Halloween is only a week away, and the holiday spirit has captured us already.  I always felt like Halloween represented a couple things.  This Friday I feel like taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting all the Halloween memories that just stuck with me.

My first Halloween memory, and the only one that stuck from my kid years, was from around 1983-4.  I must have been 4-5 years old, living in Queens, NY.  My sister (9 years older than me, so in her teens) took me out trick-or-treating.  I was wearing a Superman costume.  You know… basically a shirt with the logo, a red cape made out of plastic, and that plastic face mask… super old school.  I don’t remember much of the evening, other than at some point my sister had me on her shoulders.  We were going down the street when a couple kids ran up to her and smashed an egg on her head.  She yelled at them and they laughed, and I remember the whole commotion got be scared and I started crying and dropped my plastic pumpkin bucket, with all my candy spilling all over the sidewalk.  The kids ran off and I remember my sweet sister comforting me, and letting me know it was just friends playing a joke on her and it was ok.  Looking back now, I do remember she wasn’t that upset about it; that it must have indeed been her friends.  But at that age, I just remember being scared, and then her making me feel better.  She helped me gather up all my candy and the rest of the night went on just fine.  (Love you N).  I moved to Greece when I was 8, and I literally only have a handful of memories from living in the States at that age… that was one of the few.


In Greece, Halloween works a little different.  It lasts a month, with the main trick-or-treating days every Sunday for those 4 weeks… the 4th Sunday being the big one.  But it’s not all that big there.  Don’t get me wrong, people dress up… but all four weeks combined are still less elaborate and celebrated than the one night we have here.  Over the years I vaguely remember the costumes I had… I know I was a ninja a couple of the times, and even a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one of the years (Donatello was my choice!).  I honestly can’t remember the many more Halloweens until after college.  Seriously, I don’t even remember what costumes I wore in college (or even if I did at all).

Skip forward more years, and I’m living back in NYC… the best place to be during Halloween (HANDS DOWN).  We love Halloween there.   I wanted to go with the classic, white sheet ghost, but I wanted to make it a little creepier.  I bought a demonic skull mask, and glued it to the inside of the sheet – so that it looked the way it looks when a face is kind of appearing as if its pushing through a wall.  It was super creepy.   But, the kicker here, and the main memory, was that I did all this too late.  As in, I used crazy glue only the night before to fix it up, and let me tell you, that intense smell did NOT evaporate.  So, yeah… I was breathing fumes.  I was out with two of my close friends, and halfway through the night, I just freaked out and left the club.  I think one of my friends realized I was bugging out and left with me, and he said I got all violent.  Not fighting or anything, just mean and a douchbag (sorry Ish). Despite that, it makes a good memory.  Note to self, kids… don’t crazy glue a mask and wear it while its still full of fumes… and I’m sure the alcohol didn’t help.


A year later, I remember dressing up in was Freddy Kruger.  And I went all out… latex burnt face mask, red striped (and tattered) sweater, partially burnt fedora, and best of all, actual leather and metal bladed glove (not sharpened obviously).  I loved that costume (as I loved the film), and the whole metal bladed glove was creepy as hell.  I remember flirting with some girl who was real freaked out about it, hahaha.


Another classic was Moses.  Yes, that’s my name, but I’m talking about the classical Biblical Moses.  Robes, beards, staff, commandments and all.  That one was also put together myself, and I made the tablets from scratch as well.  I left the commandments blank, which was a huge conversation starter, as we would joke with random people on what they should be.  Plus it was fun to confuse people when they asked me my name, I said Moses, and … well, you see what I did there.  One of the more memorable moments of the night was late into it (I think it was like 3-4AM at that point), and tons of people are just walking in and out of bars, pretty drunk in the streets.  I saw a guy dressed as Jesus.  He saw me.  We paused for a moment.  “MOSES!” He yelled drunkenly.  “JESUS!” I yelled back.  We laughed and ended up grabbing some drinks at some bar with the rest of our groups.

Buying my Space Ghost outfit was definitely a great one.  Suit was cool, full body suit (super huge fake muscles), cape, cowl and all.   I love Space Ghost, and it’s one of those shows that not everyone knows about or remembers.  I think the slightly obscureness of it was what made it great… most people didn’t know/get it, but those who did, appreciated it, and it was great to laugh about the show together.  And one of the best part of the suit was the fact that the cowl left the mouth/chin area open.  Let me tell you, after a full on latex mask, a skull mask with a sheet on it, and a huge grizzly beard… being able to drink without complications was a huge plus.  (though the full on body suit made going for a piss a complicated procedure).



I ran a Zombie Run (5K) during one halloween, and that was a LOT of fun.  It surprisingly gets “thrilling” and you find yourself sprinting and dodging zombies as you try to pass through the hoards.  Lots of people dressed up for this, and I found it suiting to wear a bio-hazard suit for this one (which I made with a white painters overalls and some spray paint)

Zombie Run

Halloween isn’t only about horror… the “trick” in trick-or-treat, is represented but the fact that you’re disguised as someone else, and in turn tricking people.  The “treat”, though as a kid it’s the candy, as an adult is the fun you get to have.  Space Ghost clearly was not a scary costume, but definitely a fun time, and most definitely Halloweenish.

That being said, my all time favorite costume is one of my all time favorite characters from one of my all time favorite books (actually, a graphic novel)… Rorschach (from Watchmen).  There is a certain pleasure piecing together your own costume (versus, lets say my Freddy or Space Ghost pre-bought costumes).  I searched dozens of thrift stores for the trench coat, and the fedora.  Found myself some faux leather gloves, and a white scarf.  The only thing I had to buy, which was one of my best purchases ever, was this AMAZING ink blot mask.  Not just a black ink design mind you… this was made with a temperature sensitive “paint”.  So basically, as I breathed through the nose or mouth, the whole face constantly altered (at least the lower half… the eyes stayed the same, and above that was the hat)… extremely similar to the character (the movie is a good example of how freaky that can be.  And though the whole mask made drinking an issue again, I would pull only the bottom part up when I wanted a sip (like Rorschach does in when eating those cans of beans), so… it looked in character!


This year I’m running (attempting) the NY Marathon on November 2nd.  It will be great to be back in NY (I live in Portland now), especially for Halloween – but two days before my first marathon… not really going to be able to party much sadly.  I will take my nephew trick-or-treating, and maybe go out for a quick drink (though I’ll be having water), so I figured, I should at least wear something simple for those things.  So this year, I’m gonna be Joker from the New 52.  For those of you who probably don’t know, the Joker, crazy as he is, has his face surgically removed.  And then, eventually, wants it back, so he just staples the rotting thing back on – the staples pulling at his cheeks giving him this disgusting permanent smile.  Let me tell you, its gross, freaky, and at the same time awesome.  Some black pants and a purple shirt (as Joker is fond of that color), and I’m set.


So, those are some of my more distinctive memories.  How about you?  Any particular ones that always stuck with you.  Feel free to share the past!