This is a personal dictation for me and how Halloween has transformed in my life throughout the years:
Dress up for me was all about October 31st and the fantastic costume just waiting to be selected, dangling by their plastic hangers in the shopping mall, I would count down the days until I was able to run my hands through the racks of colorful paper fabrics, expressing life and death with both horror and delight, one would think I was picking out a prom dress for my first big school dance.
Choosing the right one was a daunting task, how could one be challenged to express oneself through only one theme. The monsters were always my favorites, their twisted and distorted faces claiming they would indeed do the job of haunting my younger sibling long after the evening was over. I would pick out the one who spoke to me, telling me the story of how we could, if just for one night be invincible, for on “All Hollows Eve” night even monsters are impervious.
Scattering in from every direction we were an army of creatures, alien forms of ourselves for the night, only a few short hours to express through child’s play the enchantment of hiding behind a mask.
This tiny mask covering my face, held on by a thin band of elastic, with only two small holes to guide me and even smaller ones for me to breathe through, became my secret identity. Moving towards my home I would play a game with myself, trying to guess who my friends were. Under a spell enchanted by butterfly wings and swords that lit up, I would call out their names believing their costumes were not as elaborate as my own, I found it easy to recognize them either by shape or size, they were no match for my sleuth detective skills.
In my teens Halloween became more than just begging for sweets, there were movies to watch and parties to attend. Halloween took on a new meaning, as an assortment of friends and I gathered in the theater, popcorn in hand we are seated waiting for the lights to dim and the shadows to appear.
Screams echoed from the back of the theatre, as the newest horror film played, a blood soaked teenager (always running in the wrong direction) falls prey to the latest vile creature Hollywood had invented. Pop culture takes a stand and the Rocky Horror Picture Show Reels in the midnight hour.
Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Riff Raff, Magenta and Rocky are all represented in costume adored by fans, scenes of the movie are re-created; makeshift actors take their turn walking the movie aisles mimicking the screen.
Turning the page once again, I remember elaborate parties, rooms filled with white silken webs entangled with spiders and ghosts, a swimming pool is transformed into an eerie bog, decaying corpses slowly come to life.
Couples dance to Thriller, while “An American Werewolf in London” plays from a projector in the next room. I no longer expect mysteries to unfold, as a young woman, Halloween has become a social event, permission granted to leave the adult world, unsupervised for the night, these Halloweens are more of a charade than an exploration into the unknown.
Coming full circle, it is now my children who make their way down the haunted path toward screams in the night. I watch as bats fly over head and chainsaw noises come deep from within a dressed up graveyard, tombstones bare the markings of ancient Villains from the past.
Beware and enter at your own risk taunt us ever closer, hypnotizing us into the fold. Fog machines blanket the sidewalks, and Jack-o-lanterns glow “Welcome.”
I long for these Halloweens, when my curiosity was fresh, when the anticipation and transformation into a character so unlike myself roamed the the darkened streets, allowing me into a secret society no adult has access to, when slipping on my costume granted me open passage into a child’s endless imagination.
October 31st, is more than a date on the calendar, engraved within me is my past, present, and future…I will always look forward to this auspicious time of year….for this… is Halloween
Bio-Carolene Brannam-When people ask me where I’m from, I don’t say the south I say, Texas, Goddess to my husband and taxi driver to my children, we dance in the kitchen as we make dinner together. I grow pumpkins and sunflowers for fun, and voice myself through a quite little blog, letting me opinionate my half baked ideas.