Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Memory-Noah of Skull-a-Day: I Love/Hate/Love Halloween

If you haven't run across the Skull a Day Blog, you're really missing a special treat. Noah has given all of us skull junkies a daily fix of the art of the skull that is wonderful to behold. Not only that, but he was happy to share this fab tidbit with all of us.

I Love/Hate/Love Halloween


Every Day Is Halloween – Ministry

Halloween – The Dead Kennedys

Like a lot of kids I have fond memories of carting giant plastic pumpkins full of candy home after a night of ringing neighborhood doorbells on Halloween. I dressed as every major monster and superhero at some point and several characters that were of my own creation to boot. But as I got older, I became annoyed with the idea that people were only allowed to creatively express their personalities in costume once a year. I decided that I would boycott Halloween and celebrate the spirit of it every other day of the year!

I developed my personal costume, mostly just dressing entirely in black clothing, but often with accessories like kilts, striped tights, a mohawk and/or brightly dyed hair and topped with a Cat in the Hat hat. Mind you I never considered myself goth or punk; I just dressed however I wanted and didn’t care what other people thought. I dutifully took Halloween night off, staying at home to watch TV specials and eat the candy that was meant for the trick-or-treaters. I enjoyed the trappings of the season, but didn’t participate in the mainstream night of fantasy. And that’s the way it stayed for decades. I hardly gave my reasoning a second thought.

One day, nearly 20 years after I started my boycott, my girlfriend said, “Why don’t we have a Halloween costume party?” And before I could say no, I suddenly realized I no longer felt the extreme conviction of my youth.

It was an attitude tempered by the fact that a couple of years before I had agreed to dress as Peter Criss as a favor to my sister, who needed a last minute replacement for a group Kiss costume she had coordinated. Yes, I still thought people should feel comfortable dressing up all year long, and yes, I was still wearing black every day, but now I realized I just saw the holiday as an excuse to dress up even more! Suddenly I was fretting over what costume I would choose to wear on Halloween for the first time since I was a kid. We decided to make “Night of the Living Dead” the theme of the party and require all costumes to be of someone (or something) dead, so that narrowed down my choices a bit. And then it struck me: as the host of the party I needed to be the “ghost with the most" - Beetlejuice! I bought a thrift store suit, on which I had hand painted stripes, added a bit of makeup and a fright wig and I was transformed.

The party was a smash. People were dressed as a chalk body outline, death by chocolate, road kill, and dozens of other clever takes on the theme. We became known as the "go-to house" for Halloween parties.

No one who came even knew that they were witnessing the end of my boycott.

Of course I couldn’t just hang up my Beetlejuice costume at the end of the night. I continue to wear the jacket and pants, with their giant unevenly painted stripes, to art openings, parties, and other events whenever the mood strikes me. And only now and then someone comes up and asks, “Are you dressed like Beetlejuice?”

Thanks, Noah! Fabulous, all the way! (Love the suit, btw...)


  1. That was a great post! Love his blog visit it (almost) every day - cool to hear more about the man that makes it happen. Thanks to both of you for sharing.


  2. I love that the suit continues to make appearances.


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