From: Minnesota, USA
What made you love Halloween so strongly?
There’s nothing more exciting to me than seeing magic, real magic, come alive in the eyes of strangers.No other day of the year captures the same magic that Halloween has. Months of preparation culminate on a single night where both adults and children alike get to be someone else for an evening and celebrate Halloween in their own unique way.
How did you get into Halloween?
I started working at Spirit Halloween, a large Halloween retailer, when I was 19-years-old and I didn’t have many positive influences in my life at the time. My store manager is a very kind and generous person who didn’t just work for a Halloween company, he genuinely LOVES Halloween. He had this severed leg prop that he would hang from the trunk of his car and people driving on the road would call the police because they thought he had a real dead body in his trunk! His stories about his years of experience with the Halloween industry and passion for Halloween are part of the reason I fell in love with Halloween and I’ve found new reasons to continue loving it ever since.
What is your favorite things to do on/around Halloween?
I’m almost 30-years-old and I still go trick-or-treating. It’s less about getting candy and more about the thrill of the next house. There’s nothing more exhilarating and rewarding than coming home after spending three hours walking around dressed up like a ghost while carrying a 4 pound pillow case full of candy. I host Halloween parties around Halloween but I never host parties on Halloween night. I am also pagan and Samhain is a sacred day for me so I usually spend the day creating my Samhain altar and prepping my feastbefore I go trick-or-treating.
Can you remember which Halloween costume was your favorite one?
Three years ago my friends and I dressed up as ghosts. We bought white bed sheets from the thrift store and cut eye holes out with scissors. One of my friends went as the Charlie Brown ghost, complete with a rock! People were so excited to see us and we got a lot of compliments that year. Many adults that were handing out candy told us stories of how they dressed up as bed sheet ghosts when they were younger. I definitely think those costumes contributed to us getting more candy that year.
What does Halloween mean to you?
Magic. Community. A sense of belonging. In the off season people think I’m weird and I get comments on how strange it is that I like Halloween all year long. As soon as Halloween comes along, I’m the cool one. I enjoy Halloween because weird is the new normal. People judge less and interact with their communities more.
Of all the amazing Halloween candy you can get now adays , what is your favourite? ( Old Classics/ New style candy etc )
What Halloween food and drinks are you most excited about?
Kool-Aid “Ghoul-Aid” Scary Blackberry (https://www.amazon.com/Kool-Aid-Ghoul-0-14-Ounce-192-counts/dp/B005CV7TME)
When do you start shopping for Halloween?
I’m usually scouting stores mid-July but stores are posting their Halloween inventory online earlier every year. Michael’s is almost always the first store in the US to start selling Halloween home decor but even Hobby Lobby is putting out fall items now and it’s not even the middle of May yet.
What about Halloween makes it your favorite holiday?
History tells us that in the beginning, Halloween was a night to go out into town and make mischief. Be someone you don’t normally get to be. Be obnoxious. Raise hell! It may not be celebrated today in the same way that it used to be, but we still use it as a night to accept things that we wouldn’t normally accept any other night of the year. We are more willing to accept that ghosts, witches and magic are possible on Halloween. Death is normally very difficult to talk about the rest of the year, but for one night we don’t just acknowledge it- we idolize it! We wear costumes of dead people, re-animated corpses, serial killers and even death itself. I love that we can accept the unacceptable one night a year.
Do you think it has any negative sides to it?
Halloween as a gore-fest has never really been my cup of tea but I understand why people love it. It’s a day for expression and possibilities! At it’s heart I believe that Halloween is about acceptance but I think some people use Halloween as an excuse to push boundaries, be dangerous, make people feel uncomfortable and unsafe on purpose. One year I was trick-or-treating with my friends and two adults dressed as murderous clowns started following us. They followed us for several blocks in an attempt to make us feel uncomfortable on purpose. We asked them to stop but they didn’t listen and in the end it ruined the evening for us. Not everyone wants to be scared on Halloween.
What is the Favorite Halloween item you have?
A few years ago I asked my grandfather to build a pair of coffin shaped bookshelves for me. Not only are they awesome pieces but they are mementos that I get to keep after he’s gone. We painted them together so those memories are something I will always cherish.
Do you still go trick or treating?
Absolutely. Last year I went with my fiance’s younger siblings but I usually go with friends. I’ve found that I am never asked about my age if I dress up in a costume that covers my whole body. I tested this theory some years ago when I wore a costume that showed my face and I got significantly less candy than previous years when my whole body was covered. The fact that you’re supposed to stop because you’re too old once you hit an arbitrary age confuses me. The age range you’re supposed to stop trick-or-treating varies between 10-14 but there’s no clear explanation for why you have to stop other than “you’re too old.” It feels unfair to have this ritual of going trick-or-treating for the first 14 years of your life then suddenly you’re not allowed to do it anymore. I am an advocate for trick-or-treating as an adult but if someone wants to sit at home handing out candy, be my guest! I couldn’t have the trick-or-treat experience without them. I just think it should be a choice instead of being enforced based on an arbitrary obligation.
Can you remember your first Halloween memory?
I was 5-years-old and my mom made Halloween costumes for my brother and I. She made me a pink power ranger costume out of a matching pink sweater and sweatpants with cut out pieces of felt. At the time I was so mad because I wanted her to buy me a costume from the store but now I think back to how cool it was to have something handmade like that. I’m glad she made it for me instead!
