Once you become an adult, most of the traditionally “scary” Halloween figures lose a lot of their clout: “monster” is a word we casually throw around to describe coworkers who don’t take out the trash when it’s full, ghosts are just jerks who never text you back (even after what you thought was a really nice date!), and “boo” is an adorable thing that Aziz Ansari says.
What’s really scary are some of the totally normal interactions that adults have to have with each other on a daily basis, especially within professional environments. Those tensions get heightened around holidays like Halloween, when no one really knows how much or how little to celebrate, and someone inevitably ends up drinking too much spiked pumpkin punch at the company party.
Our main strategy for dealing with fear has always looked a lot like immersion therapy, so to help you deal with any potentially spooky situations that might arise this October (in the workplace, or otherwise), here are 13 of the most awkwardly terrifying things you could possibly hear on Halloween. These statements will make you WAY more uncomfortable than any haunted house, but if you can make it through these terrifying trials, you can make it through anything:
1. “Oh no…oh, honey…no one in this office dresses up for Halloween…did nobody tell you that?”
2. “Oh no…oh, honey…everyone here in this office gets super, super into Halloween! Did nobody tell you that? Well, anyways, since you didn’t dress up or anything, can you take a group photo of the rest of us?
3. “I’m boycotting Halloween this year. It really just doesn’t align with the personal brand I’ve curated for myself.”
4. “I’ll bring the desserts! Everyone’s cool with sugar-free candy, right?”
5. “Honest to god, that Barb from Stranger Things costume makes you look exactly like my mom!”
6. “Are you making those Tasty Rice Krispie Treats? Nice, I keep seeing them in my Facebook feed—I’ve watched the video like 15 times. You remembered to grease the pan, yeah?”
7. “LOVE the costume! Are you the Hulk, or Shrek?”
8. “We can split an Uber to the costume party. It’s only surging…7.8x, so that’s not bad.”
9. *Friend takes photo in which everyone is cross-eyed and/or has a double chin but her* “OMG LOVE THIS. Posting this immediately. Tagging all of you.”
10. “You’re dressed up as Jon Snow and our boss dressed up as Khaleesi? Unplanned?! Too good. You know, every season I root for those two to get together.”
11. “Hey, can you work late tonight? Everyone else has to take their kids trick-or-treating, and you don’t like, have a family or anything, so…I already said you would cover.”
12. “Your ex just got here…and he’s dressed up as Ken Bone.”
13. “A lot of people don’t realize this, but Frankenstein was actually the DOCTOR.”
Wait a second: you didn’t think we’d just leave you hanging in horror, did you? No! Now that we’ve given you a little scare, here’s a heartwarming, fear-fighting bonus quote that you can print out or put on your desk or wear as a badge to help you battle your existential fright: