The Halloween that Wasn't

2020 Sucks

It has sucked, it does suck and it will suck.  That said, just know this - I have in no way lost perspective.  Lamenting the loss of a minor holiday in a tongue-in-cheek way doesn't try to equate this with the true, real-life horror the world is suffering through right now.  That said, I am a little bummed that Halloween was, for all intents and purposes - cancelled.  A few years ago, I did a small series of Halloween sketches (I can't even remember why), and I'll put a couple in here, including this one:


How it all started

Halloween:  Monsters and candy - the perfect combination!  I have always been a fan of the horror genre.  When I was a kid at 812 - the home, we used to watch horror movies on weekend nights.  On one of the nights Creature Features, which showed the classic Universal Horror movies from the 1930s and 1940s,  British horror films like The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, The Phantom of the Opera, The Curse of the Werewolf, and The Hound of the Baskervilles, and so much more!  


The other weekend night, I think Saturday nights, we watched Chiller Theater, who showed many of the same movies, but seemed to have a heavier concentration of sci-fi movies and a plethora of B-grade horror!  It was magnificent!  The whole family would watch, mom made popcorn (on the oven, and it's still the best popcorn in the world!), and we'd have Fawn sodas, and it seems our favorite flavors were orange, root beer and birch beer.


There was another offering too!  Early Saturday afternoons had the Monster Movie Matinee with one of the best Monster Movie TV hosts in the nation - Dr. E. Nick Witty and his assistant, the wretched Epal.  Here was the introduction to the show.  Check out the awesome models and camerawork - I love it!


And here's a little clip so you can see how the Monster Movie Matinee skits went.  These skits were done before and after the movie, and when coming back from commercials.  Horror movie TV hosts were a huge thing once upon a time - as a matter of fact, that's where Elvira got her fame!


You never saw anything of Dr. Witty but his long emotive fingers. His voice was kind of a bad Bela Lugosi copy that played perfectly for this type of show. Epal, played by the station’s longtime weatherman who also played other characters (his character, Salty Sam, introduced me to Popeye cartoons) on a number of other shows, was covered in rough-edged scars and wore an eyepatch. He seemed to constantly erode as the years passed. - Redtree Times

Then there were the Monster Models

I was kinda blessed to have two uncles who were roughly my age.  I say "kinda" because I also had to say they were "roughly" my age.  You see, when I was a kid, they were just old enough to torture me (and some of my cousins) by telling horror stories then finding ways to terrify me (and usually us).  But you know - I always looked forward to seeing them.  I don't know if it was the same for you, but I always thought other kids had the coolest toys!  Of course, these decades later, I have learned those toys weren't cooler or better than mine - they were just different than mine.  It was these self-same uncles that gave me a love for monster models.  


As a kid I built them all - Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, Godzilla and more!  The memories are strong, almost as strong as the smell of Testor's model glue.  I usually built and painted them at the kitchen table, seems the kitchen was (and really still is) the nerve center of my childhood home.  Those original models have been lost to the sands of time, but a few years ago, out of a sense of nostalgia, I picked up some of those models again and I put a sampling in that picture above! 

When I was a kid, my bedroom resembled a miniature horror museum. Getting these kits was like owning a piece of the Horror films I loved so much. Building and painting the kits to match the boxes and film made me a monster creator myself, much like Dr. Frankenstein. - Michael Thomas Knight

Onto Halloween

That (finally) brings us to Halloween.  With a love of spooky stuff and candy, a love for Halloween was, I suppose, a foregone conclusion.  I loved getting dressed up for the school Halloween party, except for the year Dad and I thought it would be funny to go as a Girl Scout, my sister's Girl Scout dress the centerpiece of the costume.  I thought it was funny until I got halfway to school, which was only a block from the house, and I lost my nerve.  Of course, I didn't want to go back to the house and admit defeat, so to school I went.  Instead of just rolling with it, I sulked and tried to blend into the background all day.  Funny thing is, I don't remember anyone making fun of me or anything.  Youth truly is wasted on the young!  Besides that year, I recall monster masks, hobo and clown costumes and of course lots n lots of candy!  Halcyon days indeed!  I don't have a picture of me in one of my Halloween costumes, but I think a couple years I wore store-bought Rayon costumes with really creepy masks like this:


Halloween at 173

Halloween at 173 has always been fun.  Some years very few kids came to the door and other years as many as 60 or 70 kids!  It's always fun to see the kids parade up to the door with whatever costume is popular that particular year.  173 is lightly decorated for Halloween these years, some cobwebs here...


A cookie/candy jar there...


A wood sculpture someone at work made probably 20 years ago...


Not much, just a sense of things is all.  But still love Halloween.  'Til this year.

Halloween 2020

And this is the year Halloween was cancelled.  Just another COVID slap in the face of 2020.  I understand why - it's necessary.  And please spare me your opinion on this.  I work in this every single day, and there's nothing intelligent you can say to convince me cancelling wasn't necessary.  You're free to risk your life and that of everyone you come in contact with, but please. please spare me your opinion because - that's all it is.  That said, I didn't give up altogether.  I had a plan just in case some kids came to the door!  Candy was bought, and I developed a delivery system.  Here's how it was built,  First, I flattened out a box and cut it to size:


Folded up the edges

A few of the best regional Horror Hosts!
The Vampira Show
Dr. E. Nick Witty and Epal
Sir Cecil Creape
Morgus the Magnificent
⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯
Wikipedia's giant list of Horror Hosts!


Then it was just a matter of collecting the candy dish, candy and the delivery system:


And wait for  someone to come to the door.


The idea was to put the delivery system in the mail slot and let the candy slide into the kids' candy bags!


But alas, this was the year they cancelled Halloween.  Not one person came to the door.  I guess, based on my mini-rant a couple pictures ago, nobody coming was a good thing - people were being careful.  Oh, and I said I'd put in a couple of my goofy Halloween sketches:


The one upside

I guess there's always a silver lining and even the cancelling of 2020's Halloween has an upside!  You see that blue box on the side table next to the hutch?


Let's zoom in a little bit!


It's a 1960s style London Police box.  Not only that, it's a Time And Relative Dimension In Space machine (you Dr. Who fans know!).  But not only is it a TARDIS, it's a cookie jar.  And this year, instead of cookies, the TARDIS contains the unclaimed spoils of Halloween 2020!


Always an upside!

Stay safe out there!

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