Best-Laid Halloween Plans

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I adore the costumes, the candy, and the atmosphere. It’s a time to be scared, while still feeling safe. You can also listen to Halloween soundtracks on loop, and find vintage songs.

It’s a running gag, naturally, that each Halloween has a plan disrupted. I don’t know how it keeps occurring, in all honesty. Either it’s raining while trick-or-treating is happening, or there is a family occurrence, or some years there aren’t any good Halloween events for adults, because I don’t drink socially owing to a lot of school events that showed the consequences of that.

Then the pandemic happened last year. That meant even our neighborhood block party, which is more child-friendly, couldn’t go on as usual. At that point, I went, “Enough is enough. We’re going virtual!”

Everyone likes a good campfire tale.  I thought we could do a virtual storytelling session. With all of us at home, we can tell our creepy stories, or share our favorite ones.

Last year, I was excited and taking names. I asked people frequently and in multiple servers, taking down names and adding them to the group chat. It wasn’t rocket science, or so I thought. All we had to do was agree to meet at a certain time.

Then I tried scheduling the event and hosting it. Only a few people showed up. One said he had work, and he couldn’t attend any of the late-night sessions No worries; I said we could reschedule for after Halloween. One of my good friends was able to make it. We watched some horror movies that month, as well as The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

Fall folded into winter. The New Year arrived, with a new movie. We had not rescheduled a new creepy event.

This year, I wasn’t as optimistic that we would coordinate schedules, but I was determined to try. Rather than reach out to multiple servers, I settled on asking people from two who would be interested. A friend invited me to her in-person party, and I got my costume accordingly. It’s in pieces around me as I type this.

The voice chat happened last Sunday and Monday respectively. Four to five people gathered and either read-aloud stories, and we had a good time. I stuck with Alvin Schwartz and Neil Gaiman, while others discussed terrible supermarket horror tales, and what a paramedic may see. It went off without a hitch, and people said they wanted to do it again.

As a punchline, my friend had to cancel her party. I sent her well wishes since it was a good reason to raincheck. At that point, a person had to laugh. Best-laid plans went awry, and the running gag quota is filled for this year. But at least I did a voice-chat storytelling session, and my costume looks great!