Paperhouse: On Halloween

It’s that time of year again. Your Facebook is flooded with invitations to Halloween parties, slasher fests, pumpkin patch frolicking, nights of horror — the list goes on. Yet upon attending these events, you are overwhelmed with downright bad costumes and a lack of Halloween spirit.

Invitations to these events include descriptions that tell girls to be whatever they want, as long as they add the word “slutty” to the costume description. Now, I’m all for expressing yourself, but what happened to good, clean Halloween fun that focused on ghouls, goblins, and witches instead of sexy nurses, teachers, and police officers?

This past week, I went to an event that embodied my idealized image of Halloween. Tucked away in Lawrenceville, Arsenal Bowling Lanes hosts a weekly college night on Tuesdays, complete with cheap bowling, booze, and a live band. This week, the bowling alley was decked out with skeletons, cobwebs, and the usual Halloween fare. The red velvet walls, the skeletons atop the alleyways, and the live band made for a great evening.

The band, aptly called The Graveyard Rockers, played psychobilly and surf rock tunes focused on zombies, Frankenstein, and all your favorite monsters. The tongue-in-cheek references to science fiction, horror, violence, and sex were quite a relief from the bevy of electronic dance music I’d grown accustomed to hearing during “Halloween” parties.

As soon as Thanksgiving comes, our ears will be assaulted with Christmas music; why isn’t this the case with Halloween music? If you dig around, you’ll find that there are some great Halloween anthems out there that bring together the dark, fun, and ultimately over-sexualized aspects of Halloween. Take a break from your usual playlists and crank up some psychobilly. I would recommend you start with the compilations Halloween Hootenanny and Halloween A Go-Go.

(Originally published in The Tartan)