a Halloween round-up

Halloween 2020 is not a normal Halloween, so here’s a round-up of Halloween posts from years past.

should I wear a Halloween costume my first week at a new job?

my office’s “kid-friendly” Halloween party was terrifying

my boss goes overboard for Halloween

I live where I work, and now there’s a haunted house next to me

our office may be haunted — how do I keep it from distracting from our work?

my employee sent a memo to management about ghosts in the building

I’m in trouble for being too tired to work the day after Halloween

my employee got fired for wearing a Halloween costume to work … and trick-or-treating in an important meeting

my piece for Slate on Halloween do’s and don’ts

a special Halloween episode of the Ask a Manager podcast (from 2018 — with stories of people’s spooky experiences at work, including voices when no one is there, a creepily laughing doll, a fired guy’s ghostly revenge, and more)

And if you still need more, here’s last year’s post where people shared spooky things that have happened to them at work.

{ 124 comments… read them below }

  1. EPLawyer*

    How could you NOT include the one where the uptight office that did NOT do Halloween have a person show up in costume and then go TRICK OR TREATING through a C-Suite meeting.

    1. Jennifer C*

      I love that one. I’m pretty sure that employee was tired of working for a stick-up-their-butts company that told employees to keep their toes covered. She just wanted to go out with a bang.

  2. Can't Sit Still*

    I’m surprised to realize that I really miss our company Halloween party. Everyone brings in their kids (and grandkids!) for the party. Realistically, that means babies and toddlers in costume, since it takes place during the school day. Some families get really into it and have matching family costumes. Employees wear costumes if they want, either all day or just for the party. and there’s tons of food and games. Maybe next year. Or the year after that.

    1. Anonyme*

      One of the units at my hospital used to host Halloween so that inpatients could hand out candy to children that came to visit grandparents/trick or treat. Not this year!

      1. Original Poster*

        We do day care at local hospital day care, my husband is an employee of the hospital system. I’m truly bummed about missing the Halloween hospital parade this year. It’s my sons last year at the day care.

  3. tiredof2020*

    I miss Halloween shanigans. At my husband’s office we can bring the kids to trick or treat from cubicle to cubicle. We are missing bring our kiddos this year. All the employees love and talk about days leading up to it. 2020 is the worst.

    1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      The music story in that one is cracking me up.

      My first MP3 player, many many moons ago, was the kind where you had to load an SD card with music for it to play. It would not play any song except “Smooth” by Santana/Rob Thomas. Now, I had put that song on the SD card the first time. Then I reformatted the SD card and put other music on it, and it still would not play anything other than that song. Then I took the SD card OUT and it still played that song (and only that song). I like the song, but that was a little banana crackers.

      1. KoiFeeder*

        Honestly, my favorite story from that thread is the one in the comments where a racoon fell into the fireplace during a meeting. Procyonormal Activity!

  4. Missing Halloween Parties*

    I love that Alison made this post :) It’s a mood picker-upper as I sit here and miss my friends’ annual Halloween parties.

  5. Mi-MOH-sah*

    What’s your take on religious costumes? I’d think it’s a big no no yet the guy who dressed up as Jesus won our virtual costume competition.

      1. Mi-MOH-sah*

        Haha, of course you have!
        Very fitting advice. We’re exactly in that awkward stage between being a start-up and becoming an established corporation. Our culture has been very inclusive but not very good at hearing minority voices so I can only hope noone felt offended.

    1. Emi*

      I think this is one of those things that can go either way depending on how it’s done. Just dressing up as a saint, in a non-mocking way, seems to me like dressing up as any other historical figure. (A lot of Catholics dress up as saints for All Saints’ Day, in fact, and there’s often a certain amount of costume recycling between the two holidays.) Dressing as Jesus is closer to the line and imo do not belong at work, just in case. “Sexy nun” costumes are gross and offensive, and “pedophile priest” costumes are even worse. (You’d think that goes without saying, but apparently not — I’ve heard of someone dressing like that for a *school* event.)

