Culture

The young-adult Halloween conundrum: you’re too old to go trick-or-treating, too bored with crazy parties, and too young to afford the really cool Halloween festivities. I know your pain. For those of us who want to lay low this Halloweekend, I’ve compiled a list of seasonally spooky films for you to watch.

Disclaimer: I am not including slashers on this list, even though I love them dearly. This list is for those of us who want to join in on the holiday fun but want to forego hangovers and/or nightmares. So grab some pumpkin ale, apple cider, candy corn, and popcorn and snuggle up on the couch for some frightening, but awesome, Halloween films.

1. Death Becomes Her (1992) stars Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep as the original “frenemies.” Streep plays narcissistic actress Madeline Ashton who’ll do anything to one-up Hawn’s Helen Sharp in her love life, career, or beauty. When you throw a magic potion guaranteeing eternal life and beauty into the mix, disaster will surely ensue! Bonus: Bruce Willis plays a bumbling, nerdy, idiot who is, strangely enough, the focus of Madeline and Helen’s romantic ambition.

Death Becomes Her IMDB / Death Becomes Her YouTube

2. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous films, The Birds (1963) will probably freak you out. Based on the story by British suspense queen Daphne Du Maurier, the film focuses on a northern California town as it is bombarded by violent, freakish birds and all hell breaks loose. What’s most remarkable, perhaps, is how awesome Tippi Hedren’s hair looks up until the very end of the film. You may be scared of pigeons for a while after watching The Birds, but just remember that it’s a classic for a reason!

The Birds IMDB / The Birds YouTube

3. Watching Hocus Pocus (1993) on The Disney Channel was the highlight of my childhood Halloweens – and I still watch it every year. While some of the humor is fairly adult in nature, this film is great for kids and those of us who are horror-averse. Hocus Pocus follows Max Dennison (Omri Katz) the new kid in his small New England town who tries to impress his crush, protect his sister, and fight off the evil, child-killing witches, the Sanderson Sisters, all in one night! I’ve also always had a soft spot for Mary and Sarah Sanderson (Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker) because Winnie (Bette Midler) was so mean to them!

Hocus Pocus IMDB / Hocus Pocus YouTube

4. I know I promised that no slashers would be on this list, but Shaun of the Dead (2004) is just too good to pass up. This horror-comedy hybrid may be gory, but it will make you roll on the floor laughing! Shaun is not having a good week: his girlfriend breaks up with him, his relationship with his mom isn’t going well, he’s stuck in a dead-end job, one of his roommates hates him, and there’s a zombie apocalypse going on. This movie is definitely not for the faint of heart or those with delicate senses of humor, but watching it will give you a “what not to do during a zombie apocalypse” guide.

Shaun of the Dead IMDB / Shaun of the Dead YouTube

5. The final film on my list is Beetlejuice (1988) which, in all of its ‘80s glory, is one of Tim Burton’s best. Beetlejuice tells the story of a ghostly married couple (Geena Davis and a dreamy Alec Baldwin) who hire the services of a “bio-exorcist” to rid their home of its new – and living – tenants. The best parts of this film are Winona Ryder as an angsty, goth, teenager and a couple of impromptu dance routines to Harry Belafonte hits.

Beetlejuice IMDB / Beetlejuice YouTube

For those of you who want even more choices, honorable mention goes out to: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Practical Magic, Rosemary’s Baby, Young Frankenstein, Donnie Darko and Ghostbusters.

Make yourself comfortable and enjoy your Halloween movie marathon!

Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight

Culture

Maybe you didn’t think of your college as haunted when you chose it, but as Halloween nears, let’s take a look at the 10 most haunted colleges in the U.S. Hopefully yours does not make the list, but may the spooks be ever in your favor!

1. Ohio University

According to endless articles found on Google, Ohio University kills the charts. A piece of the campus is a former lunatic asylum where extremely brutal and primitive procedures were once performed. Yikes! More specifically, Wilson Hall, a dorm with its creepy picturesque appearance, is the exact place you want to avoid. Room 428 is locked shut due to repeated ghosts and spirits appearing. Other ghosts have been reported to roam the halls of other dorms within the campus.

