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Long live spooky Twitter names, the best of all Halloween memes

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It’s the first week of October, and the time has come to welcome all the best fall traditions: pumpkin spice lattes, middling-to-good horror films, and Halloween festivities taking over social media. Spooky Twitter names are back, baby!

Some users choose to swap their display names into the scariest thing they can think of, like “emotional intimacy” or “facts.” But the best SpOoKy swap turns familiar names into deliciously cringey Halloween puns: Ahhlice, Deadrick, Paultergist, you get the point. The trend is Scooby Doo-level hijinks, and sure, some people hate it.

Halloween names are one of Twitter’s most enduring traditions, aside from pile-ons and harassment. For the last several years, without fail, users in my timeline have celebrated October by swapping their names to something festive. Like any good meme, it invites everyone to join, with a very low barrier to entry. The best names are often crowdsourced, as users solicit their followers for ideas.

A spooky name is the internet equivalent of Halloween decorations: corny, ephemeral, and best enjoyed with a suspension of snark. It’s campy to the nth degree, but on a platform that serves up horror on the daily. I welcome the distraction.