    2. Three owls in a trench coat*

      I think something like “holy guacamole” would be fine, but dressing up like a religious figure or leader is a no-no.

      The nun from “The Conjuring” being an exception.

      1. Momma Bear*

        I think it’s very office-dependent. That said, something I encountered working for a very starty up start up was how the CEO had to go “Oh. Maybe that was a bad idea” after the fact more than once. I found out later that we had some sensitivity training because some of the office talk got out of hand and the boss realized he could be in for a lot of trouble if they hired someone who (rightfully) got offended. I also think it depends on the costume. If someone was actively making fun of Christianity…eh, no. But if someone was nicknamed Jesus and decided to roll with it but was overall respectful, that might be OK. It’s just not a costume I would encourage.

    3. old curmudgeon*

      My son – mid 30s, works in IT but still lives in an alcohol-fueled college town – won his company’s costume contest last year with a particularly awful version of that.

      He dressed up as Jesus, and he had a realistic looking IV line filled with red liquid taped to his left arm. The other end of the IV line went into one of those boxes of wine (red, of course), and he went around offering everyone he met a glass of wine.

      Like I said, awful. I swear I don’t know who raised that kid. He must have gotten it all from his father.

    4. Chaordic One*

      This brings back childhood memories of attending Catholic grade school. The nuns had a low-key Halloween with candy and some coloring of Halloween-related crafts. I remember coloring and cutting out a picture of a black kitten popping out of jack-o-lantern. The lid was separate and attached to the pumpkin with a pin thing so it opened and revealed the kitten underneath it.

      The big celebration at Catholic Grade School was on the day after Halloween on “All Saints Day”. The nuns had us dress up as the saints that most of us were named after and then we marched down several main streets through town in a parade with a police car in front of us and one behind us. As a child, I didn’t think it was very fun and I didn’t find most of the saints to be very interesting.

      Most of the kids dressed in robes and you really couldn’t tell who most of the saints were supposed to be. You could tell who my friend, Joan, was supposed to be, but that was about it. My friend, Larry, had a sign taped to his back that read, “I’m well done on this side. Turn me over!,” which is what his namesake saint is supposed to have said while being martyred on a gridiron placed over hot coals. Religious costumes? Meh!

      1. Amethystmoon*

        I had to attend a Lutheran elementary school. Instead of Halloween, we had to celebrate Reformation Day. This consisted of dressing up as a character from the Bible. My mother made me dress up as Dorcas one year, who as I recall, did not really wear anything memorable. So my mother sewed me this pink and white robe-like thing, which was my costume. Yeah, it was as thrilling as it sounds. I think they maybe let us bob for apples, but that was about it as far as anything traditionally Halloweeny they let us do. By the time I was finally allowed to do anything for Halloween, I was too old to really care.

      2. Blaise*

        I teach at a Catholic school and we do both! As far as I can tell the kids legitimately love both- after all, a day out of uniform is a day out of uniform, haha!

        We did a Halloween parade this year since it was a covid-friendly thing we could do, and it was a huge hit (and will probably become a new tradition even in post-covid times!). Only 3rd and 4th grade dresses up as saints, and yeah you can’t really tell most of them apart lol, but the kids enjoyed it so that’s all that matters to me!

        I teach Spanish, so I’ve got my own stuff going on for Day of the Dead. No parties in my classes this year due to covid, but most years this ends up just being a whole week of parties for them lol!

  6. Casey*

    Oh my gosh I’ve never seen the one about the distractingly haunted office! OP, if you’re reading this, can you please tell me how I can get a job in a (1) very old house that is (2) probably haunted in the middle of a (3) public park, because those are my three interests!!

    1. pope suburban*

      I compromised and wore a necklace with bats. We’re skipping our usual party like everyone else, but I didn’t want to just do *nothing.* I really hope we’re back on an even keel next Halloween. I miss getting to dress up, see people I don’t normally, and have a potluck lunch.

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        Well, now I need a bat necklace.

        Does it count if I have a skeleton spider and a knit bat hanging up in my office?

