I rarely join Blog Hops/parties/etc. Mostly because I hate committment (yes I am a Marine and am married to my ONE and ONLY husband, and YES I still have committment issues.). Because I usually find that I want to post other things outside of what's "required" for the blog hop. And because I forget. A lot.
But I found this one too hard to resist, 1) because it centers around Halloween/Sahmhain, 2.) because it has almost no rules at all (WooHoo), and 3.) because I love Magalay (our lovely - if occassionally demented - hostess over at Pagan Culture).
The only thing I had to do was post a post about Halloween/All Hallow's Eve/Samhain/ETC by today (putting things off to the last minute = the way I roll). This will not be my only Halloween related post, and I'll probably slap the blog party button up on any more I do between now and the 31st, but this is my start:
It's All About the Spooky
I love Halloween. It is quite possibly my favorite holiday. I thoroughly enjoy a lot of holidays, but there is something truely special about Halloween. Something near and dear to my heart. And when it comes to Halloween, I'm a bit of a fundamentalist. (I know, who ever would have guessed I'd ever call myself a fundamentalist anything?)
It's true. Just like you have those people who run around all during the Solstice holidays exclaiming that their particular religion's take is THE only acceptable way to look at the season - I'm not going to get into it now, but be ready come December to hear how I feel about people who want to tell me my kids shouldn't expect a visit from Santa just because I am not a Christian. *Ahem*
And yet, come Halloween, I go all righteous on the matter. Because it's just so OBVIOUS:
Halloween is meant to be Scary!
I mean, come ON, people. Let's just stop with all this smiling, happy pumpkins and kids dressed up as princesses NONESENSE. For real.
Fall is my favorite season, and for most of it, I love beautiful displays of organges, reds, golds, and browns. Pumpkins and gourds and straw.
But come the few days around Halloween, I want BLACK. I want Black and orange. I want cobwebs and ripped gauze and blood spattered walls. Give me gore. Give me creepy.
On a cool, crisp Halloween night, I want to see happy kids dressed up as goblins and warewolves running happily from house to house - but still looking back over their shoulders from time to time; peering into the shadows with just that trace, that icy ribbon of fear weaving it's way through the merriment.
After all, the veil is thin. If the ghosts and monsters are ever going to be about, it will be tonight. If mischeif is going to be worked, it's going to be worked tonight.
Growing up, Halloween was a hallowed event. Every year the excitement was high as we went to the basement and the shed and pulled out all the Halloween stuff (and we had TONS, the shed was darn near full of decorations and in the basement we had boxes and boxes of costume supplies and body parts). We would set up the graveyard, with real-looking worn down old tombstones (not of the cartoon-y crap and there were enough of them that it actually looked like a small church graveyard). We would put up the hanged man in the graveyard. On the night of Halloween, add a little dry ice and the effect was chilling.
For the adult party, we also had a working "rack" - for stretching torture vitims, though our rack only had a gory dummy on it. There was a full size pendulum blade (as in The Pit and the Pendulum) stained with blood that swung over a horrificly disemboweled dummy. There was a massive mad scientist setup behind the bar. There was a coffin with a VERY real looking dead body inside. And then there were all the other touches - rats and bats that moved, spiders and cobwebs everywhere, bloody handprints here and there. This party was EPIC.
And our Halloween costumes? No chance in heck you'd ever catch us in some chinsy, cutesy, store bought crap. We always went as something spooky, and it was usually a lot of work. Even in KINDERGARTEN when I went as a witch, I had a very realistic fake nose that my dad painstakingly applied with liquid latex - real movie magic type stuff, none of this stick on schtick for us. I can still remember so clearly every year waking up so very, very early Halloween mornings - usually around 4am so my dad could spend an hour or so getting us ready before he left for work. I remember the cold of liquid latex being dabbed on, the tickle of liquid colodian in my nose, the stickiness of fake blood. It is creepy and weird, but they are dear, dear memories to me.
For me, a REAL Halloween costume itches, smells like colodian and spray paint, and is either hard to sit down or eat in.
And man did I have some GREAT Halloween costumes. I mean, awesome enough that people I went to school with STILL mention them to me now, 10 years later. Two different people brought them up at my reunion last month!
Of course, that was back in the day when you could still wear good Halloween costumes to school.
This tape (and eventually the CD) - which is, by the way the BEST scary CD I have EVER heard still to this day - would play over and over through most of December. Granted, when I was younger, parts of it terrified the hell out of me, but I refused to admit it.
Many of my fondest and clearest memories are from Halloweens growing up. Tonight I'm going to scan in a couple pictures of old Halloween costumes and add them to this post. Be sure to check it out when I republish it.