Ghost of Halloween Past

Lately I’ve been pondering my past, with regards to Halloween, and the kinds of costumes I’ve worn. I hold, as a point of pride, the fact that I have been costuming for Halloween since age zero. As I look back on my history of costumes though, I fear there are gaps, not just in memory but in action. I’m sure there were a few years in my teens that went un-costumed.

Nevertheless, I am going to attempt, right now, to list as many of the costumes I’ve worn throughout my life as I can from pure memory. I would like to consult old photo albums and interview my parents to fill in some gaps, and I most likely will. But for now, here’s my (partial) history of Halloween costumes, with commentary when necessary.

Age 0: Gumball machine – It would be nice for my very first Halloween costume to have been something awesome, but let’s face it – there’s not much you can dress up a baby as, and I obviously didn’t have much say in the matter.

Age 1: Transformer

Age 2 – 4: Unknown

Age 5: Ghostbuster – I really hope I can find a picture of this costume. See, Ghostbusters was my favorite movie as a kid, but we didn’t own the movie on tape yet, and there was no Google Image Search. So my parents’ interpretation of a Ghostbuster was a little…. imaginative. It was essentially Army fatigues with a backpack and laser gun. I remember vaguely that a kid down the street had a totally legit Ghostbusters jumpsuit but we couldn’t afford one. I’ve never been so envious of clothes in my entire life.

Age 6 or 7: Skeleton – Again, a homemade costume. My mom sewed white felt bones onto black sweatpants and shirt. Simple, but awesome. And I know this because I still remember my whole class parading through the school on Halloween, showing off our costumes to the other classes, and mine got a lot of attention.

Age 8: Raphael – I got to be my favorite ninja turtle. Justin was Donatello. I don’t know if he was his favorite.

Age 9: The Terminator – OK, this costume was one of my life’s highlights. I REALLY hope I can find a picture of it. Terminator 2 had just come out in theaters, and this costume was the first time I remember using special makeup effects in a costume. It was a metallic-looking plastic face piece meant to simulate the half-destroyed face of the Terminator at the end of the movie. It had a glowing eye and was held on by flesh putty. I still remember the consistency of the stuff – extremely sticky, lumpy, and oddly hairy when you pulled it apart. Pair this up with kid size leather pants and jacket, and you got yourself a child Terminator.

Age 10: Unknown

Age 11: Raiden – the last costume made by my mom, and it was a keeper. Like every good fifth grader I was obsessed with Mortal Kombat. The second game had just come out and MK fever was at all-time high. They didn’t sell Mortal Kombat costumes for kids though, so this was DIY. Using GamePro magazines as reference, I sketched the plans for my mom, and using the trusty components of sweats and felt, I became Raiden. I’m particularly proud of the hat, because I made it out of posterboard, and felt very clever for engineering it into a cone shape. Justin was Scorpion, and we drew many trick or treating accolades that year.

Age 12 – 14: The Grim Reaper – I was in a bit of a death faze during this time, and actually dressed up as three different iterations of Death in as many years. It’s hard to imagine the mindset of wanting to be the same thing for Halloween year after year, but that was me. My bedroom was also decked out in Halloween decor year-round at this time. A clearer clue of my future obsessions could not be imagined.

Age 15 – 17: Nothing. If I remember correctly (and I could be mistaken), these were the years when most kids stop dressing up for Halloween. You’re too old to trick or treat and too young to party. However, my friends and I came up with our own tradition, which you can read all about on this very site, on the About page.

Age 18: Pimp – Paired with a “ho”, this costume was the first and only time I dressed up for the sole purpose of drawing a reaction out of a single person. I won’t relate the story here, but those who knew me then know exactly what this meant.

Age 19:¬† Tyler Durden – a couples costume, this time with Todd as “the narrator”.

Age 20: Vincent Vega – First Halloween with Becky, as Mia Wallace. Also featured were Matt as Butch and Greg as Jimmy.

Age 21: Avril Lavigne/Misfit – this was the first year I had two costumes, and also the first (to date, only) year cross-dressing.

Age 22: Solid Snake – Couples costume with Becky as Eva. Strolling the Vegas strip as Solid Snake, canteen full of rum and cigar in my mouth is one of my finest memories.

Age 23: Hideously burnt barista

Age 24: Walker, Texas Ranger

Age 25: Ghostbuster  РMore faithful than my age 4 costume by a longshot, but after assisting with the creation of down-to-the-millimeter screen-accurate replica Proton Pack, my styrofoam and cardboard version looked truly crude.

Age 26: (unemployed) Zombie – it was long overdue.

Age 27: Wait and see! (That’s what we in the business call “a teaser”)

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