    2. Ann O'Nemity*

      That’s my go-to Halloween costume for work. Cat ear headband and a clip-on cat tail. Super easy to put on and take off. Very little commitment :)

      1. Artemesia*

        I had one of those head clips ons of a ghost sort of entering the head on one side and emerging from the other. As you note — low commitment — can be whipped off in a hurry.

      2. old curmudgeon*

        I am costume-averse (unlike my highly inappropriate offspring), and I was deeply annoyed when someone in my work group a few years ago convinced our supervisor to require EVERYONE in the group to wear a costume on Halloween.

        I decided that if I was going to be forced to wear a costume, it would be a subtle literary one. So I made a big letter A out of brilliant red felt, about five inches high and embroidered with gold thread, and I wore a dark grey top with black work pants and that scarlet letter A affixed to my chest.

        Of course the rest of my workgroup was dressed in the usual witch, cat and ghost costumes, and there was a certain degree of side-eye thrown at my Scarlet Letter ensemble. One young woman in particular in my department just kept casting puzzled glances at me all day. She could not for the life of her figure out what the significance was of that big scarlet letter A, and it was driving her nuts.

        About mid-afternoon, she came running up to my desk with a big grin on her face and announced “I’ve figured out your costume! You’re Alvin from the Chipmunks!”

        I can only assume that the curriculum for American Literature has changed somewhat in the decades between my schooling and hers….

        1. Blaise*

          I’m a teacher and a kid at school did this, who actually WAS being Alvin, and I swear to god my first thought was “wow, that’s not really an appropriate costume for a 6th grade…” before figuring out it wasn’t a reference to The Scarlet Letter!

          1. old curmudgeon*

            See, I would have thought the exact same thing.

            My spouse went to a costumes-required event one time dressed in his regular clothes, just with one ear bandaged and a couple of artist’s paintbrushes stuck in his shirt pocket. Literally nobody at the party could connect those dots, not even when people would ask him what happened to his ear and he’d explain that he had cut it off and mailed it to his mistress.

            What can I say, he and I tend to the obscure in our costume choices.

        2. Artemesia*

          LOL. you would think she would have heard the term ‘Scarlet Letter’ in context at some point even if she didn’t know the literary reference. Guess not.

          We used to host an annual halloween prty for several years — lots of costumes that would not fly today. The year that Watts claimed his department was diverse because he had ‘two jews, a black and a cripple’ a Jewish couple we know went as ‘two Jews, a black and a cripple’. with one in blackface and one with a crutch — it seemed hilarious at the time in the ‘political commentary’ category but I’ll bet they are glad there was no facebook or internet then to record it for posterity. Another went as a Reagan school lunch vegetable i.e. a giant bottle of ketchup. And of course many people in ethnic costumes which would be derided today as culturally inappropriate or cultural appropriation.

        3. TardyTardis*

          I wore my Lace Collar RBG Mask, with my gavel (from a club I used to be in) to answer the door on Halloween. Wish I could have found a judge robe, though.

        4. Environmental Compliance*

          I love my cat ears, but that’s about as far as I’ll go for work. For friends & family – I will go all out. I made costumes by hand all through college.

          I really, really enjoy that you chose the Scarlet Letter!!

        5. Anne of Green Gables*

          I worked at a public library when I was pregnant. My last day of work before my maternity leave was the Friday of Banned Books week, where my library typically celebrated by dressing up as characters from banned books, there was a big even that afternoon, etc. My coworker made me a construction paper A and I wore it all day :)

  7. Pipe Organ Guy*

    There are those who believe our church building has a ghost. I have never encountered said ghost, but there it is. At a previous church job, after choir practice one night in another building, I went into the locked, dark church to put stuff away in the choir loft, and something just felt weird. I put the stuff down in the loft and got out of there very quickly. I hadn’t seen anything; nothing touched me; I hadn’t heard anything. But it was the only time I felt creeped out. I wonder if someone was locked in the church, and I felt that.

