And the countdown begins! We’re only 13 days away from Halloween! And we all have our favorite Halloween movies on repeat, but how many of those movies can actually pass the Bechdel Test?!🤔
This Halloween season, I’ve been proactive about watching movies and shows that pass the Bechdel Test. And honestly, some of these barely pass. I used the most basic measurements which are 1. Incorporating at least two female characters, 2. Two female characters must talk to one another, 3. They must talk about something other than a male. Some uses of the Bechdel Test require the female characters to have names, but I chose not to include that as a requirement for this list.
So in no particular order, let the binging begin!
1. Maleficent: For all the misunderstood, fairy witch queens out there, Maleficent is an obvious movie choice for Halloween. And even more exciting, the sequel is out now!🖤🧚🏼♀️💜👑
2. Us: One of the best horror movies from this year!✂️
3. Get Out: Everyone knows you won’t get out of your seat while watching this first Jordan Peele thriller.☕️🥄
4. Stranger Things (2 & 3): Season 1, I dump your ass! To be inspired by determined female characters, travel to the upside down in seasons 2 & 3!🍦
5. Kiki’s Delivery Service: Studio Ghibli is known for producing movies with strong female leads. Kiki’s Delivery Service is no exception.🐱🥖
6. Halloweentown: Because Halloween is cool and being normal is vastly overrated.
7. Practical Magic: It’s hard to not love witchy sisters that always have each others’ backs. And midnight margaritas.🍹
12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: This is one of the only HP movies that passes the Bechdel Test. And it only passes by a werewolf’s hair! But the shift to a darker mood in the series is…well, A MOOD.🐺
13. Ghostbusters (2016): The power of Patty compels you!…To love this witty re-make with smart female leads!👻
And that’s 13!🙌🏼 How many of these shows and movies have you seen?! To help you keep track, use the template list below to check off what you’ve binged so far this season and then share it in your stories on instagram so I can see it too!👀 If you have other movies and/or shows that you love to watch for Halloween and pass the Bechdel Test, let me know and I’ll add them to the Honorable Mention list below!🏅
The Labyrinth: This also barely passes the Bechdel Test, but who can deny the babe with the power?💁🏻♀️🔮
Twitches: Another Halloween DCOM, but vastly underrated. This made for tv movie also deserves bonus points since it’s lead characters are WOC!✊🏾 The only reason this isn’t on the official list is because I haven’t seen it in ages.😅
If you were watching my Instagram stories earlier this year, you’ll know that I was renovating a new place with my boyfriend, and a couple months ago, we finally moved in!😱🏠 It only took us over a year thanks to a contractor that worked at a snail’s pace.🐌🙄 We’re still in the process of getting everything in its place and really making it a full fledged “home,” but Halloween was the perfect opportunity for me to have a little fun with home decor!
This whole home decor frenzy really started after I spotted the cutest ghost pillow and throw from Home Goods! Since my boyfriend and I tend to like more monochromatic palettes, the name of the game for our couch is texture. So when we spotted a 3D grey tweed ghost pillow, we knew it HAD to come home with us! And just as if a spirit was conjured, we immediately stumbled upon a cozy ghost blanket. At that point, we were devoted to a ghost themed couch, so the Mickey Boo to You ghost pillow was a necessary spoopy purchase.👻
Since we still have no artwork for our living room walls, I focused on getting trinkets and decor for the coffee table to help bring some life and color into the room. But because I went a little crazy buying anything that was cute, it’s a little bit of an odd mix.😅
One of my favorite purchases is the Jack Skellington candle holder from the Disney Store. I love that it was actually pretty affordable ($15!), and that any kind of small candle can fit in it. And for Christmas, it would look so festive with some poinsettias or cranberry stems coming out from the top!The other great and inexpensive item I picked up is a glass pumpkin jar from Target! It’s perfect to show off my souvenir treats from Wizarding World at Universal Studios. But once the treats are gone, it would look so magical with tiny LED lights!
