Goths Suck At Halloween

Yes, I said it, and no, I don't feel the least bit bad about it at all. My fellow goths, we are just pathetic at doing Halloween, and that is why every year for the last several I make sure to spend my favorite holiday with the normals rather than you, my black-clad fellows. The reason is simple.

No doubt, goths tend to think that Halloween belongs to us. We use September and October to basically shop for the things that will hang in our houses all the rest of the year. Until the Kid With One F was born my living room was dominated by this massive industrial shelving that held one of the last big cathode ray TVs, and a complete explosion of bats, skulls, Burton figures, scarecrows, and pretty much every drop of spooktacular pop art that two goths can accumulate to themselves.

We had to lose a lot of it because we were worried the kid would pull the shelf down on herself, but all the bric-a-brac is still waiting in boxes to be displayed again.

Every goth friend we have is the same way. One couple even had an entire room that was dedicated to Halloween memorabilia, and we talked one year with local model Sarah Hill about her amazing collection of stuff. Goths like Halloween.

Correction, goths like Halloween stuff. They suck at the holiday itself.

There has not been a single Halloween I can remember where hardly anyone in the goth scene bothered with an elaborate costume that was not already part of their freakin' wardrobe. Oh, you're a sexy vampire and he's got a Nazi officer's uniform on? You wore that last month. And no more Neil Gaiman Deaths. Ever. If eye doodles and a tank top constitute a costume then fist-pumping counts as a Dragon Punch. I know times are tough and costumes are expensive, but geez.

There are bright spots, though. Asmodeus X's Paul Fredric owns a complete old-school Wolverine costume. I mean the yellow spandex one with big plastic blades. It's sort of ruined by the fact that Fredric has less berserker rage in him than a bag of Quaaludes, but at least the man has a sense of style.

Now, I'm not a big costume guy by any stretch of the imagination, and I hate to shop on top of that, but give me a $5 child's vampire mask and a dollar store Bible and I'll whip up an Evangelist Preacher Dracula costume for you. It's not elaborate, but I'll commit to the role for the evening, telling you how I overcame my need to suck blood through the power of prayer because no one is "born that way."

My wife takes the opposite route... part of her birthday present each year is me not bitching about how much she'll spend on the wig that accompanies the current year's highly screen accurate recreation of whatever character she'll be emulating. That Rocky Horror dress up tendency is a hard helix to donkey punch, you know?

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Inevitably, Houston goths tend to end up at Numbers on Halloween, or the closest weekend to it at any rate. Fond as I am of Numbers, it's a drag on Halloween. That's when hundreds of people looking for the spooky place to be flood the floor and make getting a drink about as fun as being beaten in the face with sweat-soaked Tempur-Pedic pillows. There's no room to move, no air to breathe, and no fun to be had.

It's like this... there's a Halloween episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: where it's revealed that most supernatural creatures treat Halloween like Labor Day. They take the night off. That's what I find goths do. They decide to just go ahead and blend in for one night, and that's so completely boring.

If you want to have a good time on Halloween you've got to find some enthusiastic normal friends to hang with. They're the ones that spend weeks planning a costume, getting old monster movies to show as backdrops, make special scary cupcakes, and you know, have a plan for the evening. For many of them it's their only chance to play dress up, which goths get to do every day.

That's what irks me on Halloween in the end... goths treat it like a chance to fit in, which is weird coming from a group of people with purple dreads and seven-inch stompy boots. Regardless, it's totally not in the spirit of the holiday. We're supposed to assume a disguise and cavort around in it so the dead can't recognize us. For other people that means being a vampire. For everyday vampires, that means being a banana or something.

Oh well, at least you can pick up good goth décor on sale the next day.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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