In a confusing, modern world in which everyone wanders around aimlessly in their virtual reality helmets while playing Pokemon pogs on their telephones and listening to auto-tuned teenagers sing about their vaginas, Psychobabble offers Halloween as an oasis of retro sensibilities. Not politically retro. That would be gross. I just mean Halloweenally retro. Take off the helmet. Put down the phone. Turn off that singer who is still a teenager and consider listening to one who was a teenager fifty years ago (may I suggest The Crystals’ and their “Frankenstein Twist”?). It’s time to buckle down and allow the waves of nostalgia in.
There are few things more old-fashioned than the notion that the vale between the natural world and the spirit world will lift up and a host of ghosts will sneak under it and start partying on our turf every October 31st.. That’s some silly shit. So it would be highly inappropriate to celebrate such an old-fashioned holiday in a new-fashioned way. Here are Psychobabble’s ten tips for recreating the perfect retro Halloween experience.
1. Hang Beistly decorations.
Halloween is not an icy pool. You don’t just leap into it on October 31st and leap right back out again. It is a warm bath. You sink into it slowly and lounge, preferably for an entire month. Part of that involves decorating your home. Many people spend all of their energy hanging ghouls and skeletons all over the outside of their homes, which is all fine and good for showing your neighbors how festive you are, but you should never neglect the inside either, since you probably spend more time indoors than out on the lawn. Whether you’re decorating inside or out, you cannot have a truly retro Halloween without some Beistle decorations. You know them. They’re those grinning cats and jack-o-lanterns, wrinkly witches, and dancing skeletons rendered in shades of orange, black, yellow, and green on die-cut cardboard. These designs have been in use since the Beistle Company began in 1900 and were particularly ubiquitous in the seventies and early eighties. Few visuals will instantly conjure those old-timey Halloween feelings than Beistle decorations, though you are also welcome to hang up some of those toxic melted plastic popcorn decorations depicting ghosts, witches, and cats. They’re retro too. Expensive animatronic serial killers and giant inflatable Adam Sandler vampires from Hotel Transylvania are not.
2. Send mail using actual paper and actual mail boxes.