ELMS: Don’t let your Halloween plans stress you out

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Halloween was the best holiday when we were kids. We got to dress up in fun costumes, scare the crap out of our younger siblings and neighbors and stay up past our bedtimes counting every single piece of candy obtained during the trick-or-treating ritual.

Now that we’re in college and legal adults, Halloween has unfortunately lost its allure. Sure, college students still like eating candy and getting spooked, and who doesn’t love a good costume party? But when you really boil it down, Halloween is stressful.

Let me lay it out for you.

If you’re under 21, you’re likely trying to organize a party since you legally can’t hit the bar scene. But on this campus, if you’re not 21 yet you probably still live in a dorm and soon realize that hosting a rager in McCormick this weekend might not be the best idea.

With that option out the window, your next best choice is to figure out if there are any parties happening on campus that you and your friends could crash, all while scrambling to put together a costume that is both clever and slutty — but not too slutty, of course. Sound exhilarating? Maybe you should just stay in, pop in a few scary movies and chow down on your favorite candy instead.

If you’re 21 or older, you’re also rushing to figure out a clever and not-too-slutty costume. And who has time for that between all the papers and exams that inevitably pop up after fall break? I mean, really, didn’t we just have midterms?

Once you decide on an outfit, the focus shifts to how exactly you are going to celebrate. Option one: Pay an expensive cover charge to get into some bar with a costume contest and Halloween trivia and order overpriced, orange-tinted drinks while avoiding the creeper dressed as a serial killer (it is a costume, right?).

Option two: Skip out on the bar scene and host your own party. While this is a fun alternative to a night on the town, it takes a lot of planning, and cleaning up in the morning is always a blast. You also weigh the risk of hosting underage individuals at your shindig, which could put you in an uncomfortable situation if a squad of officers dressed in MPD outfits — and I don’t mean the kind you can buy at Halloween Express — show up.

See what I mean? There is all this pressure to do something out of the ordinary to celebrate this spooky holiday. And while it is definitely fun to dress up and drink orange punch, it might be better worth your time and energy to spend your beer money on something else this year. If watching “Ghost Adventures” and munching on candy corn doesn’t do it for you, there are other alternatives besides your average party.

Check out the Riverside Theater’s Haunted History Tour Friday night. Tickets are $25, and with that you get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Riverside’s haunted history, free beer, soda and Pizza Shuttle pizza, the chance to record and hear personal paranormal experiences in “The Ghost Story Project,” a personal tarot reading and “Ghost Hunters” Live tickets for the January event at the Riverside.  Event-goers are encouraged to attend in costume.

Another fun option is the ghost tour through the Third Ward. It gives you a chance to learn about the history, folklore and modern paranormal reports of this Milwaukee community and is also likely to freak you out, no matter how nerdy it may seem.

The Milwaukee Ballet is also presenting “Dracula,” and theaters throughout town are proudly showing Halloween-inspired productions. I recommend “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?” at Off The Wall Theatre, the preview of which you can read on page 10 of this issue.

And there is always the famed “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Oriental Theatre Friday and Saturday nights at midnight. It’s the longest running showing in the world, and you might feel out of place if you aren’t dressed in costume.

No matter how you celebrate Halloween this year, don’t let it stress you out. Dress up, get silly and eat lots of candy, but give one of these party alternatives a shot. It may not be how you expected to spend your Halloween, but it will definitely be a scary-good time.