Spooky season

Isabella Finn

If you haven’t heard of the term “Spooky Season” or “Szn” then let me break it down for you.

Spooky Szn is essentially just referring to the month of October as a whole, celebrating all things Halloween related. But what Spooky Szn really does is hype up the Autumn experience and aesthetic, something that has long been associated with pumpkin spice lattes and not the actual harvesting season. 

The celebration of Spooky Szn has been enriched in memes across the internet with the hashtag #spookyseason generating 444K posts on Instagram. The majority of the pictures depict Halloween make up, seasonal coffees and small American towns littered in orange and gold fallen leaves. Stunning, I know. But are people actively enjoying the Spooky Szn or are they just momentarily pleased by the autumnal aesthetic?

In an Instagram survey targeted at ages 16-24, 66 per cent said that they actually enjoy the Autumn season while 34 per cent said they just enjoyed the visual presented to them. But when asked whether they were “here” for that Spooky Szn hype only 47 per cent  said that they bought into the Szn image of tea and barmbrack, dressing up with friends and watching nature shift its colour palette. The rest believe that the idea of Spooky Szn is the equivalent of an orange Pinterest page with a few pumpkins thrown about.

However a large portion of Spooky Szn culture is it’s cinematic attributes. We see this same trend at Christmas, it’s that one of time of year when you can watch a seasonal movie completely guilt free. Because it’s morally wrong to watch Elf in July, just saying. 

Routinely, classics like Hocus Pocus, Halloween Town and, well, Halloween make their annual appearance. Now this is an area that Spooky Szn sceptics have more faith in. 69 per cent of the survey said that they enjoy Halloween related movies and 56 per cent said that they are more likely to watch a scary movie during Spooky Szn, and you know what? I don’t blame you. 

Dressing up is undoubtedly a huge feature of Spooky Szn culture but this is where things take a turn. 60 per cent of people said that they still dress up for Halloween. Instagram can be a fantastic place to become artistically inspired for costumes, particularly when it comes creative makeup and hairstyles . Mimicking pop culture where applicable is always a treat.

But 85 per cent said they preferred Halloween as a child than they do in adulthood. Just for the nostalgia, people are dressing up and for what? Just so they can safely say that they participated in Spooky Szn. Or is it because consumerism sucked the fun out of being silly once year and they’re trying to hold on to something that they used to enjoy when they were a kid?  

Either way nearly €41 million is spent on Halloween costumes, decorations and food in Ireland every year. Which burns the question; is Spooky Szn something you buy into or is it something that you should just learn to embrace without a Instagram Valencia filter?

Isabella Finn

Image Credit: Isabella Finn