One of the biggest pieces on the coffee table is a large Mickey etched glass vase from Ethan Allen. It’s not necessarily Halloween themed, but it gave me the perfect opportunity to add some color to our mostly neutral living room. I picked up bright marigolds from the farmer’s market that are a great contrast against all the grays and blues that dominate the living room.
Another area I loved decorating for Halloween was my tea corner! I’m constantly drinking tea and hot water, so you can imagine my excitement when I realized I could buy lots of Halloween mugs and decor for this area!😆 One of the simplest ways to revamp this area is with a spooky sign. I especially loved the simple typography of this Hocus Pocus sign and the obvious nod to a Disney Halloween classic.
The other functional way to give this area Halloween flair, is with cups! Though some are outright Halloween mugs, like a ouija board and ghost Mickey, others just have that spooky vibe. I also like the mix of bigger, chunkier mugs with more delicate teacups. The varying sizes make the whole mug tree look more interesting!
Another part of the house that was easy to update for Halloween is the guest bathroom. During my recent trip to Orlando, I HAD to stop by Basin and pick up some seasonal soaps! And what I especially love about visiting Basin is that you can easily find seasonal Disney soaps!
I usually pick out the soaps based on the scents. Since I’m not a huge pumpkin fan (I know, SHOCKING for someone who loves Halloween so much), I picked out soaps that had more wood and citrus based scents. And to my luck, the Sorcerer Mickey soap matches nicely to my white star and moon pumpkin and the orange bats match my Little Green Alien Halloween mochi cup from Tokyo Disneyland!🎃
Another simple Halloween update are these Sally jars. They’re more festive than my usual wood or fabric containers and perfect to display my makeup and brushes on the counter. I also love that there are three separate jars so I can easily separate my mascaras, lip products, and brushes!
The last part of the house I added some Halloween flair to was my nightstand! Since the light switches are far from the bed and I’m not a huge fan of lamps, this Zero nightlight is perfect for my needs — my need for cuteness that is!😆 And honestly, it’s the combination of two things I love, ghosts and dogs.😂 It also has a timer option so it can automatically turn off after 15 minutes! And if you need another reason to love this little trinket, Zero’s ears can also double as a ring holder.💍😏
Halloween is definitely one of my favorite holidays, so I can’t wait to improve my Halloween home decor skills for next year! There are still some areas I’d like to spruce up some more, but for only being in a our new place for 2 months, I think it’s a great start! But I definitely need to create a seasonal inspo board over on Pinterest to really be in full swing next time!🙌🏼 Maybe I should start my holidays inspo board tomorrow.😆
New Orleans. Food, jazz music, Mardi Gras celebrations…but I came for the AHS filming locations.😆 American Horror Story: Coven, the third season from the American Horror Story franchise, was actually the first season I ever watched. I remember seeing commercials for season one and definitely thought it was way too scary for me. But when commercials for Season 3 started airing, I was strangely drawn to it. Some AHS fans felt season 3 was too “housewife-y,” but I honestly thought it was great to see a story focused around women and their relationships with each other within the “horror” genre. I especially loved the show’s focus on the temperamental mother-daughter relationship. And THANK GOODNESS we also get to see how race, class, and age play a role in those relationships. Like…yes, Ryan Murphy, YES.👏🏼
After doing some research, I found a gem of a walking tour — the unofficial American Horror Story Tour. Mostly in the French Quarter, the tour is the perfect mix of AHS fandom and historical facts. Bea, the tour guide, is also just amazing. She is super knowledgeable about what parts of the show are based on New Orleans history and what parts were embellished or fictional. And to my surprise, she knew those prime instagram spots AND was willing to help us stop to take photos. What more could you ask for?! Thank you, Bea!!
Our first stop was the LaLaurie house. Not only infamous for being the residence of Madame LaLaurie in the show, but a bonafide haunted mansion and the site of LaLaurie’s torture “chamber.” In Coven, we are slowly introduced to Madame LaLaurie’s fascination with blood and the human body. She was filled with “childlike curiosity.” And that was not a far departure from the truth. Bea explained how Madame LaLaurie was accused of over-punishing her slaves, but since she had friends that were city officials, she was able to escape any serious charges. But one time, the evidence was undeniable.
