by Chris Goff
|Carved by Chris Goff|
I’ve never been really big on Halloween. Suffice it to say, I grew up on a mountain in Colorado with only two other houses around–and they were filled with old people. Any trick-or-treating I did required my mom or dad to bundle me into the car and drive me around. On top of it all, I can’t remember a Halloween where my costume wasn’t ruined by the need to wear long-johns and a coat. Imagine a genie or princess wearing heavy tights and a parka. Though, I have to admit, I once won a box camera in the Mountain Pharmacy costume contest dressed as an Indian maiden. I wore my Campfire Grills uniform with a black wig braided with two braids and my moccasins.
But prize-winning contests and all, most of my Halloweens were spent at home watching horror movies with one or two friends. My all time favorite was The Haunting of Hill House based on the 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson. The novel was a Finalist for the National Book Award, and if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, you should consider it! Stephen King provides a lengthy review of The Haunting of Hill House in his book Danse Macabre, a non-fiction review of the horror genre, and cites the book as one of the finest horror novels written in the 20th century.
The book was adapted for the movies twice—once in 1963 and once in 1999—both times under The Haunting. The 1963 version is a relatively faithful adaptation (the other isn’t) that has reached cult status. Martin Scorsese placed it on his list of the 11 scariest horror films of all time and, to this day, it scares the crap out of me. I’m…well, suffice it to say I’m getting older, but if I wake up with any appendage hanging off the side of the bed, I freak! It’s sort of like how The Exorcist ruined Ouija Boards for most of my generation.
That’s not to say I never dressed up, or helped my children dress up for Halloween. I like to think I’m pretty creative! It’s a trait I’ve instilled in many of my children. Here are a few of the examples of Goff Family members decked out for Halloween.
Here Danielle convinced her to dress up as a Troll and come up for college Halloween party at CSU. The wispy smoke effect is actually odd lights on the negative, courtesy of the ghost that haunted Danielle’s house. (No kidding!! We had to call in Ghost Busters, who monitored the situation, and then declared the house haunted and left!)
And finally, on the rare occasion that Wes and I dressed up for Halloween and attended a costume party, we went as—you guessed it—Martha Stewart and her prison guard. Note: I looked for a picture of me in my favorite costume of all time, and I couldn’t find it. In college, I once went to a party dressed as Pinocchio. I wore the Lederhosen I bought traveling in Germany and rigged a nose I could actually make grow. I told all kinds of lies that night—in-training to be a writer.