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Please Stop Calling This Time of Year “Spooky Season”

The elusive history of a cursed phrase.

10/22/2021 11:21:00 AM

The sordid history of how “spooky season” replaced good ol’ Halloween .

The elusive history of a cursed phrase.

spooky season. And that’s what baffles me most of all. I can tell that spooky season adherents delight in using the phrase, and when they do, half the time they’re probably picturing it surrounded by cute tildes: ~spooky szn~. At best I can see how this is vaguely, uh, whimsical, but it seems unique as an internet joke in that I keep looking and failing to find what is so fun or funny about it; it’s like a joke where they left out the joke. Even mischievous online lingo that is now considered lame—

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come to mind—was at one point in its life cycle sort of amusing. Butspooky season? I just don’t get it, and I think maybe that’s because there’s no “it” to get.AdvertisementAdvertisementAlas, it’s too late to stop its spread now. Capitalism has seized on spooky season. “I have seen it showing up in more marketing communications,” Wilton told me, remembering a recent press release he got from Baskin-Robbins touting their spooky season offerings. It fits in with a larger trend: “From a marketing standpoint, the corporate world’s trying to capitalize on Halloween longer and more if they can,” he said. In a quick search of my own inbox, I found that I’ve received 10 pitches from publicists containing the phrase

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