A LIFE SPENT LOOKING FOR CREEPY
I love Halloween. Yes, I’ve studied its history and yes, from Mictecacihuatl to the discounted candy at Walgreen’s on November 1st, I love it all. I love Halloween and I love horror. In fact, I’ve loved both all my life. You see, my early years were spent looking for creepy thing and the kind of atmosphere/art that made other kids run away.
I grew up with a grandma who kept a bathroom full of candles for the dead. She had santos and ofrendas hanging inside her clothes. She spoke to the dead and prayed like a maniac every time we drove past a cemetery. In her house, you couldn’t use the bathroom where the spirits lived. She also had a gigantic Saint Lazarus in her room. That thing was taller than me for a few years and freaked me out.
She embodied Caribbean syncretism with heavy European influences, and the rest of my family wasn’t much different. Growing up in that made me love all of it. Then I decided to study all of it and fell even more in love with religion and creepiness and horror and death. That’s probably why I turned into a teenager who ran around with a crowd who wore only black and where men painted their lips and nails black. That’s why I ended up going to parties where there was at least one coffin in the house and where folks drank wine mixed with blood. I did all that because I felt comfortable in the weird, the creepy, the scary, the unknown.
Now I walk around snapping photos of things that make me think “yeah, that’s creepy” and put a smile on my face. I celebrate the dead, and everything around them, every day. That means I also celebrate creepiness every day, and I do it with nothing but love in my heart. For me, every day is Día de los Muertos. Every day is Halloween if you’re doing it right. Now that October 31st has come and gone, here are some photos to help remind you that horror is a way of looking at things and creepy is a way of life. Hope you dig them.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS (Broken River Books),HUNGRY DARKNESS (Severed Press), and GUTMOUTH (Eraserhead Press). His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbcide, and many other print and online venues. You can find him on Twitter at@Gabino_Iglesias