I have to admit that since Halloween goodies began appearing in stores this month, I have already spent a good £80 (or thereabouts) on assorted spooky goodies. (I recommend Poundland, The Range, Marks & Spencers and Claire's Halloween ranges for home decor and accessories you didn't know you needed!) Halloween is often considered to be a bit of a Gothy national holiday, partially because now almost every high street store stocks Goth-friendly goodies and partially because instead of shouting abuse at us, non-Goths now want to know precisely where we bought that nice shade of blue lipstick.
But Halloween comes with a few potentially-embarrassing pitfalls for the unwary babybat, and a few possibly unexpected surprises for even the more experienced Gothlings. Here's part one of a special mini-series for the spookiest season, providing a handy guide to the do's and don't's of this special time of the year...
There are exceptions, namely funky-coloured lipsticks and nail varnishes - this is the one time of year that you can pop into Poundland and buy glow in the dark lipstick - but don't expect these little treats to be high quality and be rigorous about testing for allergies prior to use. Be doubly wary about anything you put near your eyes! Halloween fancy lashes are great, but if I were you I'd bin that glue and stick with something higher quality from a proper drugstore.
Halloween is an excellent time to decorate. You can pick up all kinds of ghoulish goodies at rock-bottom prices, and use them to furnish your bedroom. Yes, it's OK to decorare with pumpkin lanterns and light-up ghosties all year round - heaven knows I do! Non-Goths who see you buying such lovelies tend to assume you're throwing a really big party rather than stocking up on home decor - be prepared for some odd looks when you explain otherwise.
You can pick up great accessories really cheap. Fishnet tights, spider web gloves, coffin jewellery… you name it! But! A lot of Halloween jewellery, particularly, for some reason, if it's described as 'Goth' is made of plastic and cheap materials and can look REALLY tacky. Purchase with care; don't buy any old piece of rubbish just because it has a bat on it. A little bit of tackiness or B-movie cheese can be fun (I have spider pom-pom earrings and a wristband with a light-up fuzzy bat, for darkness' sake!) but keep your tongue firmly in your cheek and definitely don't go overboard, or you will end up looking clueless.
Having said that, I do quite like those extremely obvious and fake plastic hair extensions - when worn with some cute hair clips, stripy tights and some babydoll-esque make-up, they're a bit of tongue-in-cheek spooky fun (I have pictures to prove it). But, darklings, please don't wear these any time close to Halloween - it sounds strange, I know, but the reason I advise this is that people will assume that you are not a Goth but someone wearing a Goth costume, which is probably not the effect you were going for.
Speaking of costumes... oh, you already know what I'm going to say. People are about to start asking, somewhat incessantly, where you got yours. Are you going to a party? Where did you get those amazing stick-on tattoos - they look so real! And yes, you're going to have to patiently explain that no, you look like this every day, and sorry, but they ARE real. Last year, a customer in the shop became very excited about my 'Halloween costume' - unfortunately she didn't speak enough English for me to explain it wasn't a costume, and she now seems to wonder why I've kept on wearing a 'costume' every day for the following year... However, this is a small price to pay for all the benefits the season offers - I even recieved my very first Halloween card this year from a lovely lady in America (WHY don't they do Halloween cards in the UK?!).
Goth gossip: Doyenne of darkness Anne Rice has been a busy little bee lately. Not only are we Rice fans salivating in excitement at the thought of Louis and Lestat being brought to illustrated life for the upcoming graphic novel version of Interview with a Vampire, but reportedly Her Gothyship is about to give werewolves the Rice Treatment. I can hardly wait...