How To Celebrate Halloween If You Hate Parties

I loved Halloween as a kid, but as an adult I never seem to have any luck with it. How do you celebrate Halloween if you don't like parties? Most of the Halloween parties I've gone to have been, well, like any other party. There's nothing about them that seems special, apart from wearing a costume; nor is there that sense of decadent spookiness that I loved as a kid. Now that I'm an adult, I can't trick-or-treat without getting yelled at by the neighbors (I mean, I've never tried this, but I assume that's what happens), and eating candy for dinner is less appealing (I mean, I'll do it, but give me a side salad or something to go with it).

Truth be told, I'm an ambivert, not an introvert (she said while using a very special whisper). I feel introverted sometimes and extroverted other times. But Halloween — and New Year's, and definitely St. Patrick's Day, and my own frickin' birthday, and anything else where the appeal for adults seems to come down to booze — brings out the introverted side of me. And like many introverted girls, even though I'm Wednesday Addams incarnate, I kind of want to spend the holiday by myself.

Here are some ideas if you love Halloween, but hate seeing your friends barf orange cocktails all over their dumb pun costumes.

1. Go on a Tour of a Haunted Place

This can be a tour of a local building with a long history — for instance, if you live near New York City, these people will give you a ghost hunting tour of Grand Central Station. It can even be a hike — there really are several trails that claim ghosts.

2. Make Something Gross-Awesome

Halloween is an excuse to make frankenfood. Have you even been on Pinterest this month? Look at this! Or this! This is an amazing idea! Make a Carrie cake or a tentacle pot pie! And then eat it yourself.

3. Go Carnivorous Plant Picking

Why get a pumpkin when you can have a pitcher plant? Go to your local plant store and pick out anything that looks like it could be Audrey II.

4. Seek Out a Spooky Specialty Book Seller...

Somehow, even with the prevalence of online shopping, a few specialty book sellers remain. These stores sell books within a single genre — for instance, horror, sci-fi or mystery books. Find one of these near you — like The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, Borderlands Books in San Francisco, or Centuries & Sleuths in Chicago — and search for something scary enough to keep you up all night.

5. ...And Read by Firelight

Either a fireplace, a fire pit (bring a jacket and s'mores), or by candlelight (with an appropriately seasonal scent).

6. Go to a Scary Midnight Movie

Yes, you'll be surrounded by people, but you don't have to talk to them besides screaming at the appropriate moments (or yelling "Asshole!" if you happen to be seeing Rocky Horror).

7. Or Watch a Scary Movie in Your PJs

Because this is the classic introverted way to celebrate the holiday, and you and your cat will love it.

8. Buy "Witch" Supplies...

Because there definitely is a shop in your neighborhood that sells smudge sticks and spellbooks and crystals and tarot cards and now you have an excuse to buy that stuff.

9. ...And Have a Seance

Want to not be a total hermit this Halloween, even if you choose to stay indoors? Invite a few friends (or one, or whatever amount makes you comfortable) over to pre-game with pumpkin beers and an Ouija board before sending them on their extroverted way.

10. Make a Halloween Playlist

Because everything you do can be festive if it's to the "Monster Mash."

11. Go to a Haunted House

You know, a fake one, with jump scares and stuff. Though, I went to a haunted house last year and my introvert boyfriend hated it because he knew the people in it. So make sure that you, as an introvert, do not know lots of struggling actors before you decide to go down this route.

12. Give Yourself a Spooky Manicure

Just basic orange and black if you're like me and have zero dexterity, or something a bit more complex.

13. Make an Insane Halloween Cocktail Just For You

This is the evil twin of the Frankenfood idea. Because it's not drinking alone if there are ghosts all around you. Here are some ideas.

Images: Cristian Iohan Ştefănescu /Flickr, Giphy (13)