I make no bones in admitting that out of all holidays, Halloween reigns supreme in my book. I get giddy when October comes around. I squee when I spy little pumpkins nested in the grocery aisle (perhaps too much so…) and I experience a particular kind of joy when I see skeletons plastered on windows. There’s also this thrill of the spooky dancing on the night’s chill that enlivens my creative spirit.
I admittedly haven’t been especially fond of the holiday in years past. I wasn’t allowed to go trick or treating when I was younger and I always got the impression that the reason for it was some hint of illicitness to Halloween celebrations. I spent the first years of my education in a Christian-affiliated school and there may have been whispers of that sort. (I distinctly remember my mother saying something along those lines but when you’re that young it’s hard to separate real events from things you may have dreamed up). I still cashed in on store-bought candy though. In my house, sweets are tradition!
In innocent childhood recollections, Christmas superseded most other holidays and the only other day I looked forward to in the year was my own birthday. I was the kind of child who only looked forward to something if I knew I was getting something out of it. It could be argued that most children are like this but I was a pretty notorious kind of selfish. (I broke down into crocodile tears when I wasn’t allowed to watch my favorite TV show).
As I grew into adulthood, I developed a taste for cooler climes and the darker aspects of music and literature. I found myself gaining a deeper appreciation for Halloween. High school brought horror movie viewings.
There’s also more timely reasons as to why I feel so strongly about this holiday.
This post is, in part, a more thoughtful response to a question I was asked about why I liked this holiday. It wasn’t a very serious inquiry–it was one of those easy get-to-know-you questions. At the time, though, I found it difficult to articulate. Partially because of deeply personal reasons.
I have Halloween to thank for getting me out a funk of last year where I idled away the spring and summer months in existential ennui, wondering where I was taking myself in life. It gave me something to look forward to and from a creative standpoint, it got me invested in storytelling again. I wrote during this dark period but most of the ideas were either too personal or died in the cradle. I didn’t have the energy to commit to any of them which made me feel worst throughout that period.
I also credit it with begetting a few of my most treasured creative projects, namely the Hollow Grove universe. The seeds of it were first sown in October as well as the characters that came out of it.
I know Halloween is still a few weeks away but I just can’t help but get excited about it!