    Years ago, on a Sunday that also happened to be Hallowe’en, I was filling in for the regular organist, and I thought, “Now’s my opportunity!” and scheduled and played Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The whole thing. Lots of people stayed to listen. They loved it.

      1. allathian*

        Yeah, me too. I’ve heard it once played on a church organ and it was literally awesome. It’s one of my favorite classical pieces…

    1. TiffIf*

      A number of years ago a friend of my was organist at church and would often have some fun with the postlude–most people were milling around and not paying much attention so they didn’t realize she was playing movie soundtrack music. Then one day a couple of people were talking on the rostrum while she was playing and one person, in the middle of their sentence practically, goes “Wait, is that Hedwig’s Theme?” and the game was up :D

      1. BubbleTea*

        I used to sing in an Anglican chapel choir and whenever there was a choral birthday, the happy birthday tune would get worked into the organ voluntary somehow. Occasionally it was very subtle. On the music director’s birthday it was more obvious. It was great.

        1. Chocolate Teapot*

          Our organist once did Barbie Girl by Aqua, and, on another occasion, the triumphal march from Star Wars before the gospel reading.

          1. TardyTardis*

            This reminds me of The Simpson’s episode where the organist did “In the Garden of Eden” by I. Ron Butterfly…(as announced by Rev. Lovejoy).

  8. Pam*

    I loved the other letter with the Halloween costume firing- and now have learned about ‘reaching out.’

  9. I'm just here for the cats.*

    So it’s ironic that I was just thinking about halloween costumes and work and came across this.
    I was thinking earlier how it kinda sucks that there isn’t woman’s equivalent to ties for work. So if you work in an office where costumes are a no go, but it’s business casual a guy could get away with wearing a funny halloween tie (pumpkins or bats or something sily) however there isn’t any professional type dress that women can wear that similarly would show for Halloween. I’ve seen halloween shirts but their much more casual than a guy wearing a ghost tie. And sometimes they are way over the top, like ugly Christmas sweater style. maybe getting some silly flashing necklaces or something ?

    1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      A scarf, with a similar print to a dude’s halloween tie? Discreet jewelry, mayhaps? Funny socks?

      1. Zephy*

        I think jewelry or accessories would be the play, if you can’t really do a costume or “Morticia Addams, but make it corporate.” Right now, for instance, I’ve got on a mismatched pair of earrings – one is a little ghost with a smiley face, and the other says “BOO.” I also have a pair of black cats and jack-o-lanterns. Scarves, bracelets, brooches, all good options; maybe a subtle print or pattern on a third piece like a cardigan or jacket. If you’re in an industry where you’re allowed to have any sort of decoration on your nails, there are lots of options for even subtly Halloween-y manicures. I keep seeing ads on Instagram for some REALLY cute orange press-ons with little ghosties on them. (side note – yes, instagram, i do want these, but i hate that you know that about me and won’t give you the satisfaction, so there)

        I’m sure one could also find a face mask with cute ghosts or pumpkins or whatever on it right now, but that would only be an option this year (God willing, anyway – if we’re still having to wear masks all the time a year from now I don’t know what I’ll do).

        1. Morticia*

          I used to actually have an outfit I referred to as “Morticia goes to the office”. It was a calf-length black pencil skirt, a long tailored black jacket, and an ivory ruffled silk shirt. It was my interview outfit back in the day (I did get hired — place was on the casual side of business casual).

          I’m currently wearing little skeleton earrings; you could probably get away with those in most settings.

          1. Beth Jacobs*

            Look up “Adult Wrdnesday Addams Job Interview” on YouTube. It’s hilarious and business costume inspiration in one sketch :)

        2. pope suburban*

          Yeah, I’m wearing a necklace of bats flying against the moon today, and I have a lapel pin by the same artists in the shape of a hanging bat (with little rhinestone eyes). I can add it to a normal work outfit, and if I were in an environment where I’d need to remove it, it’d be no trouble.

