Spooky Little Halloween started because of an obsession. Not the one you’re thinking. I like order and organization, and the Halloween board on my personal Pinterest account had gotten a little out of control. Something had to be done, so I set to work making a list of how to break down all the content I’d saved.
As I sorted four years’ worth of pins into 12 separate boards, I suddenly realized I was going to need to do a lot more than just reorganize some social media content. I was finally going to take the plunge and do something I’d been contemplating for more than a year.
I was going to start a Halloween blog.
Why I love Halloween
But that wasn’t the beginning of my obsession with Halloween. No, for that we have to go back to my childhood. Like a lot of your favorite things that begin when you’re young, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment Halloween turned into an obsession. I just know I always loved it because it held a certain sense of importance and intrigue for me.
It could be because I’ve always been the type of girl who loves escaping into other worlds. Much like the stories and adventures in the books and song lyrics that filled my early years, Halloween was a real-life excuse to escape into a world that wasn’t my own. For one night every year, I could pretend to be someone else and roam the neighborhood with my friends.
That little piece of Halloween has always made October 31st feel magical to me.
It’s led to all kinds of fun adventures. In junior high, I remember spending an entire day raking pine needles and leaves into neat piles that I molded into freshly covered graves. I created headstones using cardboard and sticks, each with a name of the deceased that seems clever when you’re 12. (I can’t remember now, but I know were cheesy.) And then I stuffed a few of those pumpkin garbage bags, that I begged my parents to buy a year or two before, full off the foliage overflow to finish off my masterpiece.
I remember standing back, admiring my handiwork and feeling so excited that soon kids would be coming by to trick-or-treat in my cute little cemetery. I didn’t want to scare anyone – I just wanted our yard to feel a little spooky.
That desire to make things spooky came in handy again nearly a decade later. I was in college at the University of Tulsa and living in the dorms my first semester after transferring. To provide underprivileged kids in a nearby neighborhood with a safe Halloween experience, the university invited them to trick or treat in our dorms each year. To incentivize students to participate, there was a contest for the most creative set ups.
I went to work carefully rearranging the school-supplied furniture in our suite’s common area so it was grouped together in blocks around the room. Using just black trash bags and tape, I cut down the sides to create long strips and wallpapered the entire room, floor to ceiling. Then I stripped more trash bags and hung them from the ceiling around the groupings of furniture to create fake walls of what ultimately became a maze for the kids to wander through and claim their candy.
Our suite won first place, earning us a pizza party, and the room was talked about in hushed tones for weeks following Halloween. “That’s the girl who did the haunted maze!” I heard more than once as I walked up and down the dorm hallways.
These days, my love of Halloween manifests itself into an annual party for my friends called the Halloweenie Roast. It’s a celebration that had humble beginnings in 2009 when it was just myself and four friends sitting around a fire pit in my parent’s backyard roasting hot dogs as part of our Halloween weekend celebration. But it was so much fun that I decided to hold it again in 2010 and invited all my friends.
Since then, the party has grown every year. While the core activity of roasting hot dogs over a bonfire remains, each year is assigned a theme and invitations go out up to six weeks in advance so my friends can put together their costumes for the contests – yes, multiple contests – I hold. On Halloweenie Roast night, they show up decked out in some amazing outfits, ready to party the night away around the fire while sipping on that year’s signature Witches Brew. (2009 and 2010’s brew had to be retired because it proved to be too potent.)
I’m not saying it’s the greatest Halloween party on the planet, but people have been known to cross state lines via car and plane just to attend. We have a pretty great time, and I enjoy creating not just a party but a little Halloween experience for everyone who attends.
Spooky Little Halloween
Because of my love of Halloween, I decided to start a blog to celebrate October 31st all year long. This isn’t a place full of blood, guts and gore (all three make me queasy) or endless horror film recommendations.
No offense if that’s your thing when it comes to Halloween – I totally get it. (And there’s a lot of great sites already on the vast interwebz for that kind of thing.) That’s just not my Halloween.
Instead, I’m looking forward to filling Spooky Little Halloween with tons of ideas for celebrating the magic of the holiday all year. From fun food and crazy cocktail ideas to my tried-and-true picks for Witches Brew, peeks at how I celebrate Halloween and more, this is the spooky little blog you’ve been needing in your life for a bit of All Hallows Eve infused into your world 365 days a year.
I’m excited to get started on this project right in the heart of the Halloween season and can’t wait to see where it leads!
P.S. Yes, that is two-year-old me inside that giant Care Bear head in the “Halloween then” photo. My mom MADE that costume – can you believe it? I wore it for a few years to get some good use out of it, and she still has it tucked away in a closet. To this day, it’s one of my favorite costumes I’ve ever worn.