I’ve been waiting eleven months for this. I wait for Halloween like some people wait for Christmas. Truth be told, I’m usually so worn out that I don’t get to go out like I used to (or go completely crazy and dress up and terrorize the neighborhood like I certainly never ever have done before in my life). Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t live for this holiday at some point or another. These days I try to decorate some, and I enjoy sitting out with the neighbors around a fire pit catching up and snacking while we greet our neighborhood goblins together. I may wear a Halloween shirt, I may dress up as Princess Leia, or I may go hog wild and pull out the giant demon girl outfit I have tucked away (Yes. This actually exists. Just ask those who have been unfortunate enough to help me get changed).
Growing up, I was the girl that squealed ecstatically over getting out the Halloween decorations. Seriously, my mother and I would make little witch dolls and ornaments to hang everywhere and I’d play with them like a 1980s play set. I’d draw pumpkins and haunted houses all month long. I’d spend forever on costume ideas. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t really Wednesday Addams, but I surely appreciated her. Actually, I loved the Addams Family, too. As I grew older my love of cute Halloween things turned into an appreciation of B horror movies, The Twilight Zone, and Ray Bradbury. To this day I always try to read The Halloween Tree around the thirty-first.
I was also scared of my own shadow as a kid (Probably because I had a giant imagination and it was the eighties. Because of those two facts you should realize that I probably thought my shadow would swallow me whole, depending on what cartoon show had just explored other dimensions). As I grew older, I learned to appreciate scary stuff and horror. I’ve always had a perverse love for the old Creepy comics and urban legends of all sorts. I don’t know why; I’ll fully admit they’re silly and gross, but I love them. And, of course, if you know me, then you know there’s something else I love.
The romantic kind are okay, but I prefer the ‘oh my God, why are you taking a chunk out of my aorta’ kind (though when you combine the two, that’s when I really find my genre groove). There’s just so many ways to slant these creatures, and still so many unexplored options. I like that they’re so much like us, but without the restrictions. Come on, we’ve all had those moments where we just wish we didn’t have to play it safe. We’ve all had those times when we just wished we could express ourselves, except if we did it would be bad news. Vampires are the embodiment of what it means to give in to your urges. Even if you think you can trust one, they’re never going to be something that you can control. Or can you?
What do vampires mean to you? Are they a romantic figure? Something to run the hell away from? A mixture of both? A tired-out genre device? It’s something to think about, isn’t it? They’re a good archetype, because they’ve lasted for a long, long time. There’s even been archaeological evidence that people in the dark ages actually staked corpses they thought might be a threat!
So lock your doors, have the holy water on stand-by, get out the garlic, and have some silver in your pocket. And also don’t forget to rent the scary movies, pick up some candy, crank up the ‘Monster Mash,’ and have a Happy Halloween!