      2. Momma Bear*

        I had thematic nail polish earlier in the month. I’ve also done fun earrings/necklace, a scarf, or something in festive colors (purple blouse, and black pants, for example).

    2. Three owls in a trench coat*

      I’ve seen women wear headbands with little spiders, mini witches hats, little ghosts, etc. on them. Same goes for hair clips: skeleton hands and so forth.

      They might not be as professional as a tie but they should be fine in most offices. I usually go for a pair of candy earrings and candy-pattered socks.

      1. DaisyAvalin*

        I wore for several years, a little purple velvet with lace trim witch’s hat on a headband for work at Halloween, until the head band broke :(. Then I got a navy version, but the glue has come unstuck on one side of the hat, so I can’t wear it this year :(.

    3. AnonoDoc*

      I went as a Plague Doctor, because that is what I have become.

      But I never wear a costume when I have patients scheduled.

    4. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

      Earrings are my usual go to in this kind of situation. Or maybe a top with an appropriate print. I’m not much for costumes of any kind but I don’t want to be a total spoilsport so that’s my usual compromise.

    5. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Blazers with a holiday-themed lapel pin come to mind, but my style’s admittedly a bit retro….

    6. Artemesia*

      earrings — there are black cats and bumpkins and Christmas trees etc and of course necklaces that light up or broaches.

  10. Three owls in a trench coat*

    Nothing will ever be as scary to me as having to accept boob cash in the middle of summer.

    1. Momma Bear*

      Solidarity. I was a cashier at a grocery store and we had one patron who always stashed her money in her bra. The money was always wet and smelly. UGH.

    2. LurkyTurkey*

      That gave me such a flashback to working as a cashier in a desert city and having to accept damp money! Sweaty boob cash was the worst.

    3. NapkinThief*

      I thought boob cash was the worst until someone offered sock cash. We had to put it in an separate envelope to contain the stench.

      1. TardyTardis*

        Then there was the time that someone dropped a cardboard magazine holder into the library slot that had been skunk sprayed. It was ugly behind the counter for at least a week.

  11. Slutty Toes*

    I’d forgotten that first letter with the lifelike puppet – I wonder how that turned out for the letter writer! I hope their office toned things down considerably.

    1. Forrest*

      Then letter immediately underneath it is, “will I be at a disadvantage if I can only video interview?” and wow has that aged badly.

      1. Disco Janet*

        Yes, I was thinking that too! Reading about the pros and cons and debates over video interviews and working from home even just a couple years ago seems like ancient history now.

  12. PeanutButter*

    I want an update to the haunted hotel! It reminded me very much of an incident in a hospital where I worked. One wing had been scheduled to be demolished, but then wasn’t, so it was abandoned and stripped down for everything useful, and then locked up. I worked the graveyard shift, and quite often other staff would tell me the empty wing was haunted.

    Me: “I bet there are squatters in there.”

    Them: “No, I saw lights flickering!”

    Me: “I bet it’s squatters.”

    Them: “When I was going to the lab when the elevator doors opened I heard the fire doors click closed! It’s a ghost!”

    Me: “I’m pretty sure people are living in there.”

    Them: “OMG SO HAUNTED”

    Then, like a month later when security found people living in the abandoned wing:


  13. CatPerson*

    When I was a kid, you mainly “grew out” of Hallowe’en when you were about 12, although parties persisted into college and early 20’s. But for some reason, adults no longer grow up insofar as Hallowe’en is concerned, even if they don’t have little kids. I don’t get it.

    1. Works in IT*

      It’s the one day in the year where, with some constraints in that you still need to be a decent person and not do anything racist or mocking a religion, you can dress up in *anything* you want, and no one will bat an eye at it.

    2. Nobby Nobbs*

      Because it’s fun! (I have seen thinkpieces on the possibility that the last few generations to enter adulthood are holding on to/reclaiming the perks of childhood because the traditional perks of adulthood are growing increasingly unattainable for more and more of the population, if you want to be serious about it.)

