Halloween is an event I have developed a slight obsession over. You see, we don’t celebrate it back home in Germany. Nowadays, some clever kids are making their rounds to go trick or treating. Little greedy buggers. I’m jealous. I wish I was a greedy little bugger with a wicked costume.
And so during my time at university, where I mingled with like-minded people who were slightly crazy people as well (Here’s a big shoutout to all you amazing people that are now scattered across the world. Miss you big time!), I decided on (co)hosting and staging small Halloween parties. Naturally, I made everyone wear costumes and made sure to dress up as creepily as possible for the occasion after I had prepared bloody fingers, jellified eyeballs and brains with worms. My creativity knew no boundaries. And yes, it was all just regular food but creepified.
Alas, those times are gone now and so what is a Halloween-crazy person with a self-taught extensive knowledge of Celtic mythology to do? Well, for one, I wrote about it last year and dressed up as a zombie to go grocery shopping. This year, however, things were different. I was in the US, THE place to celebrate Halloween. And it so happened that I was travelling down the east coast, where autumn is at its most beautiful with its foliage painted in a myriad of colours.
I made sure to hunt down all the pumpkin decorated houses I could find and even spotted an artificial spiderwebbed front porch and body parts hanging from doors and windows. But the season had been rather unkind to sensitive pumpkins. The mild weather gave way to mildew and decay and so not many houses made the effort to put out carved pumpkins. I was devastated.
The further I travelled south, the worse it got. That is until I reached a little place called Jacksonville. I managed to score an airbnb place in the midst of its historic district with old wooden houses shrouded in ancient trees that provided a curtain of eerie looking lichen, as is found all over the south. My heart jumped in delight. All of a sudden front porches were turned into little Halloween playgrounds with papier-mâché graveyards springing up here and there, pumpkins grinning viciously and corpses dangling from high branches. When I was greeted by my host in her New Orleans getup and invited for the annual Springfield Halloween Ball, I knew I had to go. I just didn’t have anything dark to wear.
At the party, I could not believe my eyes. Absolutely everyone had made it their mission to put on the best Halloween costume and put in so much love and detail. Imagine a larger than life jellyfish floating by, cross-dressed people in high heels and suits, Voodoo ladies and even a centaur. My favourite was the life voodoo doll, where a woman had actually plastered her face, put on a potato sack and poked giant needles into the costume. That’s true dedication!