A reader asked:
I’m in college and too old to trick-or-treat, but I’m autistic and even if I went to a party I’d be miserable. Since I moved out, I live in a building where I won’t get trick-or-treaters. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do for Halloween this year, do you have any advice?
There are several things you can do on/for Halloween that don’t involve parties or trick or treating. I don’t know what kind of stuff you like, so here are some things:
- You can carve pumpkins (most grocery stores in the US sell pumpkins suitable for jack-o-lanterns this time of year)
- You can use them as decorations, even if there are no trick-or-treaters
- You can also enter a pumpkin carving contest
- (There may be some that adults are allowed to enter in your area; there are also some that take place online such as this one.)
- You can read Halloween fanfic. AO3 has a Halloween tag.
- You can also write Halloween-related fic or make art.
- That can be a good way to be part of a community doing Halloween (and can be fun even if it’s not a community thing for you)
Arts and crafts:
- If you like to make things, you might make some Halloween things
- Craft stores have a lot of Halloween-related supplies, projects, and suggestions this time of year
- If you want some ideas, browsing a craft store might help
- You can also just make orange things, or orange and black things
- Or things involving ghosts or black cats
- You can also post pictures of what you make on Tumblr/Pintrest/other places
- If you google “sensory activities” or “sensory play”, you get a lot of instructions for making fun things to stim with
- Most of them are created by parents or therapists for kids
- There are a *lot* of holiday-themed sensory activities/play
- Here is a page with some Halloween suggestions
- If you like to cook, there are a lot of Halloween recipes. Here’s the allrecipes.com Halloween page.
- You can also make pumpkin pie (or other pumpkin things)
- If you don’t want to or can’t cook, stores have a lot of Halloween-themed food
- You can get Halloween candy, or cookies, or cakes, or any number of other things.
Watching movies or TV shows:
- A lot of shows have Halloween episodes
- One classic Halloween episode is “It’s the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
- Halloween episodes aside, some people enjoy watching horror movies on Halloween.
- There are also some Halloween movies that aren’t horror movies. One excellent one is The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Reading scary/ghost stories:
- Some people like to read scary stories or ghost stories on Halloween
- If you like that sort of thing, Project Gutenberg has a ton of stories by Edgar Allen Poe, almost all of which are scary or creepy.
- (There are also non-scary ghost stories, but I don’t know where to find them offhand).
Hosting a gathering that you’d enjoy:
- Even if you don’t like parties, you still might like to be around a few other people.
- Maybe having dinner together
- Or baking cookies together
- Or watching a movie