Lili Michelle's guide to getting spooky during the spookiest year on record

This year has been what I can only describe as a Tim Burton film come to life. The days grow longer, while the months fly by. It’s been over 224 days since quarantine started, but it feels like it was just yesterday that I was sent home from work with a desktop computer and the hope this would, ‘all be over in two weeks.’ Now, with Halloween right around the corner, we need creative ways to live our Hocus Pocus dreams while avoiding this Contagion nightmare. As a 26-year-old adult who misses human interaction and loves free candy, can I go trick-or-treating if I wear a full Freddy Krueger mask? Here is my guide to giving yourself the spooks when everything is already scary.

1. Look at an old picture of yourself

Sometimes my mom will do this really beautiful thing where she sends me a terrifying picture of my younger self which sends a shiver down my spine. She recently sent me an old picture of me that featured acne, holiday-colored braces, and the front bangs I cut myself. At first glance I thought it was a picture of Chucky, turns out it was just me at 15. If they made a Halloween mask of my highschool self, I would win the scariest costume of the year. Looking at an old picture of yourself is like seeing a ghost, except so much worse because that was you at some point!

2. Call your older relatives and ask them who they’re voting for

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to have the scariest conversation, do it during October to scare yourself early this year! Call those relatives that you only see once a year because their political views scare you too much to reach out more than that. See what your Get Out relatives really think about the pandemic, and most importantly, ask them who they’re voting for, you know, for fun!

3. Try on your jeans you haven’t worn since March

I recently tried to wear jeans for the art of being uncomfortable in my own skin and let me tell you, it was terrifying. Attempting to button my jeans that haven’t been worn in over 224 days was appalling. I knew I was not the same person pre-pandemic as I am now, spiritually and emotionally, but I didn’t realize I was physically a different person as well. Unfortunately, the witches of The Craft didn’t put a spell on me to make me not fit into my jeans, that was my own doing. So if you really want that blood-curdling Halloween experience, try on your jeans and I promise, you will be disappointed.

4. Check-in on a childhood bully or crush

I did something really fun during the pandemic where I reached out to both my childhood bully and my childhood crush. Maybe I’m just a masochist but I thought it would be an enlightening experience and boy was I wrong. Something I never knew was how similar my childhood crush and bully were, and I say this because guess what, they both left me on read. There’s not really a spine-chilling experience quite like being rejected by two people who used to be your whole world. I’m much like Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic where every guy I’m interested in turns into a ghost.

5. Don’t look at your phone for 24 hours

I know, it’s the freakiest suggestion of them all, but I can’t help it. The scariest thing to me is to have my phone more than an arm’s length away at all times. I’m addicted and I can’t help it (I mean I can—but I just refuse). Thinking about turning my phone off for 24 hours is already giving me anxiety which probably means I should do it. Truly nothing negative can come from unplugging for a day and it also gives you the perfect excuse of “sorry I really didn’t read your text this time!” or to be a little more festive say “sorry Debbie Reynolds took my phone to Halloweentown! I just got it back!”