Do you keep all your Halloween decorations out all year or do you start decorating at a certain time ?
I keep some things out all year. My coffin book shelves are hard to hide away and kitchen stuff like dishes, cookie jars, pot holders and utensils are out all year because I use them every day but my hanging items, window clings and specialty items are put away until usually August.
Where do you buy your Halloween items?
Target, Kohl’s, Tuesday Morning, Daiso, Ross, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics, Michael’s, At Home, Kirklands, TJ Maxx / Home Goods and Thrift stores
Whats your favourite halloween movie/series?
Disney’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1949)
How is Halloween celebrated in the US?
It depends on where you are in the US. In Minnesota there’s been a big push in the last several years for more elaborate yard decorations and sometimes you’ll see animated screen projections on the sides of houses. I frequently see people driving around neighborhoods to look at all of the decorations, much like people do with Christmas lights in the winter.Costume parties are still popular in the US for both kids and adults. Some parents try to get their kids to stay in on Halloween by inviting their children’s friends over to have costume parties instead of going out trick-or-treating. The number of kids going trick-or-treating has been decreasing steadily over the years as adults try to confine festivities to smaller and more controlled areas like schools and libraries. A lot of large malls actually have events where kids can walk around to different stores and get candy from people waiting at the doors. It always seems so cold and calculated though and I don’t like it.
Is it difficult finding Halloween decorations in your town/city?
No. I live in a fairly large city so many of the stores that I shop at are within driving distance. There are roughly four different TJ Maxx/Home Goods, Targets and Michael’s stores within a 15 mile radius of my home.
What made you want to start a horror/Halloween themed blog?
I was an assistant store manager at Spirit Halloween in 2016 and decided to chronicle my time there. I didn’t have a clear idea in my head at the time for a blog but I found a community that I enjoyed sharing my experiences with on Tumblr. It wasn’t until I switched to Instagram as my full-time social media platform that I dove head first into blogging. It was the community that gave me the motivation to start and I just really wanted to share my Halloween finds with everyone.
What is important themes to you when you write posts?
I want to make sure people have a good understanding of the subject I’m writing about. Whether it be about drinks, style, shopping or events. Where did I get it? How much was it? Is it still available? How can you make what I just made? I want you to know all of that! I’m not just keeping it to myself. I want to share it.
How much time do you spend of your day/week writing posts?
Not enough. I think I probably spend 2-4 days writing blog posts per month. I really have to sit down and focus on a post and that can be difficult for me with my full-time job and chronic pain. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and a bulging neck disk. Sitting at a computer for any significant length of time can be strenuous on my body.
Can it sometimes be difficult for you to handle the fame by being a known Halloween persona?
I don’t think I’m famous at all. When I start collaborating at big events like Midsummer Scream maybe then I’ll start to feel like I am!
Clothing / style
Where do you usually buy your clothes?
95% thrift stores. I currently work at Goodwill and I previously worked at Savers, both nationwide thrift store chains. I have been shopping at thrift stores since I was a kid and I think its important to know the value of a good second hand item.
what style of clothing do you like to buy?
I tend to stick to black and gray. Faux leather, lace and buckles are aplenty in my wardrobe but I also like warm neutral colors like green, brown and cream. I am obsessed with linen and I have a lot of linen dresses and shirts in my closet. “Mori Girl” is my second favorite style but I rarely dress in it.
Do you have any tips on where to find awesome Halloween clothing for the rest of us Halloween addicts?
I shop everywhere. Don’t assume a place won’t have what you’re interested in. There’s always something to find even if you don’t think there is. www.spirithalloween.com and www.partycity.comdon’t just sell costumes they also sell build-your-own pieces which include sweaters, tights, shoes, etc.
www.poshmark.com is like an online thrift store. Just search “Halloween” and see what you can find.
Seriously just check out my Halloween Fashion Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/Battywampus/halloween-fashion/
Do you wear Halloween/Horror styled clothes all year?
Actually, no. I dislike being stopped and asked about it all the time. Once in a while I’ll feel particularly spooky and I’ll deck myself out in bats but I generally pick up my Halloween/Horror style around August or September when the weather gets cooler. It works for me because most of the Halloween clothes that I own are sweaters and warmer clothes anyway.
Whats your favourite Halloween clothing /accessories/bags/shoes etc?
My Love Pain and Stitches Jack O’ Lantern bags are definitely my favorite bags, I enjoy boots with buckles and find a lot of cool ones at thrift stores, but my favorite Halloween clothing item is this shoulder cut out sweater with a Jack O’ Lantern face on it that I purchased from Spirit Halloween last year. (https://www.spirithalloween.com/product/cold-shoulder-pumpkin-sweatshirt/150471.uts?keyword=cold%20shoulder&thumbnailIndex=1&Search=Find+It)
Have you worked hard on your style?
Oh goodness, yes! If I’m going out with friends I spend a long time changing in and out of clothes before I finally decide on what I’m going to wear. Sometimes I even pick out my clothes the night before only to change my mind at the last minute the next day. I wear a uniform at work so it’s a release for me to be able to pick something out that I actually want to wear. Though if I’m by myself at home lounging around and watching TV, I like to put in as little effort as possible. Messy bun and re-runs is my motto!
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