Riley Tomes
This Girls Story Editor

In my recent years, I have become rather fond of little ghosts. This makes Halloween really rather exciting for me, because it is the perfect season to tell everyone how much I love little ghosts and why they should too, but I certainly do not confine my adoration of little ghosts to October.

I never really liked Halloween as a kid. I am aggressively—in technical terms—Anti-Scary Things. I hate horror movies and spooky stories, creepy costumes, and frightening décor. On Halloween mornings, my older brother used to wake me up wearing bloody costume gloves or a skeleton mask. I loathed it.

However, Halloween wasn’t completely irredeemable. Dressing up was a big event in my house. My mom is firm that dressing up is mandatory on Halloween, regardless of your age or whether or not you plan on going trick-or-treating. We would carve pumpkins on the kitchen table every year, too. My dad would even pull out his power tools to make my brother’s and my wildest ideas come to life on the pumpkin. We would scoop out the pumpkin “guts” and separate out the seeds for my mom to roast. I did love those parts of Halloween as a kid, but I resolutely despised the scary parts that came with the holiday.

Now that I am 19, Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday. There aren’t really any expectations for Halloween like there are for Christmas or Thanksgiving. There is less pressure to pretend that family fractures don’t exist, and you can spend the holiday however you want, with whoever you want. I reconstructed Halloween for myself. I have embraced the coziest aspects of the holiday and released the scary aspects that no longer serve me. Now, I love spending Halloween with my friends, baking something with apples and cinnamon, carving pumpkins, watching Scooby Doo, and taking pictures in our costumes. Not to mention, little ghosts, everywhere!

Instead of malicious, chilling spirits who haunt people, I have rewritten the concept of ghosts that I learned when I was younger and embraced the idea of little ghosts that are friendly and gentle. I leaned into stories like Casper the Friendly Ghost, and my favorite children’s book about another friendly ghost named Henry, who had dinner parties with his fellow ghost friends. My idea of little ghosts float about in small white sheets, causing tiny chills in the air, and having their linen rustled by the wind in turn. In picturing ghosts in a way that makes them friendly and delightful, I’ve made Halloween a happier time for myself.

In perhaps the most uncontroversial statement ever, life is hard!! Even when life is good, it is hard. People tell you to find the good in life, even when it is hard. However, I advocate for not just finding the good, but creating the good yourself.
So, here is my invitation to you: like a little ghost, create your own little stir! Effect and let yourself be affected. Have the courage to create something that utterly and completely delights you.

Happy Halloween !!

Where to find me!

Follow me on Instagram!  – @riley.tomes

Read my poetry! – @cherrycolacosmos (also on Instagram!)

I’m also experimenting with YouTube! – My channel is rileytomes