Jackalope Halloween Memories
It’s every 13-year-old’s favorite holiday this week. To celebrate, the Jackalope staff looked back on some of their fondest Halloween-related memories.
I had a friend named Matt in my dance company who came up with the best costumes for Halloween. One year he dressed up as a kissing booth: “$1 Per Kiss,” was written on a frame he had constructed from his waist to the top of his head. Another year he draped a blue cloth and a sign that read “Caution, Still Wet” over his shoulders and called himself a puddle. The best costume, though, was when he got my brother and his friend to dress up as the Blue Man Group. The Blue Man Group, if you don’t know, are musicians/mimes who perform these strange comedy acts. They dress in black, perform in trios and paint their heads and faces shiny bright blue. That Halloween, I arrived at school to find a crowd throwing marshmallows toward three guys with blue heads and shiny blue faces. Matt, my brother and his friend stood like aliens, mute and wide eyed. They were catching marshmallows in their mouths. It was the best Halloween by far.
Maria Costas Novo
My best memory from Halloween is actually from last year. In my country, Halloween is not a big celebration; actually, it is just something for kids, and an excuse for the adults to go out to a disco. Last year, was my first Halloween in the US, and it was amazing. There were three different parties in three different days, and I had a different costume for every party. I also remember doing the Trick or Treat all over the campus getting candies as if I was a little kid. It was the first time in my life that I did something like that, and I really enjoyed it!
It was my junior year of high school and I went to a Halloween party my friend was hosting. In my usual immature and slightly off-putting nature, I decided to dress as Your Average Pervert. My thick prescription lenses and fake mustache seemed to be making a few of the party-goers uncomfortable, so I figured copious amounts of alcohol would help make that more enjoyable.
The next thing I really remember was lying on the basement couch and two girls I went to high school with were staring at me in absolute disgust. Thinking my costume had offended them in some way, I promptly turned on my side and fell back asleep, grimacing to my drunken self. However, as it turns out, the couch I was lying on just so happened to be where all of the girls were leaving their purses to be safe. In my drunken stupor, I had apparently mistaken one of the open purses as a puke bucket and spewed my whiskey leavings inside of it. One of the girls hosted that year’s post-prom party to which I was, for some reason or another, not invited.
Worst: I think I dressed as a pirate for almost my entire childhood. It wasn’t even a good costume—it was out of a goddamn bag! A brand new bag-o-pirate every year. I don’t want to talk about it.
Best: I don’t think this exists right now. I’m heading to see Coco Rosie on Halloween this year, so it’ll easily take the top spot. I tend to just shut off all the lights and hide from everyone on major holidays.(Shut up, this is why I didn’t want to share in the first place. My life is a fart.)
I wouldn’t say I was kidnapped by gypsies, but I was stuck in the backseat of an Oldsmobile as my new acquaintances tried to navigate their way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with a quick stop in Tucson. I had met my new friends, Dimon and Katya, at a Gogol Bordello concert and offered them a place to stay as I do with most nomads. They had joined the Gogol Bordello tour to gather live footage and a few interviews along the way. In return, they offered me a free ride to the next two Gogol Bordello shows. The best part was that the last show would be held during Halloween weekend at the Vegoose Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. My only problem would be finding a ride back home to LA as the band continued on with its tour. I may not have been in the right state of mind to make such a last minute decision but c’mon… Daft Punk was headlining the festival, I HAD to go!!! The halfway marker of the trip was the Gogol show in Tucson, but the highlight was its “after show” performance where the band gets together to jam outside the tour bus. After an all-nighter of driving, it made for another delirious day, but a live set by Daft Punk cures all. Once reality set in, it was time to put my feelers out and I quickly found a ride home. I don’t quite recall sleeping during these few days, which made for a realistic peek into the life on tour: it’s all a blur.
Hampshire College hosts an annual Halloween party on its campus every year. This event has been nick named “Trip or Treat” due to the number of people who show up on X, LSD, DMT, or any other combination of letters used to spell fun. Coincidently, the best Halloween I’ve had so far was the first “Trip or Treat” I went to in 2009.
I attended the event with a close associate known as “Mr. Dice.” We were told that all we needed to get onto the Hampshire campus were some orange wristbands that were checked at the gates. Wasting no time, we changed into our totally awesome 80’s tennis player costumes and stopped at Wal-Mart to design wristbands out of construction paper and scotch tape.
Walking through the gates with two bottles of rum, we stumbled into the rager of the year. Hampshire had converted its quad into a series of large tents, each one housing a different style of dance music, techno and hip-hop. Everyone was dressed head to toe in costume, except those participating in the “clothing optional” body painting in the techno tent. At some point I went to the bathroom to alleviate my inebriation and received some extra fizzy champagne that made me fuzzy. I awoke the next morning on a couch, still in tennis garb at Hampshire. It was a long five-mile walk back to my own college campus, and the most glorious walk of shame I’ve ever undertaken.
I was never that into Halloween growing up. My costumes were usually lame and my friends and I would just go to the houses that left a bowl of candy on the porch. We dumped all the candy into our bags and usually stole the bowl too, because anyone that lazy deserves to have the bowl stolen. What sticks out though is Mischief Night. Going around causing wanton destruction just to be a dick. Looking back on it I feel sort of guilty about the destruction of my neighbor’s property, but the more I look back on it, the more I realized I never liked my neighbors.
I have always been a fan of Halloween, even though in Mexico we celebrate it differently. In our country it has become a mixture of Dia de Muertos and this American holy day. On Dia de Muertos we celebrate our dead relatives and friends, while on Halloween we just put on costumes, get candies and go to parties.
The best Halloweens I’ve had have definitely been the ones I spent in Mexico City when I was young. The tradition was to go to my grandparent’s house, build the altar for the dead people, eat Pan de Muertos with hot chocolate and then get all the cousins together and go ask for candies around the neighborhood. Instead of Trick or Treat we would say “Queremos calaverita.” And I remember I always loved those three days because it was full of the things I liked: the altar, candies, witches, ghosts etc. After I moved from Mexico City, I never spent Halloween with my whole family again, but those Halloween days and Dia de Muertos are some of the best memories of my childhood and family.
I danced harder and longer dressed up as a cat at a Halloween party than at any other college party in my life.
Halloween is always a desperate effort at creativity and battle against conventionality on my part, so dressing up as a cat was, needless to say, a bit of a defeat. A friend lent me a leopard-print leotard and a miniskirt, ears and knee-high boots, and off we went to a party full of the most inventive hand-made Halloween costumes I had ever seen. My heart sank—I had never been in such a typical costume in my life, and was suddenly surrounded by innovation.
I complimented every costume I interacted with on my way to the dance floor and then, forgetting about the stereotypical kitty-cat I was dressed as, put those black boots to use; I haven’t had more fun dancing in high heels and a mini skirt since.
None of my Halloweens have been particularly riveting, mostly filled with nothing more than trick or treating or dance rehearsals. In that case, none of them have been bad either. Snippets from every year stick in my mind as positive Halloween memories. My favorite costumes were in elementary school when I decided to be Lord of the Rings characters three years in a row. Last year, three of my friends and I stocked up on Trick or Treat candy by driving 30 miles north of Santa Fe, in footie pajamas, to knock on doors all around a giant neighborhood. My most successful pumpkin carving involved two hours of work and resulted in an eerily realistic cat face. While no one year stands out, there are moments from each that have made every Halloween enjoyable.