      1. Momma Bear*

        It is also a holiday where you probably don’t have to put up with your drunk uncle telling inappropriate jokes, or that your two aunts aren’t speaking to one another and won’t pass the butter, or your sister is running late (or the turkey is), etc. No traffic getting to Grandma’s house. No forced holiday nonsense with your extended family. It’s just a fun day.

    3. Amber Rose*

      Because we started collectively realizing that “growing up” out of things we enjoyed and had fun with that were hurting nobody just because we were told to was foolish.

      I’m grateful to be an adult who doesn’t let my age decide what I enjoy, and who chooses having fun over judging others for having fun.

    4. Liz case*

      Where I grew up (hamlet in a very rural area), there was always a Hallowe’en party at the old schoolhouse. All the old folks dressing up and square dancing, with bobbing for apples and rewards for best costume, and treats for the kids. If we were lucky, there were caramel apples :)
      It was fantastic, and I loved that no one really outgrew Hallowe’en.

    5. PeanutButter*

      For me, despite being resolutely child-free, I grew into enjoying seeing the little kids enjoying the holiday. I love seeing all the costumes of all ages, and in my old apartment building I made home-made treats for the kids I knew personally, just like my neighbors used to do for me when I was trick-or-treat age.

      1. TardyTardis*

        One year we had a ton of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–the group who won the night collected their candy in a pizza box.

    6. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Eh, and before that it was just a day of nasty pranks — like my grandfather’s stories of kids tipping over ash cans in NYC.
      I’m much happier having a costume day.
      (Anyone in the US willing to help me introduce Fastelavn here? Scandinavia’s pre-Lent warmup is in February this year and I for one will be ready to go for it!)

    7. Blaise*

      Wow, definitely glad I live in a time where being an adult doesn’t mean giving up fun things just because of my age.

      (Also, I’m a teacher, so I automatically get to do all the fun things anyway lol. But non-teacher adults deserve the same!!)

    8. Queer Earthling*

      You don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. People can decide for themselves what’s fun and what’s not. I personally don’t find judging other adults for harmless activities to be fun, but evidently you do not feel the same way. :)

  14. Amber Rose*

    I would like everyone to know that I just went into my boss’s office with a serious concern and after explaining it, she just stared at me. And at that point I became acutely aware that I am dressed as a unicorn today.

    We had a giggle about it, but I guess it’s hard to take me seriously when I’m wearing a bright purple onesie with cartoon eyes and a glowing horn.

    1. AKchic*

      One year, I had to reschedule a parent/teacher conference for Halloween. My then-company also did a trick-or-treating event for our client’s kids, and being the person I am, I was in charge of setting up the administrative decorations and we were all allowed to dress up. Of *course* I dressed up. I always have costumes on hand, and broke out my ren fair costume because it was fairly handy (and fit). I figured I could do the work event, hit up the conference, then go home for the day.

      The teacher acted super scandalized/surprised that a parents showed up to school from a work event in costume on Halloween. Then made sure to “warn” the teacher next year that I “dress up” for parent/teacher conferences (uh, no… I dress up for Halloween for work events). Luckily I’d had four kids in that school, the teachers knew me really well.

      1. Another Teacher*

        You should have acted scandalized that, as a teacher on Halloween, she apparently WASN’T in costume!

        1. Hufflepuff hobbit*

          Yeah! What’s wrong with her? Part of the point of being in a child-facing profession is fun things like costumes!

    2. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

      The year that Frozen was all the rage, the company I worked for allowed Halloween costumes for the first time. Because I have no chill whatsoever, I full-on cosplayed Elsa – gown, wig, sparkly cape, the whole nine yards. Mind you, most of my co-workers wore cat ears or did something subtle, but I looove Halloween so I was going for it, full tilt.

      Halfway through the day I found a really, really big mistake that could have caused serious problems. I ran to the office of the Product Manager leading the launch and said “I know it might be really hard to take me seriously right now, but we’ve got a big issue.”

