Friday, October 11, 2013

What Halloween Means To Me '13 Day 11: Mitch Reaves

Mitch Reaves is one of the very few Horror Blogger All Stars that I've actually hung out with, and one of the few horror bloggers down here with me south of the Mason Dixon.  I always love it when deserving people win my giveaways, so I was stoked that he won one of the pairs of tickets to Days of the Dead I gave away last year.  Look, I'll shoot straight with ya, I'm in a big rush to get to Netherworld on time, so sorry Mitch, you kinda lost the "ornate introduction" lottery.  I'll make it up to you sometime.  Tell you what, I'll buy you a drink next time we run into each other.  What I do have time for is to tell you all to go check out his blog Tales From The Batcave.  Alright Mitch, tell us what Halloween means to you.

"Before I get into my entry in the Son of Celluloid’s “What Halloween Means to Me”, I want to take a moment to thank Nathan for asking me to contribute. He’s actually the only horror blogger in this circle we all run in that I’ve met in person, and he’s my kind of people. I know what kind of talent he usually has on tap for this yearly event, so to be asked to contribute is quite the honor.

As for what Halloween means to me, well that’s a tricky question. For all of us, I think Halloween ends up meaning different things as we grow older and our lives work their way through the stages. As a kid, Halloween simply meant my parents would buy a cheap costume at the local department store and I would get to go around my home town and get free candy. It also meant there were lots of scary movies on television, and at that time, believe it or not, this wasn’t as thrilling to me as it would eventually become. I was a bit of a scaredy cat back then. But hey, free candy.

As I got older, and started to get to know myself, I discovered that I was a little bit different than not only most of the kids at school, but most of the people around town. The scary movies didn’t seem to bother me as much anymore, in fact I had grown quite fond of them. Luckily, I was blessed with the type of parents who weren’t as concerned with what I was watching, provided I wasn’t watching gratuitous nudity, and was sitting there behaving myself and not picking fights with my brother, or being a pain in the ass. The department store costumes also stopped getting it, as not only did they not have costumes of the kinds of characters I wanted to dress up as, but I enjoyed attempting to make my own. Admittedly, the results weren’t always amazing, but I had fun. It also didn’t necessarily need to be Halloween for me to be wearing a mask or working on a costume. As you can probably imagine, I was bullied fairly frequently at school, and got lots of strange looks around town. Not so much on Halloween though. For one month or so out of the year, it was socially acceptable to be me, and other people actually joined in! It’s never been particularly important to me to “fit in”, but hey, one month without stares or bullying was nice.

Eventually, Halloween became more about tradition for me than anything else. It started with a Halloween night viewing of John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween, of course. Yes, I fully realize the cliche, but hey, traditions often are. From then I moved on to a yearly reading of Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf, carving a pumpkin, driving ridiculously far to a Haunted House attraction, etc. I still add to the list to this day, with a Halloween-eve viewing of Trick R’ Treat being my newest.

It was 9 years ago that what Halloween means to me changed the most, with the birth of my first child. When my son was born, I couldn’t wait for his first Halloween. Carving his first pumpkin, his first time trick or treating, his first costume, I couldn’t wait to introduce him to the holiday that had been so important to me for so many years. At first things were pretty standard, if you know me at all, you won’t be surprised in the least to discover his first costume was Batman, and he was all about the free candy of course. But as he’s gotten older, and we’ve added a little sister to the mix, things began to change. I’ve never pushed my kids into anything, I let them be themselves, and nothing has made me happier than to see them fall in love with Halloween the way I did. 
What Halloween means to me now is carving pumpkins with my kids, making awesome costumes for the two of them to wear trick or treating, eating candy, a traditional viewing on Halloween eve of Fred Dekker’s “The Monster Squad”, adorning my home with all manner of spooky decoration, and coming up with other sorts of fun Halloween themed stuff to do. I’m rolling solo, but I like to think I  set the bar pretty high parenting-wise around October. Other kids are walking around wearing lame Wal-Mart Transformers costumes, while my kids are dressed up as characters from Gotham City Impostors, and looking amazing, if I do say so myself.

Halloween is to me as Christmas is to Hobby Lobby shoppers. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I can’t wait for it to get here, and I immediately begin the countdown to next time when it’s gone. I’m sure that’s the case for anyone who may be reading this though. Enough rambling from me, though. Once again, enormous thanks to Nathan for letting this Cellmate contribute to the Son of Celluloid “What Halloween Means to Me” tradition. Happy Halloween everybody."

20 days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween.  20 days ‘til Halloween.  Silver Shamrock.

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