2. Fordham University

Ironic that Fordham makes number two on the list, as it is a Jesuit University. Kating Hall and Finlay Hall were both constructed over a morgue. Finlay residents have reported being awakened by cold ghost hands choking grasping their throats. That’s enough to get anyone’s goosebumps up. More apparitions include one in Queen’s Court dormitory where a ghost priest allegedly told a Resident Assistant (R.A.) about an exorcism he performed to rid the hall of spirits. And a little fun fact: a few scenes from The Exorcist were actually filmed on the school campus. In another freshman dorm, there is an apparent infamous ghost who haunts the showers – Moaning Myrtle much?

3. Gettysburg College

The story that haunts Gettysburg College is directly related to The Battle of Gettysburg, one of the milestones in our history. Both Confederate and Union troops stayed at Pennsylvania Hall as it was a hospital and signal post. The basement is said to be haunted by blood bathed doctors while multiple residents have all reported to spot ghosts throughout the rest of the dorm. Ready to change your views on cute Smurf-resemblances? There is an apparent “Blue Boy” in Stevens Hall who is a young orphan that has a blue (frozen-like) face.

4. Wells College

Imagine having an entire dorm floor being used as an infirmary for your school? Well, that is precisely what happened. As a permeating flu epidemic infested the area, an entire dormitory floor had to be evacuated to be used as an infirmary. Today, residents state that they have witnessed ghost nurses roam the halls. In Morgan Hall, an ardent security guard strolls the dorms while in Zarbriskie Hall and Glen Park Mansion, ghosts are said to aggressively haunt the halls with palpable weapons. My advice: sleep with both eyes wide open.

5. Pennsylvania State University

Penn-Staters, or, one of every 117 Americans, your lovely campus is haunted. Betsy Aardsma, the most famous ghost on campus resides in the basement stacks as she was stabbed to death there in 1969. Students have described seeing red eyes, hearing screams, and even being gripped by a presence in the library. I would call this a valid excuse to avoid the library. Botany Building is the place where green-thumb phantoms get malicious if the plants aren’t cared for. In Brumaugh Hall, lives an ax murderer ghost – watch out, friends.

6. Kenyon College

A picturesque gothic building is just what it looks like: eerie. In 1949, nine students died in a fire causing there to be nine vexed ghosts in the dormitory halls. There are apparent unexplained toilet flushes and light flickers with screams to make the environment that much cozier. Bolton Dance Studio was once a swimming pool and in turn, students have reported sightings of mysterious wet footprints and showers turning on. In Caples Hall, there is said to be a woman who badgers residents by banging furniture against doors. Now that’s something to report to R.A’s!

7. East Tennessee State University

“The most notable ghost on campus?” Sidney Gilbreath, the first president of the university. She is said to flickers lights and slams doors and windows in Gilbreath Hall. Call her a theatre phantom since she likes to be present in rehearsals in the building’s theatre. Consider that, theatre majors! Other infamous presences include Marble Boy and Sink Girl, who roam the Clement Hall dorms. In Yoakley Hall, a long-gone girl who committed suicide jumping, haunts the halls with her shadowy silhouette.

8. Huntingdon College

In the U.S’s country, Alabama’s Huntingdon College houses the notorious Red Lady who committed suicide in Pratt Hall. She is the epitome of the object of a scary ghost book as she glows the hall with an evil red light… medieval-supernatural-scary, if you ask me. The Ghost of the Green is also the soul of a suicide victim and he tugs at clothes and is any girl’s ultimate nightmare as he tousles perfectly done hair. The last ghost is Frank the Library Ghost who roams the stacks in a towel. Sounds like a bizarre ghost story to add to the books!

9. New York University

Glamorous, respected, and haunted. Preoccupied with busy New York students, NYU also hosts homage to the spirits of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire victims. The building that housed the factory is now NYU’s Brown Building of Science. The 9th floor, especially, is said to be the spookiest as it is heaving with roaming spirits. Lastly, Brittany Residence Hall is also where the soul of a young girl who fell down an elevator chute resides.

