The Quirky in Dallas: A Deep Ellum Halloween

hw8 Last weekend was my first Halloween out of college, which is a bit like your first Halloween out of elementary school, when suddenly you’re 11 and probably too old to go trick or treating but still a little too young to do anything cool like watch a really scary movie (maybe that was just me?) or go to a party with beverages other than juice. And now I’m 23 and too old to go to “Heaven and Hell,” the infamous Halloween party thrown by a SMU fraternity (it made the list of Playboy magazine’s best college parties, so do with that what you will) but not quite old enough to understand what a Roth IRA is.

And so I find myself at the threshold of a new life stage faced with a dilemma. Do I stay home, watch Hocus Pocus on Disney Channel, and worry about my fleeting youth? Do I mourn the end of college Halloweens where I could silently judge the lack of creativity when seven different variations of 2013 VMA’s Miley Cyrus walked past me? Or do I embrace change and pave the way for new traditions? With the encouragement of a few friends, I chose the latter and set out to have a magical Halloween weekend and maybe even discover some new Dallas places along the way.

Friday night, I took my friends, Mac, Mary Paxton, Luke, and Daniel, to see the Improvised Horror Movie. There’s not much I can say that would do justice to this show but WOW MUCH TALENT. The show was chock full of creepy moments, perfectly timed music, hilarious scenes, and a real-life, flash-flood warning. There might be nothing creepier than a room full of cell phones alerting an audience on Halloween weekend to the fact that there is a dangerous and potentially life threatening situation going on outside. It was fine, because I’m not at all prone to over-worrying in such situations (jk, that's not true but my vodka cranberry helped).

hw7After the show, we ventured into the torrential downpour and waded through the empty streets of Deep Ellum until we reached our next destination, a bar called Truth and Alibi. By the time we got there, our clothes were drenched because none of us are responsible enough to own umbrellas. We didn’t let a little threat of hypothermia stop us from some Halloween fun, and so we walked in. This bar is unique because it’s set up like a speakeasy from the 1920s. The entryway looks like a candy store; rows of brightly colored treats line the walls. A bouncer stands at what you later learn is a secret doorway asking for the password. I felt incredibly sly when I smiled at him and said “spooky.” It wasn’t until I got inside and one of my friends said, “Oh God, your face!” that I realized that our walk in the rain had caused my mascara to run and my cheeks were now streaked with thick, black lines. There goes the dream of being smooth.

Once inside, we were met with a large, dark, and crowded room, off to the side was a smaller room with huge, white leather chairs that resembled thrones; the whole thing was reminiscent of a different time. This place is doing something so smart; it’s taking something that is completely legal for adults and making it once again feel forbidden. There’s something so enticing about being somewhere you aren’t supposed to be, and Truth and Alibi plays to that so well. My friend, Mary Paxton, commented that it’s like the secret tree house of adulthood and she’s right. Only this time, mean kids can’t keep anyone out of the club. I also didn’t see a single Miley Cyrus costume, so that in and of itself was a Halloween miracle. I did, however, witness two men dressed as traffic cones and tried (unsuccessfully) to come up with some “so a traffic cone walks into a bar…” jokes.

After we danced for a while, we decided it was time to call it a night and get home to some dry clothes. And so we exited the side door back into 2015 and walked down the street to Glazed Donuts on Elm Street. We finished the night huddled under the fluorescent sign, and as we watched the rain continue to fall and stuffed our faces with glazed donut bacon grilled cheeses, I decided I was glad I didn’t stay home.

Hayley Waring is a level 5 improv student at the Dallas Comedy House training center. If the world was a perfect place she would spend her days writing poetry with Alexander Hamilton while sharing an ahi tuna tower.