COLUMBIA — For grown-ups, Halloween is still about costumes and jack-o-lanterns.
“When you get right down to it, adults have always been into Halloween since the sixties," said Arro Froese, owner of Gotcha & Getcha, a costume store on Tenth Street. "It’s all about costuming. There’s no age restrictions on Halloween, and I got the Halloween rule book.”
While carving pumpkins Sunday afternoon outside her apartment building on Ninth Street, commonly called the "J-Slums," MU sophomore Natalie Devlin expressed a college student's views about costumes.
“I’m wearing the same costume I wore last year because I made my costume last year," she said. "It feels lame to buy a costumes the year after you made one.”
For East Campus resident Sally Geniec, wearing a costume to Halloween parties is about being individual within the larger theme of the weekend.
“I just borrowed a fur hat from a friend and just drew on whiskers to be a wolf,” she said. “I went to a zombie ball where everyone was dressed like zombies Friday night.”
Of her wolf costume that evening, she explained, "I just put a lot of red marker on my face, darkened my eyes. It was kind of confusing for some people.”
Part of that Halloween theme is wearing a costume, and the notoriety it can bring a masquerader.
“Now that Halloween weekend is happening, people have been putting pictures online and getting excited,” Geniec said.
Thus, for costumed partygoers, a good wardrobe requires innovation.
“Kudos to the guy who was Abraham Lincoln, all-star basketball player," Froese said at his store on Sunday. "Any costume can always be a little bit better with just a little imagination."
At the store, surprisingly popular costumes were Katy Perry and Elmo, he said.
“We sold about 80 blue wigs on day two,” he said. “We’re not doing many Abbott and Costellos.”
For many, Halloween is about reinventing childhood memories or simply creating those that one had missed in his or her youth.
“My family, they just deprived me of so many childhood glories," MU junior Trent Hayob said while he carved his first jack-o'-lantern with Devlin on the porch of the J-Slums. "I only shot off fireworks once, and I was with a cousin because my mom is all against shooting off fireworks. But then when you get to your twenties, you’re just like 'I feel like carving a pumpkin." Why not?"
Hayob said he had big plans for Halloween in order to recapture his youth.
“We’re going to Necropolis later tonight," he said. "I’ve been to a haunted house before, but it’s been a long time. For a while you skip out on childhood things while you’re growing up because they’re not cool anymore.”
Froese said much of adults' excitement is a sign of the times.
“You got to understand that a lot folks between my age and the college-age kids we’re brought up in an age of fear, when you couldn't trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood, when you could only trick or treat at the mall,” he said. “Things are starting to loosen up. And all those young adults are like, ‘yeah I want to use a knife and carve a pumpkin.’”