Five questions asked over a glowing Jack o'Lantern, under an Autumn moon obscured by passing clouds...in between mouthfuls of candy corn...with John Skeleton (John Skeleton's Horror Blog)...and also writing for Scream magazine when the lights are low...
Why is Halloween important to you?
Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain…whatever name you call it by, there’s something thrilling about the 31st of October that sends shivers down my spine…in the very best way possible! I am fascinated with the origins of the holiday, especially the idea that on that evening all of the witches, demons, evil spirits, and sorcerers hold sway and celebrate their revelries under the tenebrous cover of night.
The fire festivals of Britain, the Scottish traditions, and the Celtic celebrations of Samhain have all filtered down through history and somehow manifested themselves in the only holiday dedicated to those things that go bump in the night. For a fan of horror and the Gothic such as myself, I feel like Halloween is the one day of the year that I can be myself, and also watch the “normal” folks get into the spirit of devilish delight! The gleefully ghoulish house decorations, the creepy costumes, the long hours of horror marathons running on the television, mountains of candy…I love every minute of it!
Describe your ideal Halloween.
My ideal All Hallow’s Eve falls upon the night of the full moon, with a few wisps of clouds above and a chill breeze rattling through hoary tree branches that stretch into the sky like decrepit and decaying fingers of the dead. Eldritch sounds can be heard echoing through the wood, emanating not from evil spirits of the forest, but from a large house situated deep among the trees, where the children of the night have gathered to celebrate the forces of Darkness.
Massive and well-constructed, the numerous rooms of the old Victorian now serve as chambers of the morbid and macabre. Classic gems of horror cinema spray blood and gore across a massive projector screen in one room, while another contains multiple gaming consoles where eager players battle against the undead and other unholy creatures…or take on their personas themselves. Sepulchral melodies echo from a room where bodies twist and writhe in unholy ecstasy, and for the more adventurous there is even a fully equipped “torture” room where pleasure and pain melt and congeal together until they are one and the same.
The highlight of the evening comes at the witching hour, when an authentic Black Mass is performed deep in the bowels of the sanctuary…Okay, well I may have gotten a bit carried away there, but a man can dream, can’t he?
What Halloween collectibles do you cherish, or hate, or both?
As I currently live in Japan, there is a tragic dearth of Halloween collectibles to be had here in the Land of the Rising Sun. That said, I like to keep things in my bedroom that many people might find at least a little bit odd. Some of my favorite pieces that could be considered vaguely Halloween-related are my life-size skeleton model, two anatomical models, a bottle of some mysterious liquor with a cobra and scorpion inside, and my stuffed and mounted bat. Factor in my pet snake, scorpion, and tarantula, and it’s pretty much Halloween every day around here!
When was your very first Halloween, the one where you really knew it was Halloween, and how was it?
To be honest, while the memories have faded with time I still have photos of a Halloween night long ago when my parents dressed me up as a black cat, complete with a nose and whiskers supplied courtesy of my mother’s makeup box. I trace the roots of my urge to dress up and my love for Halloween back to that point. As early as I can remember I always loved adorning my bedroom with fake spider webs, skeletons, and all manner of spooky paraphernalia, and in the end my parents always had to remove them, for if I had had my way it would have been like that all year round!
What's the one Halloween question you want to be asked and what's your answer?
Q: Who’s the zombie chick in the photo?
A: That would be yours truly last Halloween! While I wasn’t able to get so elaborate with the makeup, I had a blast with my friends at a big Goth party in Tokyo.
That's my son!!! :)
Posted by: Natalie Romano | September 11, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Cool interview, great answers and an awesome costume! Indeed!
Posted by: Caffeinated Joe | September 09, 2011 at 10:56 AM