It’s not a phase.
Once you’re creepy, you’re always creepy. And if you stop loving the things that make your little black heart pitter-patter, then was it ever black to begin with?
My love of Halloween started young, probably around the time I discovered vampires (as a two-year-old; thanks Mom!). Halloween was a time when I could go into a store and see bats and skulls and ravens all over, a time when I could pretend to be whatever I wanted.
My favorite things to watch on TV when I was little were Scooby-Doo (all versions, but especially Ghoul School and The Legend of the Vampire, both of which featured fabulous Undead girls as prominent characters) and The Halloween Tree, as well as Kiki’s Delivery Service. Witches and vampires were the absolute epitome of cool to me when I was a little girl. As well as any female, Goth-coded villain or superhero (Raven and Shego, anyone?).
It was an aesthetic I was immediately drawn to.
At eight, I got a copy of the Queen of the Damned soundtrack because I loved the original tracks so much. I still do, and the original recordings from Jonathan Davis play a large part in my book inspiration when I write.
By the time I was twelve, I loved Halloween extra for one simple reason: I could buy my makeup easier. In 2005, it was nearly impossible to find black lipstick or red eyeshadow at Sephora or Ulta. But I could count on Walgreens to sell Wet N’ Wild’s Fantasy Makers line of cosmetics. Mom would buy a few lipsticks and freeze them so I could wear them all year round.
It was also easier to get my fishnet and striped stockings, especially when Hot Topic wasn’t having a sale. I could just waltz down the Halloween aisle at Target and get costume accessories that I could wear all the time.
Like the infamous skeleton-print fingerless gloves every emo and Goth wore around 2004/2005 thanks to Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance.
Halloween was a time when I didn’t have to feel like I was a weird person for wanting to buy “creepy” things like a raven skeleton or life-sized bat. (Said bat hung from our ceiling at home on a hook probably meant for indoor plants.)
I felt accepted at Halloween. I still do. It’s not a holiday or a season for me, it’s just my everyday life and appearance.
So when I started writing, I wanted to write books for creepy girls like me.
When I discovered Vampire Kisses by Ellen Scheriber, I was in Heaven, because FINALLY I found a protagonist who was just like me, in looks and attitude and interests. But … one character out of the dozens I read about as a teenager? It was disheartening, and I vowed to write about creepy girls doing creepy things with monsters.
And I did.
Creating Angelica Cross from The Paranormal Detectives Series was my greatest achievement, because I finally did, at age 21, what I set out to do at age 12. I had my perfect creepy girl protagonist who kept Halloween decorations up 24/7, listened to My Chemical Romance and Lacuna Coil and KoRn, wore all black, and was a vampire. She wielded a medieval sword, had a library of rare, leatherbound books, kept a taxidermy bat on her wall, and collected Edward Gorey art prints.
When I write, it’s funny, I usually avoid Halloween. Except for in The Coven Queen, the final book in my YA The Coven Series, I don’t write about it. Because to me, my books represent Halloween no matter the season.
Cold city, vampires and werewolves and witches running around, black on black clothes, and horror movie references. Halloween touches every single piece of art I create, because it is a part of me. It is something I and my family have enjoyed for generations.
My grandmother was Goth who loved White Zombie, Danzig, and Depeche Mode. My mother is the ultimate witchy mom who taught me how to apply black eyeliner properly. We love ghosts and spirits and everything macabre.
So if my family is Halloween-y all the time, why shouldn’t my books be? The Paranormal Detectives have been on must-read Halloween books lists multiple times, all while never once referencing the holiday itself.
Halloween is, as I said, a lifestyle. And I’ve been this way for nearly 25 years, so I think it’s safe to say that, despite what “normal people” claim, this is definitely not a phase.
Ministry said it best, “And I dress this way just to keep them at bay, because Halloween is every day.”
Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series.
Her young adult Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon's Hot New Releases list consecutively.
She is also the co-owner of Partners in Crime Book Services, where she offers a myriad of services alongside her business partner Annie Smith, including editing.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, where many of her stories are set. Ever since she was a toddler, her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community.
When she's not writing, she's going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading comics. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”