      His eyes nearly fell out of his head when he looked over from his computer monitor to me. To his credit, he recovered quickly and responded, “Tell me all about it, your majesty.” :D

      Also, one of the other managers looked at me later in the day and said, “I know who you are. You’re that chick from Frosted!”

      1. Amber Rose*

        One of my coworkers looked at my butt as I walked by and said, “nice” but I let it go because he was referring to the fact that my onesie has a tail. :D

      2. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Had I been the Project Manager, it would have taken everything in me not to tell you to just “Let it go.”

  15. AKchic*

    This is great.
    I *was* going to dress up today, but my senior cat decided my skirts and bloomers were the *perfect* place to vomit this morning. Can’t exactly go to work with no bottoms, now can I? Now I get to spend my night washing my bloomers and skirts so I can wear my costume tomorrow on my catio-turned-pirate-ship, but I really don’t expect anyone to come because my place isn’t really in a spot frequented by pedestrians.

  16. She of Too Many Pets (maybe)*

    Was there ever an update on the Tatiana one? I’ve always been so curious whether it was a “blaze of glory” thing or a genuine cluelessness thing & really hoped that the manager had reached out to find out. ’cause you know, it’s all about our curiosity! ;)

  17. DaisyAvalin*

    A brief update on my post from last year, re George, the ghost at the petrol station where I work.

    I’ve not seen him since the incident in last year’s post, and he’s mostly behaved himself when I’ve been in, but in July (ish – dates/times are really hard to remember this year!) a new-ish coworker, L, had to cover a couple of night shifts for me. I warned L that we had a ghost, but that he was harmless, just noises/stuff falling off shelves/benign stuff. L wasn’t bothered, he’s very like me when it comes to stuff like this, more-or-less sceptical but willing to believe given evidence.

    When I was L after the shifts he’d covered for me, he described seeing a figure walk away from him down one of the aisles, about 1am. Of course, when L went to check, in case he’d inadvertently shut a customer in there with him (unlikely but theorectically possible), there was nobody there! L described what the figure was wearing, and yep, that’s George, dressed exactly the same as when I almost walked into him!
    Doesn’t bother either of us, but it does make me feel a little better knowing that somebody else has seen him!

    1. DaisyAvalin*

      Should say ‘saw’ not ‘was’ at the beginning of that last paragraph – no spookiness there, just me not being able to type today!

  18. Humble Schoolmarm*

    I went full on Marie Antoinette this year and it was glorious! The kiddos loved it and I had a ball. The best part was telling my grade 8 Science class about the importance of the circulatory and nervous system (which we’ve been studying) as it relates to the guillotine. It was the first time they were really into Science so far this year!

  19. Maltypass*

    My jaw is dropped. I wonder if the director is still asking what she was thinking and how big the print is now saying DO NOT DRESS UP

  20. tamarack and fireweed*

    The question about Halloween costumes reminds me of a funny situation at the last corporate job I had, before moving away from Europe (the UK). I started in September, so I was still pretty new around Halloween, and anyway I’m not a dress-up person. This was, though, a software company with a “hip” vibe, so a lot of my colleagues did. Lots of witches and vampires, and in general Harry Potter was still quite on-brand back then… My wider team, maybe 12 people, had a new member who started on Halloween, and was introduced to the team during our weekly meeting. So we were sitting around a central table in a meeting room, a merry band of mostly somewhat scarily dressed-up people munching candy, and the new software developer, a guy in his early 30s from a country that used to be part of the Soviet Union. When his turn came, he said, in excellent English with a slight Eastern European accent “Hi, my name is Voldemar”… we all jumped slightly, and I think someone asked “What, seriously?” (Yes, that was just his name.)

  21. Libretta*

    One year my office asked people to submit photos of themselves in costume for a slide show at the company Halloween happy hour. One guy submitted a photo of himself dressed as TruckNuts – essentially giant (basket-ball sized) testicles. Caucasian flesh-colored. And they used it. Delightful.

