Photo Credit: Autumn Gollop

Everything Halloween

October 27, 2022


Photo Credit: Jasmine Bezotte

Student Reflects On Halloween Around The World

Halloween is well known around the U.S. for children who dress up in costumes and then ring doorbells for candy. While the U.S. version is well known, there are some other variants from around the world. 

The holiday is named differently in other countries and has different meanings. 

Samhain is a pagan religious festival that originates from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. Samhain marks the Celtic New Year, the end of summer and the end of harvest season. Samhain signaled the beginning of Winter which the Celts associated with death. So for one night, the souls of the dead, spirits and fairy folk could easily cross over into the physical world. People would dress up to disguise themselves from evil spirits. They would then go from house to house reciting poems for food. Spirits of ancestors were honored with feasts, bonfires were lit to keep the darkness away and Jack-o’-lanterns were carved out of turnips to frighten away the evil spirits.

In Mexico, they celebrate Dia de los Muertos. This two day celebration is said to reunite the living and the dead for one last day together. Families create offerings to honor their departed family members that have passed. The offerings, or sometimes called altars, are decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers, photos of their passed loved ones and the favorite foods and beverages of the person or persons being honored.

Italy celebrates Ognissanti (or All Saints Day). This is a national holiday that calls for the closing of school, work and governmental facilities. This holiday is traditionally a feast day where people celebrate the saints. Other ways people celebrate are by exchanging gifts with other families. The day usually starts with a special midday mass after a colorful procession from the city center. The rest of the day is followed by a great feast and spending time with their friends and family.

In Haiti, they celebrate Fet Gede. Fet Gede is a Voodoo holiday celebrated not only in Haiti, but other countries and other Voodoo communities around the world. People light candles and journey to their ancestors’ burial places while also drinking rum infused with chilies. There are ceremonies done at the end of October and beginning of November to celebrate the holiday. The entire month of November is dedicated to Fet Gede in Haiti. It is also a feast which celebrates the Iwa (spirits) of death and fertility. Vodouists travel in a spiritual pilgrimage to pay their respects to the dead at the cemetery, but they first have to gain permission. Ancestral Services are held at the grave of Papa Gede (the first man who ever died) which is a crossroad considered to be the bridge between life and death. Kwa Baron is said to be the Lwa guardian of the cemetery and the head of the Gedes. Gedes replace the spirits and guardians of the dead.


Photo Credit: Jasmine Bezotte

Halloween Classics Are More Trick Than Treat

With Halloween fast approaching, a majority have started celebrating traditions associated with the holiday such as cooking Halloween-themed foods, wearing Halloween-style clothes and, most importantly, watching movies associated with the holiday. These movies can take different forms, from kid-friendly movies that are simply set during or around Halloween to R-rated horror movies. The best of these movies are the classics among the genre, particularly the horror movies. 

Made predominantly during the ‘80s, these movies serve to provide hours upon hours of entertainment to viewers regardless of age or squeamishness. Whether you are an avid fan of the horror genre or hate the sight of blood, there is at least one movie made during this era that will meet your entertainment needs. The genre is extremely flexible, and it’s plainly visible through the classics. There are films that push the boundaries of what can be considered a horror film by being extremely goofy, such as “Evil Dead 2,” but there are also the ones that are extremely violent and would put most horror viewers out of commission such as “The Thing” or “The Blob.” 

The most important movies of this era, however, are the ones that a large portion of the movie-going audience has labeled as “camp.” What makes a movie camp is often nebulous, but the common thread so-called campy movies have is not taking themselves too seriously and often having some unfavorable qualities, such as over-the-top acting or bad set design. Such films include “Re-Animator,” “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” and “Return of the Living Dead.” A movie is not necessarily good or bad based on the camp factor, but it certainly enhances a viewing experience. 

Another important feature of a large majority of the fantastic films of this era is body horror. The subgenre of body horror has been around as long as the 1800s, but it became what it is today with the classic horror movies of the ‘80s. It is defined by disturbing violations of the human body, hence the name. These can take several forms, but most often it takes the form of a transformation, such as in “The Fly.” Almost All of the best classic horror films have some form of body horror in them, which can range from just a minor element of the plot, such as in “The Blob,” to the driving force of a movie, such as in “The Thing.” Body horror, particularly in movies from the ‘80s, is almost always accompanied by the best visual effects in the genre, made by artists who are the top of their field, artists such as Tom Savini and Brian Yuzna. 

