Confessions of a Haunt-aholic

For the Halloween-obsessed



Halloween is on a Thursday this year. Do you know how I know this? Because the Fourth of July was on Thursday. Look it up. You can set your clock by it. It’s more reliable than the day they start frontloading all the Halloween miniatures at Michael’s…OOOH!!! Michael’s with their 40 percent off coupons I get in my email. Last week, there was a sale on fake black crows, so I bought 12 and ended up sneaking them into the house like other people sneak in porn.

I don’t have a problem, but I will admit that my habit has created some awkward moments.

For instance, I had a full-size toe pincher coffin delivered to my house this past Memorial Day while there was a huge picnic going on next door. There were kids playing in their front yard and I’m sure more than one hot dog was dropped. It was poor timing, yes, but it was a steal and how could I say no?

[Full disclosure: I already have one full-size toe pincher coffin.]

Awkward conversations plague me when I shop for Halloween. I can’t ever go to a garage sale to buy a sewing machine from an old lady who is excited that “a man actually sews,” when all I really want is the motor to make a spinning mobile with severed baby doll heads.

Hardware stores are worse. My problem is I need their help, but they always force me to explain:

“Can I help you?”

“Um…yes, I’m looking to pressurize some PVC.”

“What are you doing with it?”

“(Sigh)…I’m filling up the PVC with fake blood and brain matter to spray it all over a shower curtain… repeatedly.”

“Uh…wow…I’m not sure if I know how to help you.”

There is that moment of silence that immediately follows this conversation when I see them get that far away look in their eyes, and I’m sure they are either formulating a safe answer or contemplating if they should just call the police.

People who know me don’t see my hobby as a problem. They understand that the medical skeleton in my guest room closet is not some dark metaphor with a deeper meaning, but that there is actually no more room where the other three skeletons are. I don’t find it odd at all that I have more make-up than my wife and my daughter, combined. The fact that I know more recipes for stage blood than I know recipes to cookdoesn’t mean I have personal issues. My priorities are just a tad different.

BUT… by the time October rolls around, Halloween is in the air and everyone eventually comes around to my way of thinking. People drive to my house from other neighborhoods, just to walk up the driveway and step into my web. Fog rolling, thunder and lightning cracking, ghosts flying, black lights glowing, creepy music playing and me in costume handing out candy to other people in costume….Yes…Show up in costume or I will chase you off my porch. I chased a girl out of her shoes last year. It was priceless.

But the best is yet to come…


David Heck haunts Wilmington, N.C. all year round with his wife, Robin. He has three children…who are all enablers. You can find him at

To view more of illustrator Mark Weber’s work, go to