10. University of Notre Dame

George Gipp has elevated Notre Dame onto this list. The Gipper was locked out of his dorm after a night of late night party endeavors. As a result, he passed out on the steps of Washington Hall and consequently caught pneumonia and died due to the frigid Midwest night. Ominous echoes stretch down the Washington Hall not by the Gipper, but by an accidental death of a construction worker or music student who had died. Although these are not the only ghosts on campus, they’re enough to keep you stray from Washington Hall this Halloween.

Hopefully this Halloween you won’t come across any of these campuses, but if you happen to, stray away from the sinister halls and libraries aforementioned, as if unnerving Halloween stories weren’t enough. Happy Halloween!

Image: marada

Culture

Halloween is a night of fun, and of mischief. Whether you’re on campus or at a party in the city, it’s always good to have some safety tips in mind.

1. Do stuff with friends. Your friends take care of you and you take care of your friends.

2. Have a breathe­able and walk­able costume. Have back up shoes. If it’s cold, have some layering possibilities.

3. Avoid having a seance. Avoid all attempts to talk to spirits or bring back the dead.

4. Eat before drinking. Don’t leave your drink lying around. Don’t drink too much.

5. Know your surroundings when you’re going to a place. Know the people at the place. When you arrive somewhere, locate the bathroom and know your escape routes.

6. Charge your phone and keep it with you. Also have all of your emergency contacts in your phone, as well as your friend’s numbers.

7. Stay if it’s fun, don’t if it’s lame. No stress.

8. Follow your this-­is-­sketchy gut.

9. Have a way to get home or have a place to crash (friends from rule #1).

10. Carry a mini-flashlight or glowsticks with you to provide light when it gets too dark.

11. Have fun and be smart!

How will you be staying safe tomorrow? Happy Halloween!

Image: James Lee

CultureMusic

Welcome to Carpe Juvenis’ creepy-spooky-groovy Halloween playlist! Whether all of your closest friends are coming over for a costume party, or you’re getting ready for a night on the town, these songs will get you in the Halloween mood. This playlist is best enjoyed with candy corn, apple cider (spiked, for those of us over 21), and good friends. Here’s a quick guide to our spooky soundtrack:

The playlist starts out slowly with “Fresh Blood” by Eels – a favorite I picked up from True Blood’s second season soundtrack – and eases in to “My Moon My Man” by Feist. These early songs aren’t too overpowering while you put the finishing decorations up on your wall and your friends start rolling through the door. And, of course, no Halloween playlist is complete without “I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone!

By now your friends should be showing up and you want some higher energy tunes to go with the beginning-of-the-party buzz. The next few songs, from “Aphrodisiac” by Bow Wow Wow to “Normal Person” by Arcade Fire will set the mood and give you and your friends ample opportunity to make small talk, check out each other’s costumes and get grooving!

“Monster Mash” by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett is another Halloween classic – and is the perfect time for everyone to show off their best Dracula dance moves! You’ll recognize some of the songs during the next part of the playlist – because who can resist singing along to “She Wolf” and “Spice Up Your Life”? – so let loose and have a good time with your friends! Halloween is all about having a good time, for the undead and their living counterparts.

As your party goes on, monsters, demons, classmates, and friends will be rolling in and you want to greet them with appropriately funky and spooky songs. “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen and The Black Keys’ “Howlin’ for You” are just right for a packed party. We also threw in a couple of songs by supernatural songstresses Florence and the Machine and Bat For Lashes, both of which would make great costume ideas for next year! Play some Halloween-themed games and munch on seasonal snacks – the night is still young!

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival is an old, groovy, song that fits the undead themes of your fete. By now you and your friends are probably getting tired and some of them are probably moving on to the next stage of their night. But you don’t get too bummed towards the end of your party, I’ve put some fun and dance-worthy songs by Ryan Gosling’s band Dead Man’s Bones in the latter part of the playlist.

Jam out to David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” while you clean up from your party and have a safe, fun, and spooky Halloween!

What songs are you listening to this Halloween?

Image: Drew Patrick

Culture

As children, we love Halloween for the candy. As we grow up, the candy is still nice, but celebrating is about the costumes and the parties. Part of the fun of the holiday is the ability to dress up and step outside of yourself for a day. The type of costumes we wear have a way of changing as we get older. Do we wear the costume that reflects us or do we wear the popular costume? For girls in particular, the popular costume has become synonymous with the sexy costume. We live in an age where the popular costume comes with drawbacks.

