I have a fascination with inspiration and a ravenous appetite to learn what motivates people. If someone is willing to share their insights into what constantly propels them forward in a chosen endeavor, I’m all ears. Some would say I’m all ears (and nose) anyway, but that’s a different matter entirely. Seriously though, for the purpose of this post, I’m extremely curious about when and where Halloween became more than a fleeting interest for you. Can you recall one single event or moment in which Halloween simply clicked and you were hooked? Or, was it more of a gradual, creep-up-on you type of thing?
If you’ve read the About page, you already have a rough idea of the when and where it was for me. Honestly, I can’t recall a time in my life when I wasn’t fascinated by one of the many subjects that fall under the umbrella of Halloween. As a child, I was constantly drawing monsters and horrific looking creatures. From age five on, my books of choice, during reading time with my parents, were almost always about ghosts and the paranormal. Curious George didn’t stand a chance, unless The Man in the Yellow Hat happened to drag out a Ouija board.
Even in the middle of summer, I would beg my parents to buy hot plastic masks and costumes for me at local yard sales. Then, I’d parade around in the costumes for the rest of the day; sweat profusely pouring off my face.
What can I say, I was an even weirder kid than I am an adult.
However, if I could narrow all of that down to one single moment, in which Halloween completely cast a spell on me, it would have to have been the trip to my first professional haunted house. I was only four years old, but I can still remember seeing television commercials promoting the haunt. Though my parents knew better, I hounded them relentlessly until my dad finally gave in and agreed to take me.
When “haunted house night” finally rolled around, I quickly devoured my dinner of sloppy joe sandwiches, so I’d be ready to go when dad got home from work. This night was even bigger to me than Ralphie’s dream of owning a Red Ryder BB gun.
From the moment the greeter, dressed as Frankenstein, placed the two of us in the erect, entrance coffin and closed the lid, I knew I was in over my four year old head. After being spun around several times, the coffin lid swung open, revealing the pitch black innards of the haunt.
Within a matter of seconds, we were charged by a moaning actor and the rest was history. I screamed so loud, I’m sure Frankenstein’s ear drums were pierced through the coffin barrier. Dad whisked me up and quickly carried me through the remainder of the haunt. All the while, I was catching peek-a-boo glimpses in-between the tears and fingers covering my eyes.
As strange as it sounds, the combination of fear and fascination with the haunt, the coffin, the smells, the lighting, the actors and the anticipation of the unexpected, all collectively provided my first inspirational Halloween moment. In the midst of my breakdown, I honestly remember thinking how great it would be to get involved in haunting when I “grow up.”
If you have a moment, I would love to hear about your initial encounter with Halloween inspiration.