It astonishes me that not only are there people out there in the world who are willing to shell out actual cash to intentionally frighten themselves, but that they go to scary movies and haunted houses in droves, and they seem to enjoy it. Some television channels are even devoting the entire month of October to horror films. As a person who hates being scared, I can't help my curiosity, but nobody seems able to articulate to me what on earth is so delightful about being purposely terrified out of your mind. Please explain your life to me, fear-loving humans.
Maybe I don't understand because I am so easily frightened that it borders on pathetic. If you walk up behind me and yell "boo!", odds are I'm going to jump several feet forward, shriek like a banshee, and draw way more attention to myself than you were planning. I also have an extremely overactive imagination. Honesty hour: I dreamed about encountering a ghost two weeks ago and I'm still kind of nervous about turning the lights off in my room. And it wasn't even a mean ghost! She was perfectly polite!
As you can imagine, my wimpiness creates a special set of challenges come Halloween. There are spooky things around every corner, zombies roaming the streets, and all of my friends are on my case about how the movie they want to watch isn't even that scary (likely story) and I'd just like it if you gave it a chance (HAH). But the truth: It is totally possible to love Halloween even if you hate being scared. There are tons of things even scaredy-cats can enjoy about this holiday:
Gratuitous Consumption of Every Candy Ever
Not that I've ever denied myself candy on the other days of the year, but Halloween gives you free license to eat whatever the hell you want for 24 straight hours. And because this party never ends, you can hit Target or CVS the day after Halloween and snag all those goodies half-price. The only thing scary about that is fighting other savvy candy shoppers.
Opening The Door To Trick-Or-Treaters
Odds are they aren't going to be too terrifying. And if you don't live in a neighborhood where kids trick-or-treat, you can do what I do, and borrow someone's house for the night. Usually at least one of your friends lives on a popular route. And it's worth going out of your way to see all those adorable mouths full of future cavities grinning up at you.
Adorable Puppy Parades
Our town has a Halloween costume parade for dogs every year, and it's equal parts precious, hilarious, and smelly. Plus there are significantly fewer zombies. Why do all of you like zombies so much? Puppies > zombies, not that that should even be a debate.
Watching Campy Halloween Movies
Halloweentown got real, but it also never haunted me late into the night or messed up some other central part of my psyche. I also recommend Casper the Friendly Ghost and The Littlest Vampire. Because Halloween isn't just about scaring people – it can also be a vehicle for teaching us all about the power of friendship!
Being Really Confused About Why This Gif Is So Popular On Tumblr
Where did it come from? Why does it have so many reblogs?? What does it want from us? The mystery is intriguing but very far from scaring the pants off of you.
Pretending You're At Hogwarts
I came to grips with the fact that I'm a muggle a long time ago. But for this one day of the year, I'm Hermione freaking Granger eating in the Great Hall and hanging out with Nearly Headless Nick. And while that might seem a little scary, that's the kind of scary I am more than willing to compromise over.
Going To Halloween Themed Shindigs
Preferably going to them really late, when everybody is already too drunk to remember that they're supposed to jump out from behind things or set off machines that cackle at you when you're minding your own business peeing in their bathroom (I'M STILL NOT OVER IT.)
Singing "THIS IS HALLOWEEN, THIS IS HALLOWEEN" Until The Neighbors Call The Cops
If you don't know what I'm referencing, DON'T LOOK IT UP, because it will be stuck in your head until the dawn of time. If you do know what I'm referencing, I'm so, so sorry.
Thinking Up Clever Halloween Costumes
Costumes don't have to be scary! Just take it from Leslie the Riveter or Three Hole Punch Jim, or take it a step further and come up with a really pun-tastic costume. Everyone will have a good time trying to figure out what you are and then they'll forget about trying to give everyone the heebie-jeebies.
Or Coordinating Costumes With Your Pals
The options for group Halloween costumes are practically limitless, and if you're the one coordinating them, you can make sure it's something super edgy or funny that doesn't make you cower in fear.
Finding Crazy Things To Do With Pumpkins
Pumpkins are the most versatile part of Halloween. You can carve them, eat them, drink them, put a baby in them, or even use them as a beer keg. Now your brain will be too occupied with getting creative to even notice all the creepers creepin'.
Strutting Your Stuff
Some people don't mind showing off their assets on Halloween, which is perfectly okay, if that's your jam. I'll gladly take a sexy costume over a Freddy Kreuger mask dripping in enough zombie guts to haunt my dreams forever.
Transforming The Front Porch Into Cutesy Halloweentopia
When I was a little kid, we had a neighbor who had the most awesome candy: full-sized Twix bars. This guy did not mess around, not with his candy or his front porch. Oozing blood, things popping out of crypts, flickering lights – hell, one year he pretended to be a scarecrow and I dropped all my candy and freaking ran for it before my parents even registered what happened. Each year, I suffered extreme psychological torment to get that Twix bar, and though it was delicious, I still look back on it and shudder.
And though in my adulthood I admire the crazy amount of work he put into it, I aspire to achieve the opposite: my front porch will be decked out in super fun cutesy pumpkins and twinkling lights and cartoon witches, because the trick-or-treat tyranny ends NOW.
Watching All Your Favorite Throwback Halloween Episodes
There is something especially magical about watching a Halloween episode of a favorite series when it's actually Halloween, and Netflix has made it easier than ever.
Getting Really Ambitious About Pinterest Baking
I will never ever learn. It's partially because I worked at a bakery where the cake designers popped out these amazing Halloween creations like it was no effort at all, and I started getting cocky and forgetting I was completely inept at arts and crafts of any kind. But even when I fail miserably at Halloween-themed snacks, I can't help myself.
It Means Thanksgiving Is Happening Soon
Finally! A holiday where I can eat without the fear of death in me.
Images: Paramount Pictures; Giphy(16)