The change in our costumes seems to represent an unspoken cultural shift. On Saturday Night Live‘s Halloween episode this year, they parodied a Halloween store commercial. They claimed to have “sexy Hunger Games costumes” including “Sexy Katniss Everdeen,” “Sexy Her Sister,” and more. Though there were a lot of jokes in this sketch, this one stuck out to me because it plays on the idea that every popular costume needs to be sexy. No one ever said that all young women should be dressing sexy for a holiday, but it is expected anyway. Likewise, I don’t think anyone says they want to be a sexy version of something on Halloween, but you kind of expect that is what a girl’s costume will be.

I personally have worn both types of costumes, but I started out with a more innocent one. I have always had long dark hair so I looked for a costume that could accentuate that. One year, I ended up going as Samara from The Ring. While I bought makeup from a Halloween store, most of my costume was an outfit that I put together myself. I loved the costume. I put a lot of work into it. I wore it freshmen year of high school and by senior year, people I didn’t even know still remembered that costume. I still have pictures of the costume and remember it fondly.

A few years later, I wore the “sexy” army girl costume. I wore it in a theme with my friends, and it was fun to coordinate costumes with them. I was legally an adult by the time I wore it but I was still living at home. The main downside of wearing the costume was walking past my parents as I left the house. I don’t know if I would have been allowed to wear that kind of costume before I was an adult. Regardless, it felt odd for them to see me like that. Another issue was that I got cold when I went out at night. Going out and being seen is the point of the costume. They are good outfits to look at but not very practical. All that said, it was a costume that I wore only one night. My costume choice did not have any long term effects on me. So, what’s the real problem?

I think the problem with the sexy costumes is about how we have accepted this role for women. There does not seem to be a male equivalent to the sexy costume. Nor is there any expectation for men to wear any particular kind of costume. In fact, the pictures on costume packaging suggest men wear clothes under their costumes. This makes the idea that women have to be sexy all the time all the more strange. As I mentioned, I made my costume when I went as Samara from The Ring. I bought my costume when I became sexy army girl. When I went shopping for a costume this year, there were two sexy women costumes for every regular one. It’s not impossible to find costumes that don’t show much skin, but the point is that this task should not be that hard. We have somehow accepted this to the point where it has become a trend. If you’re not in a couple’s costume, it’s as if you are advertising. Can you be called a tease for wearing these costumes or are you just a shopper? At what age are you pressured to go from bunny to sexy bunny? No one pays attention to this trend and that is what makes it dangerous.

In the end, the choice of how you celebrate Halloween is up to you. It’s a holiday! It should be fun. I don’t think you should worry about someone “slut shaming” you because you picked a certain costume. I do think a problem exists when the costume makes you feel bad when you are wearing it. There is a double standard in the way these costumes are marketed. If you are feeding into this by wearing a costume, you should think about how that makes you feel before you make a final purchase. Maybe you could embrace your creative side and make something all your own.

CultureExplore

Halloween, second only to Christmas in popularity, has its origins in a pagan holiday known as All Hollows Eve which honors the dead. Halloween precedes All Saints Day, which was created by Christians in order to convert said pagans, and in a few religious sects is viewed as an evil holiday. However, Halloween is usually celebrated with no association to pagan rituals or the occult.

Halloween, like most holidays, influences each and every one of us in some way or another. Holidays serve the purpose of celebrating or honoring aspects of culture. For example, with Christmas you either celebrate the religious or material facets of the day – both topics being heavily tied into a person’s culture and values. With Halloween being only a few days from now, look at the cultural aspects of All Hollows Eve. Whether you are getting dressed up for a theme party or watching scary movies and eating sweets with friends, like other holidays, the cultural aspects of Halloween influence everyone. In honor of Halloween looming around the corner, here are some of the staples of Halloween culture that influence people worldwide:

1. Trick-or-Treating

Everyone can remember the excitement they felt as a child when getting into their Halloween costumes and running up their neighbors’ front steps, orange plastic jack-o-lantern in hand, prepared for the treasure trove of sugary sweets they would devour later that night. But trick-or-treating did not always exist. For North America, the act of trick-or-treating popped up in the 1920’s and 1930’s; however, the act of “souling” predates to the Middle Ages. Most historians believe that “souling” inspired future acts like trick-or-treating. “Souling” occurred when poor people in Middle Age England would go door-to-door on Hallowmas – November 1st- and would receive food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day – November 2nd. Over time, this transformed into the modern charade of trick-or-treating: dressing up as dead creatures and monsters in return for candy.

