The bare bones of Halloween

Good costumes are great conversation starters. It feels safer to be more daring or even outrageous when you’re behind a costume

It’s back. That time of year when supermarkets stock fake blood by the gallon and some student with a point to prove gets dared to down it. There are no less than five horror films released in the cinema and double that cycling Sky Movies. For some girls, it’s an excuse to wear as little as possible. For many guys, it’s like Christmas.

Ritualistic drinking, some surreal Walks of Shame come November 1st, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller shamelessly overplayed, the experience of a university Halloween is very different to badgering your neighbours for a Twix.

You see, alcohol’s ordinarily autumn complexion makes it the perfect mixer for scant costumes, and for freshers the newness of being able to get served in a bar rather than bunching up in your mate’s living room round a cobwebbed punch bowl with a paper skeleton hanging embarrassingly from the door. The inevitable night out that will occur tonight calls for suitable preparation. That sheet with two holes in it just simply won’t do.

So let’s talk costumes. The usual candidates of super heroes, zombies, witches, vampires and skeletons are always a safe bet. But come on, you’re at university now. Be creative.

Not too creative though, we all saw what happened to Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls. Be practical; going as Tarzan probably won’t be a good idea in the cold Yorkshire weather. Whatever you do, don’t go as a skeleton, you’ll have no body to dance with.

Seriously though, good costumes are great conversation starters. It feels safer to be more daring or even outrageous when you’re behind a costume, to take social risks and talk to people you don’t know, even though it is something we should all be getting used to by now.

Now, let’s talk drink. Even factoring in the unnecessarily large amount of pre drinks you’ve reconstructed Costcutter’s back shelves with on your kitchen table, the nature of university Halloween is such that you’ll probably end up spending more than you usually do on a night out anyway. Budget £40 and leave your cards at home. You scoff, but rest assured, when Willow start to offer their “special Halloween shot” (Tetanus, to ward against the prawn crackers), you will be tempted.

Whatever you choose to dress up as tonight, be it a pop culture figure, a supernatural character, or an animal onesie, I can’t guarantee your first Halloween away from home is one you’ll necessarily remember. And that’s why it’s important to take photos.

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