After reading this guest post by the amazing Hunter Shea, all I can say is… I wish I lived closer to him because he’s definitely a house I would stop at on Halloween.
It used to be, I was happy when a Halloween consisted of me dressed up as either a hobo or vampire (I remember being a hobo, complete with packed bindle, was all the rage – not so PC now), a couple of hours to trick or treat, a visit to my grandparents, and a few mom inspected and approved candies before bed. If I was very lucky, my trick or treat bag wasn’t laden with old pennies and unwrapped circus peanuts.
For once in my life, I don’t long for the days of yesteryear. Halloween today in the Shea dungeon is a day long affair filled with indulgence and wicked fun. I tell people what our Halloweens are like and they don’t believe me… until they come and see for themselves. And once they do, they come back for more year after year.
We have the distinct pleasure of having become part of a kind of trick or treat alley. It consists of one suburban block where kids and adults from far and wide descend. On this block, the houses are decorated (One family sometimes changing the entire front façade of their house for that year’s theme. Last year it was a rocket ship. The year before, the bow of a pirate ship). Music drifts along the chilly air. You might hear some creepy horror movie tunes, or maybe some riotous Rob Zombie, and always, always, the soundtrack to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
We prep for the night by loading up the cooler with lots of beer. It used to be just pumpkin ale when it was hard to find, but now that it’s everywhere, the allure has worn off. First beer can be cracked open at any time, be it morning or night. Well, we never wait until night. My daughters will dress up, as will the adults, all the way to grandma and grandpa. Sometimes, if my creative daughter gets the urge, she’ll pull out her makeup effects kit and adorn our necks with bloody slashes and wounds. She’s been known to do it for random trick or treaters, too.
A carved pumpkin sits on the table, spewing massive chunks of green. That would be homemade guacamole and it’s delicious. With extended family and friends present, the first trick or treaters start to trickle in. It’s always the very young ones at first with their moms and dads. At our house, everyone gets a juice box – because trick or treating is thirsty business – and a bag of treats. Once night falls, the neighborhood is transformed into a spooky Mardi Gras, the sidewalks and street packed with people of all ages, shapes and sizes. There have been flash mobs, wedding proposals, screeching when people are scared by one of us, and even the occasional flash for a drink, which makes it all the more feel like we’ve been transported to New Orleans. By the time the night is done, we’ve usually handed out treats to over 600 kids. Adults will get beer and cigars. And a hangover to come.
One year, I dressed up as a trailer park version of Elvira. I called myself Elmira and talked like Wendy Williams, asking everyone who came by, “How you doin’?” Don’t ask me why. It was all inspired by Patron and Sam Adams. People loved taking pictures with the often lewd Elmira. Last year, I bought a giant crying baby mask from Five Below. Slipping into a pair of footie pajamas, I walked around looking tres disturbing. Turns out, moms like to hug crying babies, even if they are almost 6 feet tall and dancing around like a serial killer in his basement.
People we see just that once a year come by to hang, pizza is delivered, and the party doesn’t stop until the treats and booze run out. When all is said and done, I always vow to watch a horror movie, something special I’ve saved for this moment. Inevitably, I pass out before the first act is over. It sure beats the Halloweens of my youth. It may be why I look forward to it more now than ever. So if you ever need a juice box or something a little stronger on Halloween, come on and join the party.
Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books, and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Crytpozoology Museum. He’s a bestselling author of over 25 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. You can find him each week on the Final Guys podcast, as well as the long running Monster Men video podcast. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. Become a true Hunter’s Hellion and follow him at his website.
Five years after Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith.
With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims. The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing what they expected.