Okay, so, here is some background information:
1) I was the kind of nerdy kid who often wore Halloween costumes based on characters of my own design. When I was…I dunno, nine, probably? I went as a character I had “created” (i.e. largely ripped off) called Ferocious Man. He was the superhero alter ego of a character based on myself featured in comic strips I drew in 4th grade that were “heavily influenced by” Calvin and Hobbes. Ferocious Man was, obviously, Stupendous Man. He was meant to have a cape and cowl just like Stupendous Man, except purple (my favorite color as a kid) instead of maroon. My mom couldn’t work out what I meant by a hood that exposed the mouth, so the hood she sewed was more or less just a pillow case with eyeholes in it. Also, she couldn’t find the deep royal purple I was hoping for in a fabric, so instead the cape and hood were more a dark, dull grey.
2) For most of my childhood I did not go trick or treating. True Benito fans know I spent most of my childhood being nearly murdered by a series of ghosts at a haunted church, and Halloween was no different. We did not have Halloween. We had church-sanctioned “fall festivals,” which mostly included dressing up as things that had not ever been previously dead (no, not even Jesus, you wiseacres) and getting small pieces of candy in exchange for playing games that were literally impossible to lose.
3) There is a scene in the Garfield Halloween special in which Garfield terrifies Odie by telling him Halloween has its origins in the ancient druidic festival of “Saman, the Lord of Death.”
So, the Halloween I was nine years old, I was milling around the church grounds, bouncing from game to game, and I was rapidly tiring of explaining to everyone I came across who I was dressed as. “It’s a character I made up,” I said again and again. “A superhero. Named Ferocious Man.” After an hour or two of repeating this every few minutes, a mischievous caprice came over me.
"Oh!" they would say. "Who are you supposed to be?"
"I’m Saman," I said, pulling my dark grey executioner’s hood down over my face. "The Lord of Death."
Guys, when you are nine years old and bored of a Halloween, do not tell a dozen people at a church that you are Saman, Lord of Death. Your mom will find out and she will beat the shit out of you.
Reblogged by request.
I think I’m a pretty well documented fan of the Pope Lick Monster. In fact, as I write this, I am actually wearing a Pope Lick Monster t-shirt that Sarah got me for my birthday this year. My story from last year’s BOO! anthology that I did with lesmcclaine is basically a Pope Lick Monster story with the serial numbers filed off, where I basically took all the different versions of the story and conflated/reconciled them into one account. There’s a preview page of that story here, or you can buy it (plus three other stories) here.
I am also fond of the idea that Spring Heeled Jack jumped his way over to Kentucky after terrorizing London for a while. I wrote about that here.
And here is a post where I outline different legends from around Kentucky, including Bearilla, the witches of Harlan, and all the insane shit that happened at Bobby Mackey’s Music World.
More locally speaking, Lexington has a number of haunted locations—the opera house, the Mary Todd Lincoln House, various older homes in the downtown area—but probably the coolest haunted place to go is in Richmond, at White Hall, the estate of Cassius Marcellus Clay aka the True American aka the Bluegrass Badass. They do ghost tours there at various times of the year, but I still haven’t been to one, which makes me sad.
Any other Kain-tucks got a local legend they favor?