WPW: Boo! Shriek! Gasp!


My pumpkin family (two by my niece, one by my nephew, one by my sis, and two by me)

I hope it was a happy Halloween for you. Sadly, I only had one trick-or-treater (a precious three-year-old dressed as Snow White). Where I live it was a windy, rainy night, so that might have had something to do with the paucity of kiddos ringing my doorbell and asking for candy.

I love this holiday, even though growing up I didn’t get to trick or treat much. I lived in a big city until I was about six, and then I moved to a farm. My parents might have taken me trick-or-treating if there had been houses to visit, but the closest town was miles away, and my parents didn’t really trust people not to inject candy with drugs anyway. My sister and I instead were given candy by our parents, and we would spend Halloween night watching Charlie Brown and other cartoons and making up our own Halloween games (such as throwing candy into buckets).

I don’t recall wearing costumes to school. Maybe we could and I just didn’t, or maybe we weren’t permitted to do this. Maybe we had some kind of Halloween event at school, and I’ve just forgotten, or perhaps my school was lame and didn’t do anything. As I grew older I recall saying to myself about future Halloweens, “when I have kids, we will trick-or-treat” or “when I go to work, I will wear a costume.” Well, I don’t have kids. I don’t usually wear costumes to work, as I often don’t teach on Halloween (a day of the week thing).

I went to Halloween parties in grad school, and that was fun. My costumes ranged from Frida Kahlo to Tanya Harding, a starving artist to a vampire and a yard gnome. Since graduating, I haven’t gone to a single Halloween costume party. Cue mournful tune.

But thanks to the Internet I have enjoyed seeing what you all wear on Halloween. From parties to teaching days, you have worn some really awesome gear and costumes. This year in particular was fabulous.

I’ll start with the Halloween themed attire. First up is yours truly:

On Monday I wore what I thought was just a fall-themed outfit, and then I realized that I actually kinda looked like an upside down pumpkin. Turn that picture upside down, and my army green pants and burnt orange top could loosely be conceived of as a pumpkin.

On Wednesday I wore a cute black top with lace sleeves and some MK orange jeans. I also wore my niece’s sequin-pumpkin barrette and a light-up necklace I bought for my nephew. The kids wore those while they visited me and then forgot them at my house. Their loss was my gain! I got that necklace for a buck at Target–well worth it. I also have to say that I love wearing orange and black together, but you can only do so for Halloween. Otherwise, people will tell you that you look like you’re dressed for Halloween, and you only want to be told that on or near the holiday.

Next I’d like to showcase the style of a professor who really knows how to pair spooky leggings with some cool outfits. I present to you the queen of bathroom selfies:

Ula’s outfits remind me that I really need to up my leggings game! Those skulls-and-cross-bones leggings could definitely be worn all year. What an investment, and paired with the Converse sneakers you can’t go wrong! That’s one of the cool things about Halloween-themed clothes: unless it’s full-on Halloween (like it says “Happy Halloween”) you can wear these items on more than one occasion. It doesn’t work well with all holidays, such as Christmas, so be careful. You should only wear Santa leggings in December.

Now let’s turn to the costumes. I will feature a few pics that people gave me permission to share, though I could have definitely included more because y’all love Halloween (though you didn’t all share with me your pics)!

I’ll start with the literary, and note that the 19th century is a great source of inspiration:

“Nevermore” quoth the raven, but this Edgar Allan Poe costume is on point, so how about “forevermore”! Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham has “great expectations,” but she wears a somber expression as she sits in her wedding dress.

Besides those we find in the annals of literature, we find characters from our favorite shows and even some created to represent a cultural moment. Howdee! I give you Minnie Pearl and Rosie the “we can do it” Riveter:

Surely you recognize Rosie, but did you recognize the flower hat as representing Minnie Pearl? Sometimes our costumes are not as obvious to others. They represent something well known by a certain demographic, which is oftentimes not our students.

Would you know the story behind this one?

Hmm. Would a VW worker put duct tape on a car to fix that leaking hose? I sure hope not! Come to think about it…that costume might be scarier than it appears!

This next one hits close to home, for I have had someone steal my identity before:

Photo credit: Laura Thomason

Look at that identity thief! We should all be terrified, actually!

Or maybe it’s the professors who grade papers whom we should fear. First up, the grammar police. Then we have the prof who wears the bones of those students who complained too much.

Seriously, do not mess with the grammar police. They have red pens, and they are ready to use them. Don’t like your paper grade? Watch out, some profs won’t take too kindly to complaints. (P.S. If you’re reading this and you’re a student–we like to talk about how to improve your writing, so focus on that when you approach your profs.)

Speaking of students, check out this collection of costumes. I bet you’ll have a difficult time spotting the instructor (hint: she’s wearing a costume representing a high school sports team):

What costumes can you identify? I see a banana, a sumo wrestler, a hippie, Waldo, Big Bird, and a few more. I also see a “Lady Eagle.” You’ll have to ask Lauren about that moniker.

All in all, it was another successful Halloween replete with plenty of lively and deadly costumes.

Until next year, friends. Start planning now? 😀

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