October is one of my favorite months. Not only is the weather cooling down a bit (not too much), but it also contains my favorite holiday.
I’ve been a fan of Halloween since I was a kid. My best friend at the time, Jay, lived across the street from me and we’d go to great lengths to dress up for the big night. One year I wrapped myself from head to toe in Ace bandages in order to play a scary mummy. Unfortunately, most of the treat givers thought I was an accident victim. Oh well.
Another year Jay dressed as Dracula (I think his mom made the cape, complete with starched collar) and I went as faithful Renfield. We made quite a pair. And keep in mind that we didn’t use store-bought costumes. No, we created our own and spent a good amount of time planning what we’d do each year.
Not long before I moved out of the neighborhood, I got together with a kid that lived on the next street over and we built a “haunted house” in his garage. We hung sheets to make the hallway, then set up folding tables to hold things like a bowl of eyeballs (peeled grapes), fresh brains (pink jello), and then put on masks so we could jump out and scare the other kids. It was a blast.
Maybe that’s where I got my initial love of horror and weirdness. Creating my own costumes, learning how to make fake blood and scars, reading Famous Monsters Magazine (RIP) to get ideas for the future…it all ended up being the breeding ground for my current imagination.
But Halloween is still a few weeks away and I have to be patient. I don’t dress up like I used to and, obviously, this year isn’t going to be quite the same, but I still love the day, the magic, and the monsters. Plus, this year the full moon will make an appearance. That’s awesome.
Oh, and if you’re ready to start getting in the mood, check out my short story collection, Dark Journeys. It’s a mix of dark sci-fi, horror, and speculative fiction. Perfect for reading under the covers with a flashlight. You still do that, right?