Hey guys. Kevin "Hellions" Decent here. You might remember me from TeamHellions.com and all over social media either @TeamHellions or @KevinHellions. I discuss comics, wrestling and all sorts of geeky stuff. Thousands of articles, dozens of publications and millions of hits later and I still get so excited for Halloween. This year as part of the Countdown to Halloween I'm remembering my personal history with all things that go bump in the night.
What was Halloween like in your neighborhood as a kid?
I grew up in Watertown NY, about an hour north of Syracuse and 45 minutes south of the Canadian border. That far north the weather can be all over the place. There were many years when part of planning a Halloween costume involved accommodating a winter coat underneath. Yet I still have that perfect feeling for Fall. Anytime from September through November I will walk outside and smell the crisp air, the leaves on the ground and think it feels like a perfect day for Halloween. Alas, there is only one day for Halloween.
Do you have a particularly fond/funny/scary Halloween memory?
I'm leading up to this post on my own site but here's a preview story. Its about the last night I went out trick or treating. My two best friends at the time were a year younger than me. I was in 8th grade and they were in 7th (I'm pretty sure. Its possible we need to add one.) Up until that night I was all set to stay at home. Watch some TV, go to bed early, call it a night. But I neglected to tell anyone this. So they show up to my house ready to go out and get some candy. They had picked the easiest costumes as well and threw on some camoflague clothes to go as soldiers. Easy. I must have some camo. Wrong. So in a bit of desperation I took some extra pants that they had with a hole in the crotch. We tore that hole open more so I could stick my head through and wear the legs as sleeves. Some black shirt and pants later and I was the most pathetic saddest looking kid out that night. You laugh and I would be embarrassed but dammit I had candy so I don't care.
Any favorite costumes from Halloweens past?
I really wish I had pictures nearby. I do remember going out one year as Buzz Off from Masters of the Universe. Buzz Off. The giant bee man. It doesn't get more obscure. I was THAT kid. The kid that anyone who answers the door shakes their head and thinks "I don't even know these characters any more."
What do you do to celebrate now, out in the real world?
When I moved to the city I'm currently in with my now wife she brought me to one of her best friend's yearly Halloween party. We try to have complimentary costumes and keep everything fun. When that friend moved we took over the tradition. Maybe 10 people at the most and we have some sort of game going just in case there's a pause in conversation. Darts or Cards Against Humanity. There are no winners just whoever is in the lead when the conversations get too fun to continue.
We are very close to having a little kid to take out trick or treating though. He's probably still too young but I think next year will be the first of many fun times.
Do you have any yearly rituals?
Last year I ran a Halloween City store and I have added the store CD to my tradition. Its a 3 CD set full of creepy songs and sounds. I do plan on playing it during the aforementioned party.
My only must watch are the double bill of Peanuts and Garfield Halloween specials. There's no forgetting that. Even if its Halloween night I'll find the time to watch those.
There are so many great horror movies and shows that I've never seen I think its important to discover new things every year. I have favorites, like everyone else but isn't it more fun to discover something every year?
What do you think it is about Halloween that keeps it in our hearts as we get older?
I think Halloween, while very adult and scary, also is a sort of innocence. Put on a costume and be anything you want to be. Watch scary things and know deep down inside its all fake. There is too much real terror in the world. When every day is spent expecting the next terrible act of human violence and praying its not in your town silly things like monsters and ghouls become welcome.
Inside the Spookster's Studio
My favorite thing to get was...Of course everyone wants to say full size candy bars but you know what was surprisingly good? Mini Twizzlers. Just the right amount and I dare say more chewy than the regular kind.
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Before you run off to check out all the Cryptkeepers at Countdown to Halloween, here is today's audio Trick or Treat mix: Hell: The Second Rung