As I gear up for the Return of the Halloween Program, I've been trying vaguely to remember what I did for all the previous ones. A few are oddly hazy in my memory.
The most recent one is easy: As the Hearse Goes By. My decor was going for a Victorian mad scientist/anatomist vibe (I'm still proud of the heart-in-a-jar), my costume meant to evoke Victorian undertaker, and the piece I did was a selection from Dylan Thomas' The Doctor and the Devils. That's a book I acquired via flea market or rummage sale in late elementary school or early junior high, and long a favorite.
After that, I start losing track. But I'll try:
Night of the Ghouls. I used the zombie protection kit we ordered from )("Caution, fresh graves" police tape, and various mock biohazard signs), and possibly those hands that reach up from the floor, with leaves scattered over them). It seems that might have been my unsuccessful "Schalken the Painter" year, because it would fit the theme...That's one of my favorite stories, but I was recovering from a bad cold, and my head was still stuffed enough that I couldn't hear myself properly, so I felt like I had no inflection. I'm sure, though, that's the year I wore all the drapy bones to the dive bar afterwards.
Dark Carnival. That's the year I tried a costume contest, which was way too much work. My look was Vampire Magician's Assistant, and my honey was an evil clown, and afterwards we went to the anniversary party for the local small press, still in makeup, which I fondly remember. We built a small, purposely rundown circus tent...and maybe that's when I used those hands? I think I used an opening and closing piece from Something Wicked This Way Comes...
Thesaurus of Horror. My best title! One of my best fliers, and I'm sure it was the year my costume was Blood-Spattered Bride. (I popped out into the library before the program and startled someone: I'd forgotten my shirt was covered in stage blood). The ambience was more overtly gothy; that's when I made the photocopies of old tombsones and backed them with cardboard, for a portable graveyard. But I don't remember reading anything, other than a few poems.
Spookerama. The decorations were fairly minimal (blow-up photocopies of B-movie posters), but a lot of other things were elaborate. We made a loop of vintage spook show radio ads that I played in the lobby beforehand; I made individual treat bags to give away; and I had an actual assistance. She handed out "Spookerama" tickets as people came in, and, in my best entrance ever, I was wheeled in on a steel table, covered with a sheet, from whence I rose from the dead. That was a big hit. I believe I read from something I'd written myself.
Phantasmagoria. The first year, the decorations were pretty simple, and I read Poe's "Berenice." At the end, I threw little "teeth" into the audience. Ahh, I remember that fondly.
I think I'm completely forgetting a year. Maybe the individual treat bags were another year, and the Spookerama was the year with the eyeball cupcakes? I thought I did a theme of "kids' Halloween for grown-ups," with lots of old-fashioned plastic pumpkins, black/orange festoons, vintage look black cats and skeletons. But what was it called? What did I read? The piece I wrote myself would fit that better, so maybe I read something else for the Spookerama? I can't tell if I'm conflating two memories into one, or separating one into two.
Maybe I should start keeping, I don't know, some kind of records.
At least all my Mummy Shroud stuff is really coming along.