I hate halloween. I don’t remember ever really loving it so I guess I wasn’t a serial trick or treat-er in my early days. Only three halloween’s spring to mind; one where I dressed up as a cat (obviously), one where I was a broomstick (supporting my sister who was a witch – what a ridiculous costume idea!) and one where I hid inside from trick or treat-ers who then egged our family home. Satisfyingly, my dad marched round to the teen’s house the following day and the boy was on his hands and knees cleaning our front door before you could say “trick or treat”. Justice! Mwahaha!
These days I still hide from the teenagers and as a result, the cute kids who are just after a fun night get nothing but silence from our house.
So you can imagine my delight when one of my favourite people decided to go to a halloween ball for her hen do. The thought alone gave me the heebie jeebies. We booked tickets for 14 for the Theatre of Blood ball and watched this terrifying video of last year’s event to get us in the mood.
Halloween is bad enough, but me myself participating in fancy dress? Even worse! The theme was dead brides, the panic set in and I built up a night of horror in my head. And not the good kind.
Anxiety and halloween is not a good combination. In fact, I had already made my peace with the fact I would enter a spider pit at the ball and probably die (murder or panic attack, naturally) before the night began. And even if I accepted that those were not likely outcomes, I had one other fear: my physical ability to party and be fun.
Thankfully, my worst fears did not come close to the reality of the event which ended up being one of my favourite nights ever! Fourteen girls running around a house, Prosecco in one hand and fake blood in the other, is one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. Ebay was the solution to many of our fancy dress fears and their extensive range of cheap wedding dresses made for winning outfits – with only a few murmurings of “actually, I would seriously wear that one.”
We left the house at 11.30pm (the time I normally prefer to be coming home) and made for the centre of horror in Elephant and Castle. I could never have imagined what awaited our arrival; the incredible effort that people went to was outstanding and the overriding emotion was one of hilarity and admiration rather than fear or anxiety. That said, the completely naked man whose outfit was his own skin was neither inventive nor admirable.
On top of the (generally) brilliant costumes, the music was fab and the venue was wonderful. The presence of chairs next to the bar made me very happy and when I could no longer dance, fourteen dead brides drank jaegermeister and sat fascinated by the hundreds of people around them. Perfect.
I am not good at fancy dress, and I don’t think this year’s fun will result in many years of enthusiastic trick or treating but I have discovered that firstly, I am 31 not 91 and therefore (chronic pain or not) all night parties are still brilliant fun, and also… maybe Halloween isn’t quite so bad after all.