It is important not just to talk about the popular trends among horror movies of the time, but also to highlight specific examples of these trends from the era. A perfect film that encapsulates the near perfection achieved by movies in this era is the 1982 classic “The Thing,” directed by none other than John Carpenter, who has made some of the best horror films not only of the ‘80s but in general, such as “Halloween” and “They Live.” Adapted from both the notably cheesy 1951 film “The Thing from Another World,” and the source material that movie was adapted from, the 1938 novella “Who Goes There?,’ by John W. Campbell. This film represents several of the popular trends of the time, such as body horror, fantastic visual effects and adaptations of ‘50s and ‘60s horror films. 

The plot of the film follows an Antarctic research team as their base is infected by an organism from outer space that imitates other life forms. A majority of the movie follows the team’s suspicions that one another have been replaced by the titular “thing,” and their plans to get rid of the imposters among them. They use several techniques to root out the thing, such as blood tests and appling hot wire to everyone’s blood. The film demonstrates from the first moments how serious it is, with the arctic landscape and the chilling, bleak theme setting the tone for the entire runtime. Seeing how the characters mutate once it is revealed they are a thing and the wonderful, gross effects in action are truly the highlights of this film. 

Another excellent example of the merits of ‘80s horror movies is Cronenberg’s masterpiece of “The Fly (1986),” another film adapted both from the 1958 film of the same name and a 1957 short story, this movie tells the story of an eccentric scientist named Seth Brundle played by Jeff Goldblum, who is dedicated to discovering the secrets of teleportation, which ultimately leads to his downfall. The story mostly follows a journalist who wishes to write a story about Brundle’s invention. Brundle eventually decides to teleport himself, and begins to transform into a fly-hybrid creature when the titular fly makes its way into the teleportation device he is using. The movie seems to reflect classic stories, such as Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” through its use of an eccentric scientist whose own experiments result in his downfall. It also demonstrates how frightening movies from this era can be with more stunning, disgusting visual effects.


Photo Credit: Meh'Quira Malone

Top Six Group Costumes For Halloween

  • M&Ms 

Dressing up as M&Ms is a perfect idea for a group of friends who need a cute last minute Halloween costume. Each person would be able to chose a a color of their choice either from the original M&M colors or a original color such as pink, purple, orange etc. Each costume includes a solid color Tee with the white fabric bolded letter “M” hot glued in the center of each shirt. The Tees could easily be paired with a black pair of leggings or pants in order to coordinate with friends. Each person has the freedom to choose what accessories they would like to wear to dress up their costume. 


  • Animals

This is a cute idea for either a small or large group of friends. Each person is able to choose one out of a variety of animals to dress up as. This allows each group member to be a different animal. Onesies are always a great option when needing last minute animal costumes. However, you can not go wrong with a simple colored shirt and pants that complement the color of the animal as well as buying or making a set of features to add to your outfit such as a tail, ears, or paws. Facepaint is also a very creative way to bring your character to life through their facial features. 


  • DC or marvel

DC and Marvel are very popular costume favorites during the Halloween season. Even though some of these can be very detailed and expensive, there are ways to make these costumes creative with inexpensive accessories. T-shirts or graphic Tees can be purchased for a quick top which can be paired with black pants or leggings. Capes and masks can be made creatively with fabric of choice or can be purchased online for the specific superhero. If the t-shirt is in need of a logo, they can be made through creative artwork or lettering on the colored fabric needed. Boots of some sort are always a great shoe to wear as well to complement the outfit. 


  • Scooby-Doo Gang

This costume is ideal for a friend group of five. It would involve having each person dress up as Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. These costumes would likely be able to be created with clothes from your closet, which makes it simple yet allows room for creativity. As long as the costumes include Fred’s signature ascot, Velma’s orange shirt and glasses, Daphne’s purple clothes and headband, Shaggy’s green shirt and Scooby-Doo’s collar, Halloween is a guaranteed success. 


  • Winnie the pooh

This costume idea would work for a group of almost any size. From Winnie the pooh to Owl, this costume could easily be completed with just t-shirts or onesies. The onesies could be purchased from Amazon. Or for t-shirts, each character name could be drawn on with its corresponding color such as “Piglet” on a pink shirt. The shirts would then be paired with a corresponding color of leggings or just simply jeans, it can be as decked out or as simple as you want. This group costume is sure to win with friends at any party. 


  • Minions

Minions is an idea that was popular a few years ago, but is still relevant today for a reason. The costume would involve wearing overalls with goggles, a yellow shirt and yellow face paint if you want to go all out. The best part is that you will not have to worry about the chance of others not knowing what you are. Since everyone in the group would be twinning as it is all the same costume, no friend would have to feel left out. This is a costume suited for all ages that will have people going bananas over.

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