Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays but I haven’t devoted much energy to it in recent years. Here are some past and present escapades.

In the photo below you see me at Halloween 1970 and this year on the right. I’m holding a wax pumpkin in both photos, one that my parents gave me when I was a toddler. We have a family collection of such photos–mostly from my childhood; this year’s is an¬†anomaly!Image

The photo below shows my Halloween costumes from 1979 (age 14) and 1980. I was kind of lazy in 1979. I got a bit of a hair trim (not much as you can see) and used a flour/water paste to glue the hair clippings to my face and the back of my hands. Instant werewolf. Pretty creepy, right? The one on the right is much more elaborate. I had been studying Hollywood effects make-up and replicated a Planet of the Apes face. This is a three-piece prosthetic appliance, comprised of a brow, face, and lower jaw. In a photo below you’ll see how I did it. It turned out really well despite not having access to all of the right materials. I wish I had better photos but I still have the appliances so I could replicate it.

I went wild for Halloween 1981. I decided a year prior that I would be the headless horseman but with a twist–I’d carry my own head. Not only that, but it could speak. The shortest possible description: I used the same face cast as I had used for Planet of the Apes (you’ll see that in the next photo). I made a latex copy of my face. My orthodontist made plaster casts of my teeth, complete with braces. I painted those to look real. I cast plaster orbs for the eyes, added irises that I cut from a magazine photo, and clear-coated them. Fake eyelashes and a wig completed it. My only regret is that I did not have the ability to do a really good paint job. No airbrush, no quality paints. Plus I was only 16 years old. The most excellent bit was that I placed a small speaker in the throat. This was wired up my sleeve to a mini amplifier and a microphone in my pumpkin head. When I spoke, my voice came out of the severed head. Oh yeah. I also handcrafted the sword scabbard.

The two images below show some of the process. On the left is a cast of my face. On the right is my head project in the works. You can get an idea of the various components.

A couple more from back in the day. On the left is Halloween 1982 when I kept it simple and just made a jack-o-lantern. On the right is an example of some appliances that I made for another project using the same technique as my Planet of the Apes make-up.

This next one is from today. Adrian (age 15) decided that he wanted to go as The Dude from The Big Lebowski. We were challenged to find a suitable wig at the local shops so this one has an older and more¬†wiry look but the overall effect turned out pretty well. I applied the appliances and hair that I cobbled from a scary mask. That’s a fake White Russian in his hand. Cheers.

Here is this year’s Jack-o-Lantern:

Please check back later for some other pictures I’ll dig up from when the kids were little trick-or-treaters and possibly other Halloween stuff.