2. Monsters, Demons, & Scary Movies

Halloween used to be associated with the mourning of loved ones who had passed on, but, today, Halloween is a night when we can dress as our greatest fears or favorite fictional characters. This came from the Celtics who believes that by guising as frightening beings, they could ward off evil spirits on a night historically set aside for the dead. The Celtics’ decision to integrate monsters and evil creatures into a holiday originally centered on mourning incorporated the idea of evil and supernaturalism to Halloween. We can thank the Celts for our need to dress as Freddy Krueger and go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Halloween.

3 Pumpkin Carving and Jack-O-Lanterns

We can thank immigrants for this tradition. When coming over to America, immigrants brought the tale of Jack O’Lantern with them. In the tale, Jack, a drunk, relished in playing practical jokes on innocent villagers until, one day, Jack made the huge mistake of playing a practical joke on the Devil himself. Jack convinced the Devil to climb up a tree and then trapped him by encircling the tree with crosses. He made a deal with the Devil to release him only if the Devil swears to never claim his soul and the Devil accepted. However, this backfired because when Jack died, he was deemed too evil to go to Heaven, but the Devil kept his promise of keeping Jack out of Hell. Thus, Jack was doomed to roam the Earth for eternity with a forever-burning ember inside of a carved out turnip that served to light Jack’s eternal wandering. Initially, carving turnips was the tradition, but when pumpkins became more accessible and easier to carve, pumpkins became the primary source of Jack’s eternal light inflamed on doorsteps every year.

Halloween is heavily rooted in culture and is responsible for meshing a lot of cultures and ideas, so this Halloween, go out and experience what the early Christians, pagans, Celts, and American immigrants created through this cultural amalgamation.

Image: William Warby

Culture

Halloween is right around the corner, and with that comes the stress of figuring out what disguise you’ll be wearing for the night! As a college student, you’ll likely find the need to have more than one costume at hand. Here is a list of simple, unique, and money-saving costume ideas to help you this holiday season!

1. Nail Polish

We all have a love-hate relationship with painting our nails, so why not make your costume a tribute? This costume idea is simple and can involve yourself or a group of your friends! All that is needed is a solid colored dress and white duct tape to be used to spell out the name brand “Essie” along the side. If you want to spend a little more money, feel free to invest in a white hat to act as a cap! Another cute addition to this outfit is putting a strip of duct tape towards the top of your dress with a flirty and corny nail polish name (because we all know those are our favorite thing) such as “Plum Play With Me” or “Teal Me Your Secrets”!

2. Sesame Street

Why not give a tribute to your childhood and go down memory-lane this Halloween? Gather your best friend and do a Cookie Monster and Elmo duo with the simple purchase of snapbacks dedicated to the characters as well as a few small temporary tattoos to adorn your cheeks! Pair with a black top and blue or red skirt and some black knee-high socks with Converse to complete the look!

 3. Gumball Machine

We all have a sweet-tooth especially around this time of year! Pick up an inexpensive shirt at the store and glue colored pompoms to it with all-purpose glue. Pair this with a red skirt and you’re sure to be a sweet treat!

 4. Valentine’s

Another simple costume idea involving a simple or solid colored dress is to be a valentine! Use colored paper to cute out a heart and write a phrase such as “Be Mine,” “Text Me,” or “Melt My Heart.” Attach it to a piece of yarn and wear it as a necklace to be coordinating with your friends!

 5. Retro

Everyone loves a throwback, and the easiest way to do this is to grab an old boa from your childhood dress-up wardrobe with a simple dress and bold lipstick! Top it off with some winged liner and you’ll be throwing it back to Gatsby!

Have fun, be creative, and enjoy the Halloween spirit in the air (and don’t forget to scare a friend while you’re at it)!

Image: Lenore Edman