I’ve loved Halloween for as long as I can remember. Even when I was too scared to watch horror movies or so little that I didn’t really get to pick out my costume, I loved it. A lot of my favorite memories are from this holiday, but I was surprised to find that I actually have very little surviving photographic proof of my costume history. For the sake of simplicity, I’m not including costumes I wore for theater performances but just those for the celebration of Halloween.
I’ve been everything from a Hershey’s Kiss™ to my own version of Harley Quinn. There were several years where I wore the same witch costume but changed the title to sorceress, Hermione Granger, or enchantress. In second grade, my best friend and I were both ninjas. In high school, I dressed up as a hobo rainbow clown, a nurse, Red Riding Hood, a suicidal asylum patient, and Dead Red Riding Hood. One year, while trick or treating, my friends and I went door to door and sang Christmas carols, earning more candy than usual. I loved getting candy and dressing up with my friends, sharing love for the scariest night of the year.
My freshman year of college, I challenged myself to wear a bunch of costumes and came up with: party pin-up, sock-hop sophomore, Mabel from Gravity Falls, Alessa from Silent Hill, and Harley Quinn—the winner of my hat drawing for what costume I was going to wear because I couldn’t make up my mind. I went to a Halloween party at a club for the first time, kissed a guy at midnight, and loved every second of being out and about and not stuck at home. The next year I was working at Savers, Halloween headquarters, and was a costume consultant so I got to dress up every day from Labor Day until Halloween.
(While working there I was: referee, dental hygienist, viking, cavewoman, rainbow neon fox raver, Wendy, the Devil, cobweb, hippie, zombie, pirate, musketeer, Amy Winehouse, Sarah Palin, goddess, country mouse, witch, Easy A, Absinthe fairy, fortuneteller, cowgirl, ghost bride, soldier, Big Bad Wolf, nurse, scarecrow, maid, Red Riding Hood, wolf girl, princess, Ariel, Macklemore, 1950s housewife, 1950s pin-up, Sailor Moon, and Unpregnant Juno).
While Comic-Con technically counts as cosplay, I found that dressing up as a survivor from The Walking Dead is the most I’ve done since I quit working at Savers, and I loved walking around the Convention Center covered in blood and looking dirty. Something about it soothes me.
However, the past two years have been quiet. The Captain and I don’t go out to parties, we don’t really hand out candy, and it’s just hanging out and watching scary movies. It’s different—definitely not as fun—but it’s still my favorite day of the year whether I’m dressed up or not, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Maybe next year I’ll celebrate in a bigger fashion, but until then… Seasons Screamings!