The Top 5 Halloween-y Things We’re All Talking About Today

Today is Halloween which means it is both the spookiest and also the greatest day of the year. There are sweets, and costumes, and lots of scary things and it’s all great. Talking about things is also great, and that’s a thing that people do at Halloween, and all year round too. Here are the Top 5 Halloween-y things that we’ve all been talking about – and that we always talk about – around Halloween.

1. Some spoooky haunted places around the country

Lots of bad things happen in Ireland – we can’t buy drink on Good Friday. Everything’s expensive. Pat Kenny hosted the Toy Show for all those years. These things are unequivocally bad. We know this. But sometimes things happen that are so bad that people actually die and then they haunt the place forever.

Charles Fort Kinsale -
Charles Fort in Kinsale

Ghosts are scary and probably shouldn’t be messed with, but if you’re feeling extra mad and want to get into the spooky Halloween spirit (get it?) you could go explore some of these places today. Irish Central made a handy list of the country’s most haunted spots, so you can go visit them at your leisure, or you can avoid them at all costs.

The list includes Charles Fort in Kinsale (spooky military), Belfast’s Grand Opera House (spooky music), and Kilmainham Gaol (spooky nationalism). A couple of creepy hotels also get a mention, like Renvyle House in Galway, which was frequented by none other than occult enthusiastic W.B. Yeats who apparently held a few séances within its walls. According to the hotel’s owner, he would often experience ghostly “presences” and hear limping footsteps on his landing during the night. Unfortunately, Renvyle House was burned down by the IRA some time later. They must have been aware of its mysterious, supernatural entities too…

2. Getting your firework on… Or not

Before 2006, the laws surrounding the buying, selling, and using of fireworks in Ireland weren’t all that clear. While it may have been an offense to illegally import fireworks from abroad without a license, in many places these laws were not strictly enforced. It was not a crime to set off fireworks prior to this time either.

However, after 2006 the Gardaí decided to crack down on illegal fireworks. Part of the Criminal Justice Act of that year allowed them to amend the Explosives Act of 1875 to ensure that the possession of fireworks was a criminal offense, and could lead to fines and prosecution.

Fireworks - HeadStuff.orgAccording to the legislation, anyone who lights, throws, possess, intends to sell, or does sell a firework can face a fine of up to €10,000, or serve a sentence of anywhere between six months and five years in prison. For some reason, the law also includes party-poppers and Christmas crackers as category 1 fireworks – meaning that it is legal for the public to use them, but selling them to a person under the age of sixteen is actually an offense. How festive.

It’s no secret that lots of people head up North to procure their Halloween fireworks anyway – which is probably why the Gardaí have issued a nationwide alert on the danger of them. Similar warnings can also be expected tonight regarding bonfires. Last year, the Dublin Fire Brigade received over 600 emergency calls from around the city. However, when they arrived they were attacked by “gangs of youths” who apparently weren’t ready for their pile of pallets and rotten furniture to be extinguished just yet.

3. Keeping your pets safe this Halloween

Everyone can have a fun time on Halloween if they try hard enough – everyone except pets. Not only do they not get to pick a costume or eat themselves into a sweet induced coma, but they run the risk of being terrified by fireworks, bonfires, and bangers, going missing, or even being killed.

Rabbit - HeadStuff.orgThis year, the DSPCA have released a nice little guide on how to keep your pet safe tonight. The charity have reminded us that pets can get particularly stressed during Halloween, and that in order to keep them safe and calm and generally happy they should be kept indoors. In the event that a pet somehow ends up outside, it’s crucial that they have some sort of ID tag, or are microchipped.

Just this week, it was reported that four kittens were rescued from a box after a gang of children tried to set them on fire in Ballymun. Thankfully, the kittens – who are only ten weeks old – are currently recuperating in Dogs Aid Animal Sanctuary, and are hoping to be re-homed soon.

The DSPCA have also recommended that pets not be left unattended in any rooms with Halloween decorations; specifically candles or lit pumpkins. Dressing your pet up is also apparently bad, as pets aren’t human beings, and don’t wear clothes… No matter how much we wish they would.

4. ‘Slutty’ costumes

‘Tis the season for everyone to complain about women wearing less clothing than men. According to this little number in the Huffington post, every female on the planet who shows some ankle on Halloween night should be positively ashamed of herself. “I find it disgusting!” writes Dawn Landau, “When I was in high school (…) we were cute, we were funny, we were clever or scary; we were not sluts.”

Sexy corn -
‘Sexy corn’

Alright Dawn – if your definition of a “slut” is somebody who wears a skirt (which it definitely seems to be), then you may not want to step outside tonight lest you take offense at all those utterly whoreish women you’re bound to see showing a bit of leg in the blistering cold – how very dare they.

This article titled 9 Reasons to Boycott Slutty Costumes this Halloween appeared at first to be a little less blunt and insulting. For a few seconds, it actually seemed like the author was intending to boycott said costumes to oppose the companies who make them, to dismantle the notion that women could be pigeonholed as a ‘slut’ and nothing else, and to destroy the patriarchy once and for all. But then she mentioned that “guys actually love a funny, un-sexy costume,” and the whole thing fell apart. The incredulous idea that women might be dressing themselves for themselves still remains too convoluted a concept for many to understand.

If you’re a woman and you’re looking for a costume that covers your entire body good for you. If you’re a woman who’s looking for a costume that doesn’t cover your entire body then good for you also. And if you’re a man who’s looking for a ‘slutty’ costume, never fear – and their 15 Slutty Costumes – But This Time They’re All For Men! article has got you covered. Except all of the costumes are actually a bit creepy, and very phallocentric. Don’t wear them. Ever.

5. Drink!

According to the US’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween night sees more drunk drivers hit the roads than Christmas and even New Years Eve. It is for this reason that the Chicago Tribune have issued a warning, encouraging people to drive sober, look out for children in the streets, and walk home with a friend if necessary.

Others have taken a more traditional and delicious approach to the alcohol discussion, and suggested that we all sit back, relax, and make some Halloween themed cocktails. These ones include blood (red wine), eyeballs (grapes), and lots of other fun things like actual pumpkins and dry ice. It’s all very, very spooky.

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