Today is one of the best days of the calendar: it is the Stewart Household Halloween Party!
Our Halloween party is SUCH a big deal to my wife and I that when we were house-shopping, it was the single-biggest issue of houses that we looked at. Where would people park FOR THE HALLOWEEN PARTY? Is there a big enough gathering place FOR THE HALLOWEEN PARTY? Are there neighbors nearby who will either hate or want to attend OUR HALLOWEEN PARTY?
It’s a big deal.
For several years now, we have hosted a Halloween party ever since Amanda and I stole the party from Andy, who used to host it until he foolishly had children like a schmuck. Those were good parties in Andy’s very snazzy basement entertainment area, but they have been moved to the living area of my townhouse. Andy was also very bossy about mandatory activities in an “EVERYONE STOP HAVING FUN NOW. We are playing the Stand-Very-Still Game!”
(That’s not a joke! That was one of his games! I don’t know why; ask him!)
So it’s worked out really well. Our parties have more karaoke (assuming we can find our microphone by tonight), drinking, random milling about, and socializing. We’re pretty happy with it! It’s also grown from the quaint, small gathering of close friends that Andy had to the Way-Too-Many-People-Are-Here-And-I-Am-Stressed-About-It ordeals that we have created, but I regret nothing. I think we might have 30 people this year? Maybe? It’s too many people for our living space, I know that!
But you know what makes it all worthwhile? Costumes.
Halloween costumes are so much fun! They cost so much money and/or time and/or effort for somewhat-passable play clothes that you will never wear again! How can you go wrong?! I love losing time and/or money and/or effort on fun nonsense! I READ COMIC BOOKS, GUYS. This is already my life!
So let’s take a look back at the last several years’ worth of costumes I have had and see what were my hits… and misses.
2010 – Red Skull
Here is a theme you may eventually realize: for as much as I love costumes and Halloween, I often put off even deciding on a costume until the very last minute. In 2010, for example, I eventually just found a red skull mask at, like, Spencer’s or something and was like “Yeah, this will do”. From there, I wore a red and black suit and had my wife draw a backwards Nazi logo (that’s right! That pic isn’t flipped! The logo was just backwards! It’s less offensive that way, I think?).
Also, hey look! It’s my old Pikachu N64! I really miss that and should never have sold it.
2011 – Sting
Fun fact: Sting never held that title.
Funner fact: Sting has never had that hair cut and color at the same time!
This was one that screams “last second idea”, but I don’t think it was. I think I went in knowing I was going to do this for a while, and yet I never found the baseball bat I wanted to accessorize with. I just assumed the Toys R Us that had the wrestling belt would also have a ball bat, but… they must not have? I don’t really remember and must have given up early.
But yes, Sting!
2012 – Slender Man
Ha, so this was last minute in almost the literal sense. I didn’t even have a costume idea this year until AN HOUR BEFORE THE PARTY, whereupon it was just “Shit, I’mma buy a white bodysuit, whatever!”
I do love that you can 100% see my face through that thing, too. Ha!
The only other note here is that Amanda did not go to this party because she was so depressed she married my dumbass four months prior!
2013 – Goku
Aside from the wig and the Dragon Balls, this was entirely home made by my great wife, even though I found the wrong symbol for her to put on the front (the back symbol was correct, I promise). This was obviously one I had thought of well in advance.
I actually still have every piece of this costume except the orange sweatpants which were, I think, sacrificed to the crafting gods so Amanda could make something else. I always think “I should bust this out for a Comic Con”, but I never, ever do.
Remind me to do that some year.
2014 – Spider-Man
EVERYONE IS SPIDER-MAN AT SOME POINT, GUYS.
This poor costume was cheaply made and bad, and I’m pretty sure the zipper broke halfway through the night and I just ended up in my Peter Parker street clothes.
Really, it was all just to match Amanda who went as Black Cat and that was the real treat of the night.
This was also the first Halloween party at the townhouse after we wrested it from Andy’s warm, live hands! Most notably, Amanda got THE DRUNKEST I ever saw here, went to bed early, and kept telling everyone who went to check on her, “Everybody leaves but me”. “Everybody Leaves But Me” has since become code for “Amanda is drinking a lot!”
2015 – Red Lantern
That’s right, this costume was so underwhelming and boring that no visual evidence of it exists. I HOSTED THE PARTY, but was in exactly zero photos from that night. It was just a Red Lantern Corps t-shirt, red Zorro mask, and Red Lantern ring. That’s not… awful, now that I think of it, but basically I was not feeling an in-depth costume that year and just wanted to buy a new T-shirt instead.
I still wear the T-shirt a lot, though! So that counts for something.
2016 – Lion-O
After the Red Lantern Corps debacle, Amanda and I have gotten much better about planning out of costumes in advance, and we decided THE NIGHT OF THE HALLOWEEN PARTY 2015 that we would be ThunderCats in 2016. It was our equivalent of John Cena challenging The Rock to the main event of Wrestlemania 28 the night after Wrestlemania 27.
Boy, I really like body sock costumes, I guess (SPOILER FOR TONIGHT), and this was another homemade job by Amanda. She is good at things!
The most notable aspect of this was that I demanded to get a way-too-expensive REAL SWORD Sword of Omens because I really wanted one. This led to my brother-in-law, Amos (pictured), convincing my sister-in-law that he needed a REAL SWORD Master Sword for his Dark Link costume, otherwise he might die when we sword fought.
Obviously, I still have the sword. Obviously, it’s still rad as hell, even if the chintzy Eye of Thundera keeps falling off. My sight does not get to go beyond sight.
2017 – Hawkeye
Andy had decided in April of 2017 that our whole party was going to be Avengers/Marvel themed. This one may SEEM lazy, but I was actually really happy with it. I had just gotten into Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run at this point, and this iteration of the character was released on Marvel Puzzle Quest as a 3* character. It just seemed like such a fun costume from a good run. Obviously there wasn’t much to it. Bandages. T-shirt. Paint. Bow. But I was really happy with it!
This was, most notably, the party where the idea for Ghosts of the Stratosphere was truly born. Andy, Rob Josebeck, and I talked about it and mid-party and started setting everything in motion. Within four months, this very website would be born!
2018 – Thormtrooper
I honestly waited YEARS to get to this point. It was Halloween season 2016 when we were at Spirit Halloween buying supplies when I saw a kid run up to his dad with a toy Mjolnir. Their conversation was, more-or-less, as follows:
Kid: I want this!
Dad: No, we’re not buying toys. We’re buying parts for costumes.
Kid: I will use this with my costume!
Dad: No, you are a Stormtrooper. Stormtrooper’s don’t have Thor’s hammer.
of this one, and it will be a favorite of mine forever. I wish I could find that Spirit Halloween Store Kid and let him know how much he changed my life.
2019 – ???
Stay tuned! Pictures will be forthcoming to the official Ghosts of the Stratosphere Twitter and Instagram pages!
But that’s the end of my stroll down memory lane. I love Halloween and am so excited for another great party. I hope your Halloween events are fun, too!
Until next time… Trick or Treat!