Don’t @ me.
No gifts. No cards. No sit-down meals. Just creepy decor and Thriller dancing as far as the eye can see. Candy—that’s not only individually wrapped, but also ISN’T shaped like hearts. Terrifying movies and television that are actually more fun if you watch them alone. Halloween is a single person’s holiday if I’ve ever seen one, and I certainly hope you’ll celebrate as such.
I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. My decorations go up September 1st and come down immediately prior to the assembly of my Christmas tree. Certain pieces of Halloween decor stay up all year, for example my candelabra, pictured left.
Most major holidays, particularly the ones from here through February which is a very long time actually, are things couples get to enjoy, and singles have to “survive.” That is, quite frankly, bullshit. Halloween isn’t here for your cutesy displays of seasonally obligatory affection, it instead wants to cover you in fake blood and wound makeup for the perfect October Tinder pic.
The dark and sinister tones of the holiday are what allow it to be a friend to the single, I believe. There’s rarely room for romance in a graveyard. Thus the pressure of needing to be partnered is, almost by default, lifted, and single people can feel like normals for a goddamn change, breathing in the free, fog-machined air.
And I know what you’re thinking—what about couples costumes?! But I ask you, have you ever seen a couple’s costume that looked equally participatory? He’s either been dragged into this on the promise of sexual favors or she’s going along with it because it makes her partner happy even though she doesn’t understand the reference. “I’m the Dragon Mother!” Or some such shit.
And haunted houses of course, where one always needs an escort. I have a love-hate relationship with them. What I want them to be is Sleep No More-esque, filtered in mystery and wonder and macabre, but instead what they are is a competition between hourly waged high school teens to see who can make people pee the fastest. Pass.
What I’m getting at is that you don’t need other people to make your ideal Halloween a reality. Good god people look at my living room. To further illuminate, my costume this year requires at least seven people to be considered authentic, but I’m flying solo because I just want to be Mrs. White, with the rope, in the terribly cheap wig. Halloween lets you do and be whatever and whoever you want, permission and partnership never required.
And the films! Oh blissful twisted cinema. Halloween films are half the reason to even acknowledge the holiday. Here are my top five film suggestions for single people. If you’re married I don’t give a shit what you watch.
- Clue: As noted above, this is one of my favorite films of all time, much less this time of year. Scary while funny is a lost art, one that’s been replaced with people who are stoned, eating hot Cheetos, and getting very predictably murdered. The music and set are so spot-on they’re almost characters themselves.
- The Labyrinth: Not often thought of as a Halloween film, though with this many goblins I have no idea why, the Labyrinth is a spectacular visual delight and quest-saga, and love themes are between a teenage girl and a grown man and we pretend they aren’t happening. The set glitters. I repeat: The set glitters.
- Hocus Pocus: Sistahs!
- Beetlejuice: Arguably the definitive Halloween movie apart from #5, you’ll notice that safe-scary has been a theme thus far. These are the kinds of movies that are just about kicking back with a pumpkin beer and caramel apple lollipop and embracing the ghoulishness of the season.
- Scream: Everyone kills their significant other, what else do you want from me?
This is the holiday of imagination, of wonder, of the dark and murderous feelings inside of us not only seeing the light of day, but adding to the overall enthusiasm of the season. Your rage at the opposite sex is an asset to you this month, my dear.
So far this Halloween season I have covered my home in macabre, baked pumpkin cookies, watched half of my film list, distributed candy and spider rings to my colleagues, purchased my entire costume on Amazon, and won Hocus Pocus trivia. And I’m just gettin warmed up.
There is nothing about Halloween that makes single people feel like they’re missing something, and as holidays go that is a rare quality indeed. What if we like decorating and themed music and treats and getting into the—no pun intended—spirit? When are we to celebrate where we, as singles, are not just enough, but plenty? Welcome to Halloween season, my sisters, away from the pressures and imposed shortcomings and cruel comparisons and endless, fruitless swiping. It is Halloween, be haunted no more.