When did Halloween first cast it’s spell on you?
For me, it was at age five, when I got to dress up as an angel for school, play games and have a party instead of class, and then go trick-or-treating before Mom’s delicious meal of homemade beef stew, eaten by candlelight, listening to ghost stories on the radio. After dinner, I spread out all of my candy before me and watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on television. Perfection.
The more involved I was in theater, the more elaborate the costumes became. A scarecrow, with my tummy stuffed with straw. A geisha, umbrella twirling in the costume parade. The junior high years were a low costume-wise, the usual teenaged awkwardness preventing me from truly expressing myself. Same with high school. College brought a resurgence of my Halloween joy, especially when I took children’s theater and had access to the costume room. A friend and I went as Mozart’s mistresses, complete with corseted dress and powdered hair. A personal best, if I do say so myself. We still talked about that night at my 25th reunion last year.
The older I became, the more fascination I had with dressing up as things I didn’t have the courage to explore in everyday life, even though Goth had officially become a “thing.” I was always dressing up as a witch, a spider woman, a vampire, a dead anything, really. If it wore a black cape, I was in. Still am today, although I have to tell you, I did receive an excellent black cape for Christmas one year that gives me great pleasure as I swoop around in it on a regular basis. Guess you could say I incorporate a little of Halloween every day.
It’s the beauty of being whatever or whomever you want to be, of exploring the dark side on the nights when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its most thin. It’s gnarled trees and crumpled leaves. It’s stories of a vampire named Dracula and a horseman with no head. It’s witches making potions and the bogeyman under your bed. It’s skeletons dancing to L’Angel de Morte’s violin song and the realization he plays for us all.
Happy Halloween, my friends.