If you can’t tell, I’m a girl who loves Halloween. I have since I was little.
I love everything about Halloween. I love dressing up (and not too afraid to admit in the past I wore costumes which were stereotypes. I do, however, love the imagery of Romani women decked out in colorful prints and gorgeous jewelry, the world’s most perfect eye makeup, and zero shame about who they are. So my insensitive costume was truly out of admiration for women who gave zero fucks about what others thought.) I’ve always loved decorating and spooky stuff and candles and black cats.
I’ve always had an affinity for the weird side of life. When I was in fifth grade, my parents got me a science lab kit for Christmas. It came with a frog to dissect, but I couldn’t bring myself to dissect him. So I kept him for YEARS until the plastic container finally cracked, and he was buried in the back yard. His name was Mortimer. He was a good frog.
When I was in sixth grade, I read my first Stephen King book. While my other friends were delving into The Babysitter’s Club, or maybe even Sweet Valley High, I was reading Pet Sematary and losing sleep every night from some fantastical dreams. I was HOOKED, big time. Somehow that book made me a lifelong fan, and I’m so glad. Even through the unreadable (let’s never discuss The Tommyknockers- I would rather wager on what his coke dealer made that year), to the “I cannot put this down” books like ‘Salem’s Lot, Misery, The Shining, and Dolores Claiborne. I never got into the Dark Tower series, but I freaking loved Joyland, the one-off pulp novel.
I’m no goth girl, I don’t have a collection of Anne Rice novels or an interest in vampires. I am atheist, but the folklore and idea of witches appeals to me. (I don’t believe in spells or magic, but much like every other religion (except Scientology), I try to live and let live. I do have GREAT empathy for the men and women accused of witchcraft in the 1600’s. It is amazing what a bitter, overprivileged little brat can do when her parents have money. (Go read about it. It was all a land grab targeting poor/infirm people and it was AWFUL!) I have, however, owned MANY crushed velvet dresses, and platform boots. That’s why I liked growing up in the 90’s. One day, you wore a velvet dress and Docs, the next day you wore those same Docs with overalls and a tie-dyed shirt.
Halloween though, is the time to go all out.
This weekend, I ordered six full size 5 foot tall skeletons. (They were a STEAL on Home Depot’s website. But this isn’t an ad.) I usually start browsing all the home goods stores, Michaels, Target and all. I love a good spooky looking item, but kitsch is just as fun. I love old school Halloween decorations, and I’ve already absconded with my mom’s old blown old Mr, Pumpkinhead.
My mom has some original old papier-mâché jack-o-lanterns. She has one of these, but the paper eyes are gone. I love these little guys. And no one in my family really celebrates Halloween, so I may have to go claim them this year.
So, this year’s plan is to build the Spellman Sisters Mortuary and Burial Ground in the front yard. I’ll have the skeletons to dress up (so fun!) and plenty of graves, a Cain pit, and perhaps a Dark Lord hiding inside the bushes. (Thankfully I haven’t trimmed back the holly bush!)