October is upon us, and with it comes everyone’s favorite holiday of the year: Halloween. I decided to seek out one of many Halloween lovers on campus and ask what makes the day so special. My target? Self-proclaimed Halloween enthusiast Olivia Ewry.Unlike the rest of us fake fans, Ewry begins her celebration on September 1 to maximize the season.
“I start my Halloween playlist then, start wearing fall clothes, put up Halloween decorations and really begin getting into the Halloween mindset,” she tells me (for those curious, the playlist is seven hours long).
The phrase “Halloween mindset” intrigued me. How could I, too, get in the right mindset for Halloween? For Ewry, a “Halloween mindset” means embracing all things spooky.
She loves everything from cute ghosts to the cold, harsh winds that fall brings: “It’s all part of Halloween.”
I asked Ewry about some of the classic Halloween activities, thinking that maybe she was a fan of only the dark aesthetic. Was her love merely a remnant of an earlier goth phase of life? But no, she seems to love every aspect of Halloween with a passion.
Take Halloween movies, for example. Movies are a classic part of the Halloween celebration, and Ewry has a list of movies that she watches every year.
She divides her recommendations into three categories: “horror,” “fall aesthetic” and “takes place on Halloween.” Among her top picks are Sleepy Hollow (1999), The Crow (1994), Dracula (1932), ParaNorman (2012) and Hocus Pocus (1993).
And what would Halloween be without costumes? Some of Ewry’s greatest hits include the Bride of Dracula, Marty McFly and Winnie the Pooh.
This year, she’ll be going as Frankenstein, a costume that uses “a [frick] ton of green make-up.”
What about trick-or-treating?
As a kid, Ewry tells me, she would go trick-or-treating with her six siblings.
If you ask me, seven kids with buckets of sugar all under one roof sounds like a truly frightening experience. Nowadays, she enjoys handing out candy to young children.
“Teenagers and adults trick-or-treating is weird,” she explains. “Let the kids have fun.”
For those college students wondering how to get a candy fix without being creepy, I’d suggest going to Walgreens on November 1 for some extremely discounted Halloween treats.
One lesser-known Halloween tradition that Ewry loves is called “Devil’s Night.” The holiday, also known as “Mischief Night,” takes place the day before Halloween and has its origins in a number of different traditions, mostly promoting minor pranks and acts of vandalism.
One of Ewry’s movie recommendations, The Crow, takes place on Devil’s Night. In the movie, spooking people involves a lot less “harmless mischief” and a lot more “burning houses down,” reflecting Devil’s Night celebrations in Detroit that, for many years, involved arson. Ewry assures me that today, significant crime is not a part of Devil’s Night celebrations, so I don’t want to see any community standards violations here, guys.
Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, a tragedy for those who have to get up early the next morning for classes. Ewry’s concerns are not academic, though.
“I can’t go out and do crazy [stuff] on the Lord’s day!” she explains passionately. “They need to reschedule the whole year!”
Still, Ewry won’t let that stop her from getting into the Halloween spirit — nothing will. As she has taught me, Halloween is a mindset.
This queen of Halloween “bleed[s] orange and black.”