While hosting a party, the kitchen, which was in a separate back annex of the house, caught fire. After rescuers extinguished the fire, they found a 70-year-old woman chained to the stove. She later revealed that she started the fire to escape Madame LaLaurie’s torture and then led authorities to the attic where other slaves were imprisoned and tortured. The evidence and testimonials were overwhelming. So much so that her and her husband fled New Orleans shortly afterwards. However, in Coven, the family’s disappearance is due to Marie Laveau’s revenge against LaLaurie. Below is the green iron gate where Madame LaLaurie and Marie Laveau first meet and Laveau’s plan for retaliation is set into motion. In the show, it is shown as the front gate to the LaLaurie house, but is actually part of the neighboring building.
Even though the two women never met IRL, they lived within walking distance of each other in the French Quarter. Marie Laveau, aka the Voodoo Queen, was renowned in New Orleans and obviously was included as a character in Coven. She was the first practitioner to popularize Louisiana voodoo. And honestly, learning more about Marie Laveau was probably my favorite part about this tour. In the show, Marie is almost positioned as a villain against not only the Coven’s Supreme, but also Madame LaLaurie. Both white women. But hearing about Laveau’s real story, I was amazed to learn that not only was she a healer in the community, but she was also devilishly smart.
Accurately shown in AHS, Laveau was a hairdresser. And she would occasionally offer her healing “powers” to clients. Afterwards, she would simply tell clients to pay what they felt her help was worth. She knew satisfied patrons would usually overpay because they were so grateful for her services. Slightly Godfather-ish, but so admirable for a woman of that time to be so business savvy. And though it’s not thoroughly shown in the series, we do see glimpses of Laveau’s business acumen.
When Laveau had daughters, she would give them her name, Marie Laveau, with different middle names. The daughters looked just like their mother, so when the daughters were out, Laveau ensured that they were in different parts of town. When townspeople asked who they were, the daughters of course replied “Marie Laveau.” Baffled, people began to believe that Marie Laveau was actually getting younger! And since Laveau and her daughters were never in the same place at the same time, no one knew otherwise. This urban myth is also written into the show as LaLaurie and the Supreme meet Laveau in the hopes of obtaining her secret to “everlasting life.”
For Marie Laveau to build such a reputation during that time in history is impressive and inspiring. Complete #girlboss behavior. Granted she benefited greatly from the Code Noir, Marie Laveau found a way to make herself a legend. If I ever have to answer that icebreaker question about the one person I’d like to meet or have dinner with, Laveau would definitely be at the top of my list.
Saint Louis Cemetery
Our walking tour also took us to the Saint Louis Cemetary. Not only the site of Nicolas Cage’s semi-outrageous pyramid-shaped tomb, it is also home to Laveua’s tomb. Upon visiting her tomb, it’s evident how influential Laveau was. To this day, people still visit her tomb to make a wish. If the wish was granted, they revisit her grave and mark a triple X as proof. And if you see a lonely hair-tie or bobby pins, do not take them. Those are gifts left for the hairdresser, Laveau.
Our last stop was the street where the infamous witch’s walk takes place. It definitely didn’t feel as eerie as it seemed on the show since there were tons of tourists and cars around, but I made the most of it and strutted my witchy self up and down the sidewalk a couple of times. And now I understand why all the girls of Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies complained so much about the heat. Yeah, it’s hot and humid, but wearing an all black and mostly covered ensemble IN the heat is an entirely different story.
If you haven’t watched AHS: Coven, please set up a fort in your house and watch it ASAP. I personally love that it’s rooted in New Orleans history and shows the relationships, successes, and struggles of powerful women and women of color. It is a treasure trove for exploring the intersecting identities of women. And if you ever find yourself in New Orleans, please book this tour! You get to learn more about one of the most kickass women in New Orleans history and grab yourself a few insta worthy shots…there’s really nothing to say “no” to here, ladies and gents.😏