I grew up loving Halloween and horror. It started when I was a young girl. My dad and I would go to the video store to pick out a movie to rent. He would tell my mom that he was renting a movie about dolls. You know the age appropriate doll movies like Child’s Play and Puppet Master?! We’d also watch other classics like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, Exorcist, etc. I was addicted! Nightmares never held me back. Being scared was such a fun rush and I wanted to keep watching more!
My parents were always supportive of my creative side and would humor me as I transitioned our home into my version of a haunted house. I remember trying to build props out of old stuff that we had laying around the house and turning my cute cabbage patch dolls into a bloody Chucky and Tiffany. My Halloween costumes were always made from scratch. I remember standing outside on Halloween night trying to scare the trick or treaters. It’s great to reminisce about my childhood Halloweens and I knew that I had to start creating some fun (and some scary) memories with my daughter.
Last year was Kinley’s first real experience with her crazy Halloween loving mama and her first time trick or treating. My original plan was to just make a very simple zombie costume, but that idea went to shit as soon as I opened up the bottle of red paint and started putting on makeup. Coincidentally, this was also the year that Kinley was making funny grunting and growling noises when she was excited which made her character really come to life and become absolute perfection.
This year when it came time to start pulling out the decorations, my husband and I decided to bring Kinley into our storage room to see how she’d react to them. We figured if we started showing the scarier stuff now, maybe she won’t be afraid when she gets older. To our surprise, she was excited! She went digging through the boxes, hugging the dolls and clowns, putting on various masks, yelling “BOO!”‘ and laughing at the animatronics. “Yes!” I thought to myself. “This is going to be so much fun!!!”
Next, I took her to the store to do some shopping. The minute we walked through those doors, she started running down the aisles grabbing as much as she could fit in her arms, screaming at the top of her lungs “MOMMY! LOOK! SPOOKY STUFF!”. Of course I had to let her pick out decorations for her room. How could I say no?! So we packed up the cart with her favorite spooky skeletons, pumpkins, window clings and whatever else she was able to sneak in.
We use the decorations for educational purposes too. At least once a day, we look at her window and count how many window clings there are. We point out which creatures are which (ghost, pumpkin, witch, bat, cat), the colors that they are and how to read the word “trick or treat”. With her posable skeleton, we are memorizing all of the body parts. Nothing from that store splurge has gone to waste.
Finally, we added a black tree to our décor. We turned on some appropriate Halloween music and got to decorating. Black and orange ornaments, skeleton garlands and even Kin’s first personalized ornament. Bloody handprints! We thought that this would be a great time to create a new tradition, so we pulled out the spooky books and read under the Halloween tree.
It may seem strange to some, but we really get into the Halloween spirit and I look forward to many years of scares with my family. Happy Haunting with yours!