GUEST POST: Patrick Lacey

Avoiding Halloween Burnout

A recent study by science showed that one in five autumn enthusiasts will experience Halloween burnout at some point in their lifetime. Halloween burnout is a newly discovered condition that affects those who place unrealistic expectations on themselves during the spooky season, which for many begins on July 5th and ends on November 1st. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, questioning how Michael Myers can drive, watching the Garfield Halloween Special until it loses all meaning, and more fatigue.

In all (relative) seriousness, Halloween burnout is real and it’s running rampant. The season starts earlier each year. This past June, I found a rubber bat in Michael’s. June, people. And with an ever-expanding season, come infinite ways to celebrate, whether it’s binge watching your favorite horror movies until your eyes bleed or binge eating pumpkin spice everything until…your eyes bleed. Social media’s no help. Sure, it’s a way to feel connected to your Halloween-loving peers but it also creates undue stress. You scroll through your timeline/feed/whatever and it’s all Halloween all the time. It makes you want to keep up, to never waste one precious moment on something like sleeping or brushing your teeth.

So the question remains: how can you ensure your Halloween season is as Halloweenish as possible?

The answer is simple: you don’t have to.

That’s where the Halloween Randomizer 5000.1 (patent pending) comes into play. Stay with me here. The idea is you jot down whatever Halloween activities that come to mind onto tiny slips of paper. Make sure you write legibly because you’ll need to read these later. If that’s a challenge for you, here’s hoping you can draw at a stick-figure level. Next, fold said slips and place them into a receptacle of some sort. The Randomizer can be made from whatever you’ve got handy. Mine’s a snot-green pumpkin pail mummified in orange lights. I like to add a Pumpkinhead action figure or two because that’s what I do.

After you’ve assembled your Randomizer, now it’s time to let chance step up to the podium. Shake it. Do it again, just to be sure. Maybe a third time because it kind of sounds like a maraca. Now close your eyes, reach into the Randomizer, and pull out a single strip of paper. Whatever’s written on it, that’s what you’re doing today. Could be movie marathon or maybe you’re baking an apple pie or if you’re not talented in the kitchen, go out and buy one. A pie, not a kitchen, unless you’re looking to remodel. No activity is too outlandish or low key. Heck, once the leaves turn, you could go for a walk through a cemetery and call it a day. That’s the magic of the season. Halloween’s in the very air we breathe. It smells like candy corn and candy applies and candy everything else. It smells like possibilities. Sure, the season flies by. And yeah, come November 1st, you’ll be staring into the void, but you can greatly decrease your chances of FOMO if you drop the pressure and unrealistic expectations and just have fun.

So this year, give yourself a break. It’s time to construct your very own Halloween Randomizer 5000.1 with whatever’s within reaching distance. A shoebox? Sure thing. A coffee mug? Why not? A real pumpkin? You bet, though I hope you enjoy mold. As long as you’re doing something—anything—to get into the Halloween spirit, that’s all that matters. No more pressure. No more stress. Save that for your costume. Will you wear a cape? A mask? If so, what kind of material? There’s latex and plastic and—I’ve just had the greatest idea for an invention. It’s called the Halloween Costume Randomizer 5000.1. Stay with me here.

Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He currently spends his time writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts, in a hopefully un-haunted house, with his wife, his daughter, and his ginormous cat. Follow him on Twitter.

Sleep Paralysis: A Collection
Sleep paralysis: A transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, accompanied by powerful hallucinations and muscle weakness, preventing one from moving.

A website that specializes in suffering. A basement filled with secrets and bones. An apartment housing much more than just ghosts. These are the places between reality and the unknown. These are the stories that stay with you long after you’ve read them. These are the things that visit your dreams. And nightmares.

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