  22. Brusque*

    Ooooohhhh that story about somebody getting fired for dresseng up! One of the companies I’ve worked for once tried that…
    After they forced me to come in for an hour on my scheduled and approved PTO although I told them I was booked at another event and wouldn’t be able to change out of my costume!
    I pushed back and won.
    Honestly, some people just feel so entitled.
    I was costumed as a rotten zombie for a Halloween party. My makeup and costume were quite extensive (think hanging out fake eye, ripped off arm and rotten appearance from at least several years on a graveyard) and it took me almost two hours to remove it later that night so it was impossible to remove just to get into work and answer a question. The oh so urgend and unsolvable issue they called me in for was nonsensical. It was a pure power move from my supervisor who didn’t want tocome in herself. I came in, took one look, applied a coworker on the task and went back to our event. My supervisor then tried to get me fired for not solving the issue myself and for coming to work dressed inappropriately. But HR did back down when I argued that it had been my aproved day of, the issue was not among my usual tasks and that I had explained to her in a luckily written response that it was impossible to get rid of the costume in such short notice on which she replied she didn’t care and to just come in. I left the company only a few month later. Another guest of the party helped me get a foot in their companies door when she heared what happened when I came back.

  23. Amethystmoon*

    Can’t even do anything for Halloween this year due to Covid, and also I have to spend all day cleaning since my apartment managers decided they had to do inspections next week with short notice. Maybe I can watch a scary movie in the evening when I am done.

  24. Recreational Moderation*

    I posted this in response to a comment in the Friday Open Thread, but it seems to fit here, sort of, and hope that it’s okay to add:

    How about a story in which I’m apparently the haunter and not the hauntee?

    I recently received an actual snail-mail letter from a long-silent friend who was my coworker a few decades ago in a retail shop in a small mountain town. The business occupied an old house in town; sales took place on the ground floor, and the office and storage were upstairs. I worked mostly in the office.

    My friend said he was doing some after-hours work in the office one day recently (almost 40 years after I’d moved away from the town) when he suddenly became aware of the light cologne I used to wear—4711, if it matters—and he swears he caught a glimpse of me as the scent made him turn to look behind him.

    There was no one else in his building at the time, and he’s adamant that none of the current employees uses 4711. Also, at the moment this happened I was living my life some 1,000 miles away and the shop hadn’t even been on my mind.

    I guess this bodes well for the chance that I’ll actually come back to haunt people, right? I’m kinda looking forward to that possibility—not to the end of my current existence, you understand, just the thought that I may need to start making a list of people I want to annoy from the afterlife. Could be entertaining ….

    1. Grand Admiral Thrawn Is Still Blue*

      I’ve spent the last year plus at work listening to podcasts that range from cryptids to ghosts and may have an answer for this… some people call it timeslips. It’s where different timelines kind of overlay and bleed through a bit, with sounds and I’m sure smells. So they could have been experiencing you from when you were there, but in their current time. I suppose that would fall under some form of physics.

      1. Tidewater 4-1009*

        I was about to say this too! I formed this timeslip theory after reading previous Halloween threads here. This is confirmation that could be useful to anyone studying it, since the person OP’s colleague saw is still alive!
        I remember especially the small gray cat who walked down the hall two years before it was actually there.
        It’s enough confirmation for me, but I’m not formally studying it.
        If you or your former colleague have time, maybe see if you can locate someone who is studying this and notify them. :) It could help with understanding!

    2. Recreational Moderation*

      Wow. Thanks, Admiral and Tidewater. I was mostly just laughing it off. Hadn’t been aware of the timeslip theory, but it sounds sounds fascinating and would actually explain a few other, um, unusual events.

  25. Tidewater 4-1009*

    Wish I’d thought to post this earlier – this week’s episode of The Conners on Hulu has some very creative ideas for Halloween at home with children! I hope it’s not too late to be helpful!

  26. Frustrated*

    I work in a place that has a suit and tie dress code and doesn’t do Halloween. I always thought it would be funny to dress in a really out of date bad 70s suit like lime green plaid, or 80s power suit with line backer shoulder pads for Halloween. Still in dress code, but still festive.

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