Thursday, October 2, 2014

What Halloween Means To Me '14 Day 2: Leah Smith

For the next few days I'm going to be featuring my horror homies from both the Atlanta horror scene and online, and it's only appropriate that we start with Leah Smith.  Aside from myself, there's no one else who has contributed more or is as vital to the existence of Son of Celluloid.  She's my primary camera woman, blood sprayer, assistant, external hard drive, co-set constructor, and sometimes partner in crime; but most importantly, she's been my best friend for a decade and a half and the person that I've spent the most Halloweens with.  So, Leah, what does Halloween mean to you?

"For me, Halloween is a season. It begins with the autumn equinox and fades with the winter solstice (though it stays in my heart all year long). When the summer heat fades into the crisp autumn nights and the leaves change from various shades of green to hues of gold, orange, red and browns is when I feel most alive!
I’ve been into all things “scary” since I saw Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ on screen at the local movie theatre when I was 5. I grew up on the Classic Disney Halloween Cartoons, ‘Garfield’s Halloween Adventure’, ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’, “The Worst Witch’ (with Fairuza Balk and Tim Curry), Disney’s ‘Mr.  Boogedy’ and ‘Bride of Boogedy’ . . .  and still begin each and every Halloween adventure by watching those movies.
I miss the ‘old days’ (wow, that makes me sound old) when trick-or-treating was still trick-or-treating! When your parents helped you get dressed up, handed you that plastic pumpkin bucket or pillowcase, and unleashed you on the neighborhood –unsupervised – to go knock on strangers’ doors and beg for candy. I miss seeing the streets covered in a sea of mini-monsters, witches, superheroes, princesses, and whatever else the imagination could concoct. I, personally, was one of those who did not stop trick-or-treating until I was seventeen – the last age where a person could go trick-or-treating and it not be disturbing or illegal.
I have always been jealous of my sister’s birthday. While she wasn’t born on Halloween, she was born close enough to have awesome costume parties. One of the earliest photos of one of her Halloween-themed birthday parties was back in 1987:
(That’s me on the far left.) 

She still gets to have some of the coolest birthday parties. Last year was probably the biggest and best birthday party she has ever had, and some of my closest friends and pack members were there to enjoy the festivities:
(Yeah, I’m the one with the boobs falling out of her costume.)

I was fourteen when I went to my first haunted house . . .Blood Oaks; an actual haunted house that the Jaycee’s turned in to one of the most intense haunts in the area at the time. I remember walking through and being okay until I came upon the room that was covered in fake spiders with strobe lights going so fast that they seemed to be crawling everywhere. I’m a HUGE arachnophobe and was TERRIFIED! It was, also, the first time I was introduced to the chainsaw! I remember the big scary guy chased me around the parking lot until I fell flat on my back and he stood over me with the saw inches from my face for several minutes while I screamed at the top of my lungs.

Little did I know that 10 years later, I would be working at one of the top haunts in the world . . . Netherworld Haunted House.
(Selfie time behind the ticket counter at Netherworld Haunted House.)

Over the last 10 years, my Halloween Season has been primarily consumed with working at the haunt, scaring and selling tickets to the thousands of people that turn up each season. I love Netherworld Haunted House and my fellow Netherspawn. It’s not an easy job, and we all have become a family there . . . at least, those that survive the full six weeks of insanity.

My all-time favorite make up from the haunt was from 2009. I take Halloween night off each year. When I can, I go to the haunt to drop off goodies to a select few. That year, I was actually attending a Halloween party at a friend’s house. I had my costume and my vampire fangs . . . but no makeup. I was getting ready to leave the haunt, from dropping off my annual goodies, when Roy Wooley asked me where I was going. When I told him I was going to a party, he said, “Not like that you're not!” He motioned for me to sit down in his makeup chair. Less than a minute later, I looked like this:
It was the best Halloween makeup I had ever had!

Originally, I would take off Halloween night because I would go with my sister to take my nieces trick-or-treating. When my long-time BFF, the Son of Celluloid, moved back to Atlanta from Savannah, we began our annual Halloween Adventure, where we try to go to as many haunts as possible on Halloween night. He’s also been my makeup artist the last 4 Halloweens. This was one of my favorite makeups he did back in 2010:

 In 2011, after the Son of Celluloid hit the horror scene in Atlanta, GA., we began the "Official Son of Celluloid Halloween Adventure, where we were joined a couple of outstanding ladies:
(Son of Celluloid Halloweeners 2013.)

Halloween has always given me some of my fondest memories. I’m looking forward to what this Halloween season has in store: the haunts, the costumes, the shows, this year’s Son of Celluloid Halloween Adventure . . . and, whatever it is the Atlanta Horror Scene throws at us!

29 days 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. 29 days 'til Halloween, Silver Shamrock!


Meghann said...

Fantastic! Leah is one of my favorites!! <3

Wyllamina said...

<3 you, too, Meghann!!! You're one of my favorites, too!! See you at the haunt :)

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