HOUSTON — We all try our hardest to live our spookiest lives every day of the year, but one Texas ghoul is doing it better than most.
Miranda, the creator behind Spooky Little Halloween, took some time to chat with me about how her little account — which isn’t so little at 38,000 Instagram followers — got started.
For those that don’t know, Miranda runs Spooky Little Halloween, a very well-known Instagram account in the Halloween online community. She’s one of the first people I recommend when someone says they want to see more Halloween posts on their timeline. But she’s not just on Instagram. Miranda runs a website, under the same name, that celebrates Halloween every day of the year. On her site, you’ll find recipes for spooky cocktails, décor ideas and Halloween party playlists.
So let’s dive in and learn a thing or two about the ghoul who knows everything about Oct. 31.
Splash of Spooky: Give me the history of Spooky Little Halloween. Why did you start this?
Miranda: I started hosting my own Halloween parties in 2009 by accident, and I loved it so much I decided to do it again. I was looking for a theme and searching for ideas, and as I was searching the internet, I was pretty unsatisfied with what I was finding. At the time, I was writing for a music blog and I thought, “Well I have the professional background to make a blog, so why don’t I create it?”
Do you ever get funny looks when you tell friends and family that you run a Halloween website?
Not so much now, but most of my friends and family are amused by it. My mom likes telling people her daughter has a Halloween blog. At first it was a side project, and at work, I kept it quiet because I didn’t want to deal with the weird looks. I remember being at a blog conference in 2017 and they had a little mixer before the all-day Saturday session. And I sat in that room and it was mostly mom and fashion bloggers and when I started talking about Halloween, they thought, “Oh…interesting” or “Oh, that’s so cool!” It was a mix. My favorite response was this girl who looked at me and said, “So, what do you write about in June?” That was my tipping point and I decided to make it year-round.
What’s the post that made you go viral?
I don’t know if it was a single post. I’ve had things go viral — it happens from time to time, but it’s never the thing you expect. It’s always something random. It’s always the photo you spend three seconds on versus the thing you took hours to style and look cool. I would say going into Halloween 2017, or 2016, that was the year I started documenting what I was finding in stores. It used to start in July and August. Now, I do [Halloween hunting] in June. I think that’s kind of helped me get a giant following. Now, many people have started doing it. I see a lot of turn over nowadays [with Halloween content accounts]. That’s the thing that drew people in. I would like to think that I try to make myself as reachable as possible. If I’m following an account, I want to know the person behind it. I want to feel like they’re my Halloween best friend. I think a lot of it is people want to feel like they’re my friend.
Would you ever want to run the blog full time?
I can appreciate the amount of work and time and dedication that has to go into making something like this full-time and I’m not quite at that level. I enjoy it as a hobby. I put all of my free time into it. People would laugh if they heard me say this, but I don’t know if I have the drive to turn it into a full-time thing. It’s such a niche topic that I’m writing about.
Have you seen or experienced any toxic fandom?
It’s going to pop up now and again. We’re all human. It happens. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t experienced that firsthand. But, the Halloween community is very welcoming and accepting. It’s OK to be a little bit different. There’s space for everyone. I constantly say that. I think some of that speaks to Halloween being that one holiday that doesn’t have religious affiliation, nor a lot of specific family traditions engraved in our culture except trick or treating. We can take it and make it our own. That speaks to a lot of us who feel like we don’t belong. A lot of us feel like were misfits. I’ve had a great experience [in this community].
October gets so overwhelming. What are your tips for helping fellow ghouls get the most out of the season?
I have definitely experienced that overwhelming feeling. For me, it’s in September when I try to churn out content. In October, it quiets downs. The pandemic obviously made us all slow down because we weren’t able to do all that we were used to. But in 2021, we went back to a little bit of normalcy. So I made a schedule. I planned something for every weekend, and I said, “Here’s three must do things on my list.” Haunted house. Pumpkin patch. And this movie. Make it a point to plan these things for yourself. Don’t let other things interfere. Halloween is a “choose your own adventure” holiday where you’re not tied to traditions or things you’re supposed to do. You can make it your own. I encourage people to do stuff that they love and put it on your calendar and don’t let it move. I’m never sorry I went to the pumpkin patch or watched a movie. It’s always fun and I always enjoy it.
Where do you see Spooky Little Halloween in a few years?
2022 is a bit of a transition year for me. In 2021, I did the magazine for the first time. I finally got it off the ground and did the seasonal zines. I hope I can transition and focus on the printed stuff rather than just web-based content. I think people like having that physical thing in their hand. I hope to grow the magazine a little bit more and turn them into a full-size thing and see where that project goes.
(Side note: Miranda IS turning her spooky content into a magazine. Check out her website to preorder her Halloween Zine.)
SPOOKY LITTLE HALLOWEEN FAST FACTS
- Favorite Halloween movie? Hocus Pocus
- Most overrated Halloween movie? I’m going to alienate some people by saying this. Halloweentown. I didn’t grow up with it. It’s cute, but not my jam.
- Favorite fall themed treat? My mom’s pumpkin bread or pumpkin cookies. Recipe’s on the blog.
- Favorite Sanderson sister? Sarah.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte — yay or nay? NAY. I’m getting better with pumpkin coffee but…nay.
- Do you consider Black Friday part of spooky season? I say yes! I made a list of my favorite black Halloween products. Any excuse to make something spooky.
- Favorite Halloween podcast? “Ghoul’s Night In” by Midge Munster and Penny Shark.
- Halloween favorite store? Michaels or At Home.
- What’s the most expensive Halloween item you’ve bought? A glass punch bowl for about $100. I try to stick with a budget. The glass cauldron punch bowl was from Crate and Barrel and was Just under $100 with a coupon.