Halloween Memory: The First Cut Is the Deepest


Thirteen is kind of a big deal in the mythos of the spooky holiday. However, the number 14 has just as much significance to me. It was then that I truly discovered horror films.

Sure, Dracula was fine and Hocus Pocus was hilarious, but witches and vampires were only so scary. After all, they are fake. Enter the mass murderer, humanity’s real monster. Misunderstood sociopath perhaps, but what sets these men apart is their seemingly unquenchable thirst for young teen blood. Freddy, Leatherface, and my personal favorite, Michael, hunt down the children of the ‘burbs for one reason or another.

When I was fourteen, I was invited to my first “official” Halloween party. Too old for trick or treating, I donned fishnets, a poufy dress, and fingerless gloves with my first (of many) failed attempts at dying my hair purple. I was supposed to be Cyndi Lauper. Duh.

Monica Castillo, age 14.

Usual kids-on-sugar insanity kicked off the night and my friend’s mom had set up a “haunted house” in the backyard that I was too scared to go into. Despite what scary movies have taught me, when I hear a scream I do not immediately venture into the dark to see what happened. After the sugar high crashed and some of the girls changed into PJs, I arranged my layers of tulle skirt to a corner of the sofa.

We were going to have a movie night on the night of mischief.
Wouldn’t you know it, my friend’s mom threw on a favorite of hers: Halloween. None of us had seen it before and some in the crowd were complaining about its age. Give it a chance, she told us. She snapped off the lights as soon as the first piano keys hit. It was bedtime for her, but for us, it would be one heck of a sleepless night.

The movie kicked off quickly; there were whispers of “oh my god.” After the first comment about the 70’s garb, everyone else sat pretty much silent–until the bloodletting began. At that point, we would all collectively scream whenever we so much as felt his presence.

"Yeah, that's right. I still got it."

Then a strong light hit the living room window. Suddenly as it had shown across our popcorn bowls, we screamed, a few leapt a few feet in the air, and I believe one girl ended in another’s sleeping bag for good measure. The door flung open to reveal my friend’s dad coming home. He would pass on the movie too, with sleepiness to attend to.

We clung to each other for the rest of the movie. “No! Run! Don’t go there! What are you thinking–get out!” We were shouting at the screen.

The worst was right after the end of the movie, when my mother collected me. It was possibly the worst drive through the suburbs I’ve ever experienced.

Monica’s film commentary can also be found at The Quad and Beyond the Backlot.


One response to “Halloween Memory: The First Cut Is the Deepest

  1. Pingback: Halloween Memory: The Ghost in the Graveyard | OCTOBER ON THE INTERNET

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