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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Who Do Authors Dress Up As On Halloween?
should writers dress up as for Halloween? Ghostwriters!
I won’t quit my day job promoting and marketing writers.
struggle to decide on a costume for the October 31 ritual of being someone I am
not and am not likely to be, I thought about what writers, who usually live in
fantasy, would wear?
I should consult scary writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Brian Stoker, Stephen
King, Dean Koontz or Mary Shelley about what to wear, but with some of them I’d
just be following a dead-end lead.
ranks Anne Rice as the most popular horror author. I wonder what she’ll do this Halloween. Maybe the Horror Writers Association can
guide us. Check out horror.org.
some of the hottest costumes this year are of best-selling authors – Donald
Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Dressing up is just part of the tradition and festivities of the holiday. Pumpkin carving, trick or treating, hanging
scary decorations, and behaving mischievously are par for the course. So is telling or reading ghost stories around
a camp fire.
the real question is: Which scary book
or short story will you read on Halloween?
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was published
nearly 200 year ago – in 1820 – by Washington Irving. It is among the earliest examples of American
fiction with enduring popularity that’s associated with Halloween.
scary characters like a vampire, werewolf, ghost, mummy, zombie, Frankenstein or devil can
still be found, but they seem to be giving away to costumes that reveal dark
fantasies, from ones that sexualize parts to ones that combine pop-culture
with demons in the news. We see pimps
and dead brides, naughty nurses and superheroes. There are emojis and tech device
costumes. Will anyone dress up as a
is supposed to be a holiday where people can have safe fun but sometimes things
get out of hand.
up in 1970’s and 1980’s Brooklyn, I was afraid to go to school on
Halloween. Too many punks were up to no
good, egging homes, houses, cars and kids.
Bad people used the day to honor their badness while otherwise good
people tried to use the day as an excuse to get away with bad behavior. It may not be the Purge, but Halloween is a get-out-of-jail card for low-level truant behavior.
is no longer just for kids. After they
stop trick or treating as kids, they dress up for parties in high school and
college. Older adults can dress up if
they are attached to kids. I use my kids
as props so I can dress up.
want to hear a funny story about Halloween?
back in the mid-1980s I went to a Halloween party on the Saturday night before
Halloween. Apparently, not everyone knew
that the night was linked to celebrating Halloween. I was dressed as a cowboy, fake gun and all, and waiting
at a Brooklyn bus stop in Bensonhurst and all of a sudden two cop cars pull up
and cops fall out of their cars, guns – real ones – pointed at me – with shouts of “get down, put you hands up, slowly.” I complied and straightened everything out but
that was scary!
could be a good excuse to watch scary movies, like the horror franchise Nightmare on ElmStreet, Friday the 13th, Halloween, or Scream.
Maybe the Purge series will
join that list soon.
Halloween I plan to be something or someone that I’m not, to touch base with
the darker, weirder, or freakier side of me – but I will not go as a
writer. What will you be?
classic remains a classic; it stands all the tests of time and changing
sensibilities; we read the classics not because we are required to do so,
because we have been told to read them, but because they are wiser, more
enduring, and provide more pleasure than lesser works.” -- Helena Hjalmarsson