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Buckets are the New Pumpkins

Do you annually waste nourishing squash flesh on bourgeois porch displays? Jettison the traditional jack-o’-lantern with this one simple trick

Illustration by Ben Sanders

They say the first jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips centuries ago, carried through the evening by Halloween revelers or left in windows to ward off restive spirits. But caught up in the eerie proceedings and unmatched joy of carving root vegetables, these superstitious louts and lasses—likely drunk on elderberry wine and logy from eating too much lamb—were unknowingly summoning another kind of evil, one that would come back year after year to haunt the world for generations on end. I’m talking, of course, about the horrors of Halloween food waste.

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5 Tales of Halloween Heartbreak

A conversation about growing up in the U.S. without celebrating national dress-up-and-get-free-candy day

Illustration by Addison Eaton

It’s too late for me. I’m almost 23 years old—long past the age where it’s appropriate. I have no kids of my own and I don’t particularly enjoy the company of children. So, in addition to going to prom, getting drunk on grad night, and loving Bruce Springsteen, it seems like I’ll have to add trick-or-treating to the long list of Great American traditions I will never experience.

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Forget the Ouija Board

If you want to get into divination this Halloween season, check out these alternatives to the game that rhymes with ‘squeegee’

Vicky Adams

Several writers, including award-winning poet James Merrill, claim they've published works composed with the help of spirits conjured and consulted via Ouija boards. Most of the movies featuring such a board (such as the imaginatively titled Ouija, Hasbro's second attempt at a major motion picture following 2012's Battleship), however, all seem to be based on urban legends about the horrors unleashed by its misuse in the hands of morons.

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Binders Full of Women vs. Big Bird: Top Halloween Costume of 2012?

What do you think the top searched Halloween costumes will be this year?

Each Halloween, the most popular costumes tend to be dictated by the news of the day. What's going on in pop culture, politics, and the world will usually determine how people get dressed on October 31. To figure out what's in the collective Halloween consciousness, Google is the best measure. The most searched costume in Google is traditionally the most popular attire out on the streets.

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On Halloween night in 1997, Daniel James Cole wrapped a broken seatbelt around his neck, covered half his face in blood, and stuck a Mercedes-Benz hood ornament through his cheek. Princess Diana had died in a car crash two months earlier; Cole decided to celebrate the holiday by dressing as Dodi Fayed, the man who died at her side. “Most people thought it was a fantastic, brilliant costume,” says Cole, a professor of fashion history at New York University. “One person told me it was disgusting and I should go home.”

Halloween has always been an inherently disgusting celebration: Cole calls it “a holiday about the dead coming out of their graves.” In recent years, though, contemporary revelers have expanded upon Halloween’s visceral thrills to serve up broader cultural offenses—dressing as terrorist victims, racist stereotypes, vegetative Terri Schiavos, and the gory recently deceased. But for every deliberately offensive Twin Towers couples costume walking the streets on October 31, there are a dozen more get-ups that occupy an ambiguous area between provocative thrill and social suicide.

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