For as long as I can remember, I have always loved Halloween. I've spent a-lot of time going back in my past, wading through my memories to find the exact moment when I knew I loved the All Hallow's Eve. It started with a simple feeling. I was in elementary school, I don't remember what grade I was in but, it was Halloween and school was about to let out. The class was was lined up outside of the classroom when there was this breeze. It was comfortingly warm and I smelled dry and decaying leaves. The scent danced in my nostrils for a moment and then, it was gone. Yet, I was left with an excitement. It felt like a subtle shocks of electricity shooting through my veins. I believe that was the essence or spirit of Halloween being absorbed into me. I couldn't wait for it to get dark so I could get to trick or treating and observe all the spooky houses along the way.
I grew up in Pomona, CA along San Antonio and Alvarado. My parents would walk us down Alvarado all the way to Lincoln Park where there were large craftsman houses decked out in impressive Halloween decor. This was the late 80's and early 90's. I was just a kid so I don't recall where these folks would have bought their gear but, let me tell you! Some of those houses let you walk into their "haunted" foyer to get your candy! There were strobe lights! There were homemade dead bodies! Some houses had pulleys attached from their giant tree in their front yard to their house and ghosts and ghouls would come flying right towards the trick or treaters. It was magic every year. And there was so much candy.
As I grew up and adulting became a reality, I would often still attend Halloween Parties here and there. I took my children trick or treating but, the excitement I felt would cease by November 1st. No Day of the Dead celebrations. Just one day. Obviously, I was distracted with life. And either I had no clue it existed or it hadn't been born yet, but, there was no mass amount of weirdo's to talk to about it. The freaks were hidden where I couldn't find them.
Fast forward to now. The best Halloween season of my life. I am a living breathing bag of flesh made up of a labyrinth of purple, orange, pumpkin and apple flavored veins with spider web hair and breath as green as a fog. That was too much. Let me start over. In 2014 I attended my first Halloween convention. Then the following year, Midsummer Scream was born and for me thats where I became immersed into the Halloween and Horror community. Thousands of people in SoCal shared the same love for all things spooky and horrific and they all embraced the kookiness all year long. I found my place. I have never felt more at home and comfortable than I have around these folks. There's hardly any anxiety. I can get excited about Halloween in February and every other day of the year. And so do these people. Theres no more hiding. And quite suddenly it became cool to be weird. Since 2014 I have attended numerous Halloween pop-ups, haunts and so so many more Spooky event's I could fill an entire coffin of memories. The craziest thing is, I feel like I am still missing out on so much. Literally, I need about four more bodies to be at more than one place.
While I have enjoyed every event I have attended, I mostly observed and kept to myself. However, since Midsummer Scream 2019 I have not held back. The positive reaction I have received in such a short amount of time is nothing short of a fabulous nightmare come true. I still cannot believe where I am right now. While many of the dwellers in the suburb where I live probably think my family is an Adam's and Munster Family mash up only to be applauded during October, I can assure you, we will remain who we truly are all year long. I can assure you we don't hold human or animal sacrifice's on All Hallow's Eve but, if you decide to tell stories to make your kids "dare" to ring our bell, then we will embrace it and blow a hiss your way at the next Back to School Night. And to my adorable Aunt and Grandma who are actively reading and following along with my life's happiness, even though you have no idea what the appeal is, Thank You. I don't need nor do I expect anyone normal to understand me, I just appreciate the love and support you have given. You can feel my happiness and that is a true family connection.
I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. But, just know that while the Haunts will close their doors, and the oranges, blacks and purples will give way to reds, greens and whites my enthusiasm for Halloween doesn't end when the Christmas songs begin to play. Remember, Halloween is a lifestyle for some of us. We just go fucking crazy in October.