I’m not sure how many trick or treaters will trek up to the sixth floor of my uni halls and knock on my door, but should they show that level of commitment, I will welcome them with open arms and bucketloads of Celebrations. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is a phase. On the 1st November I will check my bank balance and shamefully look around at the fancy dress strewn around my room, abandoned for another year, and I will loathe myself. I will return to scorning, I will return to lamenting.
But for this weekend, I fucking love Halloween.