Here’s the thing: Halloween as a child is one of the most awesome nights ever. But since you got older, the only way it has been socially acceptable for you to enjoy All Hallows’ Eve is by wearing a slutty nurse uniform and getting off with blokes who you hope are a little less ugly underneath all that Incredible Hulk body paint. It goes like this until you have children of your own (shudder) and then you just walk around with a bunch of five-year-olds in a supervisory capacity, making sure the neighbourhood pervert hasn’t inserted razor blades in to his Haribo.
As I’m reluctant to spend the 31st October being groped again and, as thinking about my biological ticking clock is like having a wasp stuck in my head, I’ve decided to reclaim Halloween for my own again. Yeah, you might think a fully grown 30-something year old woman walking around with a swag bag, chirping “trick or treat” is a little weird – but let me explain the joys of doing Halloween as an adult…
Being Part of a Gang
Remember when you were a kid and you and your friends were the coolest gang around? It didn’t matter that you were the runty slightly-bullied member of the group, you felt proud as you all walked down the street, dominating the pavement, shouting all the new swear words you learnt that day from the kids in Year 10. Adult trick or treating can give you that same feeling of belonging. Obviously you can’t do this sort of thing on your own, and I’d advise against tagging on to the back of a group of 10-year-olds, so you’re going to have to find a gang. Perhaps your friends of yore (who have now settled down and have babies) might be a bit reluctant to do this, but you’ll have other friends who entertain that level of crazy in you. Go with that mate who once went to a wedding dress sale with you – despite the fact that neither of you had plans to get married (this bit was fine; having a scrap with a real bride-to-be over “your dress” was not.) Go get your Halloween Buddy, be free and rule the streets together.
Your Inner Fat Kid
Sweets! Sweets! Sweets! Oh glorious sweets! This is confectionary heaven. This is even better than the time you realised that there was a blind spot around the bit in Woolworths where they kept the Pick ‘n’ Mix, inviting you to fill your pockets up and stuff as many strawberry lances as you can down the front of your bomber jacket as you could. Oh sugary goodness. The E-Number high. The fur upon your teeth. Embrace that inner fat kid you’ve tried to shake off since you became slightly obsessed with body image after reading Just 17. Your dentist can go fuck himself. And, as an adult, your mum isn’t here to try and stop you eating them all in one go. Think of the street as your supermarket aisle, and the night as your very own appearance on “Dale Winton’s Supermarket Sweep.” Go go go!
Reviving Knock Door Run
What a brilliant game. How could you have ever forgotten it? Pick a victim’s door, ring the shit out of the doorbell and then run as fast as you can. It’s the buzz of the nervous exhilaration as your legs try to get you out of the vicinity as quickly as possible; it’s the stress of desperately trying to find a dustbin – or anything – to hide behind as you realise everyone else is peeling off and finding hiding stations; it’s struggling for breath as your could-be-fitter body convulses with immature laughter. Whilst it’s a gang game, it is sort of also an individual sport because, if you’re a weak runner, then wobbly Mr Warbuton with no teeth will spot you, gain on you and haul you back to his house where he’ll call your parents and keep you hostage in his fag-ashy living room with his incontinent one-eyed dog.
Doing this as an adult holds all of the same pleasure – with the added perk of being able to blame a group of innocent kids as they’re on their way home, biding by their curfew.
Now to me, there’s no better perk of visiting lots of households than to have a bit of a nosey over the shoulder of the resident and to make some sharp judgments of their lifestyle and them as a person. If people don’t shut their curtains, then I’m bound to have a bit of a gawp in their window, taking a sharp intake of breath when spotting their hideous sofa cover. I like to call it natural human curiosity, and I’ve often thought about getting a job as a door-to-door saleswoman – and I can totally see the attraction for Jehovah’s Witnesses. But I digress. Trick or treating as an adult is the perfect way to either make yourself feel smugly superior – or like a bit shitting failure – as you get to see the hidden layers of the people who live on your street.
Don’t for once think that you’ll have a monopoly on the trick or treating on your street. There will be others, mooching around with inferior costumes, trying to get sweets out of people before you’ve even got there. It’s your responsibility to defend your territory. Hey, and if it goes as far as igniting a gang war, then so be it. Of course that means entering in to a turf war with a bunch of ten-year-olds, but the real danger is bumping in to the twilight version of yourself; as in a weird version of that scene in Shaun of the Dead where they bump in to their doppelgangers as they’re trying to escape the zombies, there’s every chance you could bump in to another adult who has also made the decision to relive their childhood. DO NOT LET THEM STEAL YOUR CROWN. Pelt them with eggs, shower them with flour, and bombard them with water bombs as you chase them around the back of the bus shelter, crashing them to the ground as you do a weird-never-before-attempted rugby tackle – after which you squash all the rancid strawberry creams in to their face, making them repeat after you, “I am a Halloween bumder.”
There really couldn’t be any better excuse could there? I mean, that twat in the flat below you who plays his music way too loud, that woman a couple of doors down who moans about you not bringing your wheelie bin in, that bloke on the train who shoved you because he seemed to think he needed more space than you so you followed him home just to see where he lives. There couldn’t be any better targets. For these people, you don’t even pose the choice between “trick” or “treat”; you bypass the process, and go straight to bog-rolling their house and egging their door. Then walk past smugly the next day when you’re in your smart, adult work clothes, sniggering to yourself as you watch them all irate, gasping at the immaturity.
Falling Out With Your Halloween Buddy
Inevitably, it was going to happen… right? There’s me, off my tits on E-numbers, thinking I’m the Halloween Bees Knees and constantly upping the stakes with more immature prank suggestions. But really I’m just hyperactive and making a bit of a dick of myself. Which annoys Halloween Buddy a little bit. But, the thing is, she’s also being irritating, insisting on stopping to take Instagram selfies to prove to everyone that we had a really fun night, and you’re quite sure that she’s drunk more of her fair share of that bottle of whiskey we nicked from the first house of the night. So you start bickering, which turns in to a little bit of pushing and hysterical screaming and, before you know it, you’re on the floor on your arse and she’s pegging it off down the street with your bag of loot.
Halloween’s beaten you. Defeated, you remember that you’ve got a meeting first thing in the morning – so you traipse home with an E-number headache, feeling sorry for yourself, sniffling and muttering under your breath that next year you’re going to do Halloween with Fat Carrie.
And then you get to your flat… only to discover that your front door is caked in egg and flour, with the words “Halloween bumder” spray painted across it.
 Yes, “invite”. I’d even swear that in court.
 And stop looking so shocked next time you say something like, “A Wham bar took my molar out.”
 You agree to draw the line at spraying silly string in your hair, though, as you’ve both got work tomorrow morning.
 She hates Fat Carrie. She’s actually quite jealous of your relationship with Fat Carrie.