(c) Scott Jackson
The concept of "Halloween" dates back to about 1745, at least closer to the version we know today. Although some historians claim the popular holiday is about 2,000 years old, the celebration of the dead has been around for a few hundred years. By the twentieth century, Halloween had changed drastically. Instead of commemorating those who have died, people started "Trick or Treating" around the 1930s. Depending on your age, teenagers also started hosting Halloween parties in desolate areas such as the forest.
I was fourteen years old, by July of 2010. In 2011 I had my first drink, despite being a teetotaler in the present. Back in October of 2010, I was hanging out with a few friends on a Friday after school. Halloween was coming up, so we decided to watch a series of horror movies. Of course, Halloween has truly evolved since its existence. For a holiday that was once about remembering the dead, it's now an excuse for people to watch horror movies and get drunk. Well, that depends on your age- at least in theory.
During this time, I watched the 2007 version of Halloween for the first time. Interestingly, it was also the only time I've watched The Exorcist (1973). My friend (the girl I ended up kissing), had a large collection of horror films on DVD and Blu-ray. This was the perfect setting for a Friday in October. So, what did Halloween mean to us? Well, we watched classic horror films and enjoyed being together. I must admit, it's one of my favourite Halloween memories.
1973's The Exorcist is considered one of the greatest horror films of all time.
Prior to my teenage years, I loved watching Halloween-themed movies as a kid.
I watched this film on television when I was about nine or ten years old, and really enjoyed it. It was the first time I heard of the concept "Jekyll and Hyde", which is a classic horror motif.
This was my first Halloween, back in 1996.
With respect to my teenage years, another part of this blog post actually comes from a story my mother told me. When she was growing up (1970s and 1980s), she and her sister would attend "movie nights" at their school auditorium. During the month of October, the school often played films from the horror genre. According to my mother, it was $1 to watch the film, and my mother and her sister would somewhat regret their experience when they got home. Following their return home, my mother claims she and her sister would be up all night, frightened from the experiences.
Interestingly, the Child's Play film series has scared my aunt the most. Sometime in the 1980s, this film series came to life for my aunt.
Here's the story my mother told me:
"When Child's Play came out in the 80s, my sister was afraid of it right away. So, when we were watching it, of course it was Halloween night. When it showed the doll's face taking up most of the screen, your father said he had to go to the bathroom. I didn't think much of it, and then started to question while he was gone so long. After a while, you could hear footsteps coming down the hallway. I was thinking, "Jesus, what's that?" Then all of a sudden, your cousin's walking doll basically ran into the living room and sat right next to your aunt. To make things better, your father smeared lipstick all over the doll's face. The next day, he wanted to put the doll in the back seat of her car. But I had to stop him."
I didn't think there was any poetry left in me. Well, it turns out there was. I wrote this poem yesterday (at the time of writing this article), as I felt like I was in the Halloween Spirit.
Here's a sample from my current project, Destroying the Summit:
Before Toxin 45 swallowed the remaining fragments of humanity, there was a self-professed “warrior” named Wilson Pike. Though he once wandered the desolate streets of The Capital alone, his celebrity becomes his immediate companion. Pike has been missing for quite some time, and his status has remained unclear. Shopkeeper Brandon Beckett informs his fiancé of his forthcoming journey, then shifts all responsibility to saving Wilson Pike.
“Brandon, take some of this food with you when you leave. I made homemade soup.” This from Sami.
“You never cease to amaze me, Sami. I’ll make sure it goes in this thermos I stole from the Highland Building last week.”
Beckett observed the calendar mounted against his refrigerator, which read “March 13, 2040.” Wilson Pike had been missing since December of 2039, ever since he abandoned his position at Ram-Co. Toxin 45 established a world of superior intellects, all of which were touched with a dosage of “crazy.” People blamed Pike, so he left. The man residents of the Capital called “The Warrior” disappeared without a trace. No one cared. Well, except for the Beckett family.
Beckett readied his knapsack, filling it with weapons he hadn’t the slightest ability to use. That didn’t matter to him. Surely, our hero would be able to defend himself if need be… right? Sami’s pale face was painted with concern, as she watched her fiancé depart from their home on Cherry Lane.
Mr. Beckett turned to his fiancé, “everything will be fine,” he smiled, “I’ll keep in touch my baby.” Our adventurist started towards his fiancé, greeting her with a “goodbye” kiss. Not a “goodbye forever”, but a “goodbye until I find Wilson Pike” type of smooch.
Sami peered towards her swollen belly, as she was just a few weeks along. She had yet to tell Brandon of his potential fatherhood, as she didn’t want to distract him from his vital journey. Somehow, she felt Brandon knew. Despite his lack of formal education, he was pretty sharp.
Beckett headed for the exit of his tiny home on Cherry Lane, turning his head in Sami’s direction. “Give me two weeks”, he said, “If I’m not back by then, send someone to look for us.” Then, Beckett entered the “wasteland” of modern society.
Throughout his journey of searching for the notorious Wilson Pike, Beckett is reminded of his love for his wife, Sami. Although they had never been formally married, Beckett knew their love would last forever. Thus, she was his wife. No one seemed to question that.
Without her love and inspiration, Beckett would not have the courage to step into a world which no longer exists. The Capital has become a decrepit pit of despair, welcoming creatures from ancient mythology as the space-time continuum has been corrupted. Although he has grown aware his efforts are mostly futile, Brandon Beckett remains determined to prove Wilson Pike is still alive. Beckett knows, deep within his hollow mind, Pike just wants to be left alone.
So, what did you think of today's Halloween Showcase? Let us know!
The Modernist Son, 2020-2021.