Oct 26, 2019

Halloween Web - Vic Sage

I've never met today's interview guest but I feel like I know him, having spent a lot of time listening to him talk about pop culture. Let's welcome Vic Sage!

Have a seat and tell folks a little about yourself.

I am a writer, podcaster, and fan of Pop Culture - be that movies, comic books, toys, video games and so on. For nearly a decade I have had the pleasure of being an Author and Editor for the Retroist site - which has led to my own site - Pop Culture Retrorama. Named after one of the podcasts I produce, currently I have four shows with a new one in the works - besides the Pop Culture Retrorama show there is Diary of An Arcade Employee, Projectionist's Sinister Tales of Terror, and the Saturday Frights Podcast.

What was your childhood Halloween like?

Well, first of all I want to say I have always LOVED Halloween - there is something pretty magical about not just the day but the season itself. The beauty of the changing colors of the leaves - at times a little chilly but everything is a warm orange and red. The season is almost as exciting as picking out that perfect costume - something I still spend a considerable amount of time trying to choose. I grew up in a small town but the neighborhoods really did get into the Halloween spirit - so I can remember being driven around for hours by my Father to fill a pillowcase with my sugary haul.

Do you have any special Halloween memories?

I have shared a pretty funny story in the past, on the second Retroist Halloween Special podcast I believe. The town I grew up in... is rightfully described as being rural. So for a time, since my Father was a single parent, after school I was watched over by neighbors who had two children of their own. In the afternoon we would frequently go for a walk, down a dusty road that was known as Wolf Holler - during our walks we would pass by an old dairy barn. The windows had been knocked out long ago but it's slowly decaying state with the vines that had begun to grow over it - gave it a rather ominous appearance.

So one October as Halloween approached, Sheila, Steve and their parents and myself were walking down that road - that is when Sheila and Steve's Father asked if we knew the dairy barn was haunted. Then their Father proceeded to tell us the story about how a farmer when reaching for the milk bucket had been killed when the cow kicked him in the head... an action that resulted in the Farmer's Wife taking an axe to the animal. As we were told of how it had been said no cow ever produced milk again in that dairy barn... their Father rang a bell behind his back - thinking it was an angry spectral bovine we kids ran for the safety of my house.

I also would be lying to you if I didn't admit that when I'm walking at night in October and I hear a lonely mooing from a cow, I don't begin to walk just a little quicker. Ha, Ha.

What about a favorite costume?

While I can remember a lot of the costumes I wore, I would have to say that a handful of favorite outfits include Casper, Boba Fett, Admiral Ackbar, Ash from Evil Dead, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, and  recently The Riddler. I still dress up every single Halloween - generally I am working at the arcade and it's always fantastic to see what the Players are dressed up as when they come in that night. I do my best to share some of those on Instagram.

How do you celebrate today?

Actually this year might be the first where my Wife and myself are not taking our Nieces and Nephew trick or treating - I think they've become too old for their square relatives walking around with them.

Any particular music or movies you enjoy for the season?

Oh boy... There is a lot here so I'll cherry-pick some of my favorites - I always listen to Elvira Presents Haunted Hits, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Trick 'r Treat, and a new one starting this year will be Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. As for movies, I watch horror films constantly - it is easily my favorite film genre. So I try to show some of my favorite films after we close the arcade at night during October, a small gathering of friends and fellow co-workers.

What about spooky places to visit?

For places to visit, of late my Wife and myself have begun taking a vacation at a wonderful place called the Crescent Hotel - "America's most haunted hotel".  While I do love to be scared and I can't get enough of the creepy and macabre... I will admit I am not brave enough to spend the night in their morgue. Brrr!

Why do you think we still enjoy Halloween as adults?

Well, like I've already mentioned the entire season itself feels special - an electrical charge almost as the 31st of October draws near. Sure, it's because of being a Monster Kid that I can look around at stores and such and see decorations and a celebration of what I love most. But perhaps it is also the Holiday itself that allows us to channel our inner child - no matter how old we might be.

Plus, as Ray Bradbury said in The Halloween Tree:
"The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats. Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked."

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was pennies... maybe more than toothpaste and toothbrushes.

My favorite thing to get was Sweet Tarts and miniature comic books.

My favorite monster cereal is Boo Berry - I will fight anyone that says that is not the greatest monster cereal of all time. (Ed.: Glad someone champions the underdog!)

Where can people find you online?

I guess the easiest link to me would be the Pop Culture Retrorama site or Facebook. You can also find my other shows at Saturday Frights and Diary of an Arcade Employee.

Thanks for joining us, Vic!

Thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of this, my friend.

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