I have been very blessed to know some amazing bloggers, but one who was very dear to my heart was my good friend, John Wolfe. He ran the blog Season of Shadows and embodied all things vintage and true Halloween. He would begin early in the year designing elaborate home haunts and sharing on video how he went about designing them. He did lots of volunteer work and was always available for anyone. He sought to understand the spiritual and the other side. In fact, as he was dying, he said he would contact me through EVPs. And, he asked me to write his memorial which I did and he read it and approved of it before his passing at much too early an age in his 30s. Each Halloween, I will post his memorial here. Halloween is his season, his paradise, and I miss him something awful every October. I'd like to share him with you now -
On the night of October 31st, we had a huge turnout of trick-or-treaters and parents. One masked face quickly blended into another amidst the backdrop of strobe lights, black lights, dark hallways and creepy music. By the time the fog machine had belched its last puff of smoke, the clock signified November was upon us.
Quickly, we broke down the haunt’s interior, knowing our 5 AM wake-up call would soon be screeching louder than a group of scared, plastic jack-o-lantern toting, eight year old’s. My grandparents were to be vendors at a community arts and crafts sale that morning and several of us had volunteered to lend a hand.
Four hours of sleep and tons of caffeine later, the previously masked faces of trick-or-treaters were now replaced by the faces of paying customers blurrily passing by. Alone I sat, half coherent, manning my grandparents’ booth – exhausted from climbing out of a grave (about a thousand times) the night before.
“Excuse me,” “Excuse me,” a cheery voice called out, interrupting my detailed analysis of the inside of my eyelids. It was a woman, in her mid 30’s, inquiring about the price of an item on the table. She commented on how tired I looked, so, I lightly brushed on the fact I was exhausted from Halloween activities.
Without missing a beat, the woman began explaining how horrible her night had started out. She had the intentions of staying home, utterly depressed over many circumstances in her life, when her phone rang. Friends, aware of her mood, were inquiring about getting her out of the house to go trick-or-treating with their kids.
After a lot of persuading, she finally accepted but was still unable to shake her depressed state throughout the night. Eventually, they came upon a home that contained haunted rooms and a hallway leading up to the house’s front porch. Inside the haunt, there was scary music, strobe lights, a graveyard, fog and “monsters” everywhere.
Inspired by the fact someone had so much passion to create something so large, all for a single night; that haunt (our haunt), helped to pull her out of her mood and shift her attitude. In fact, she said she was still feeling the positive effects that next morning and was inspired to more consistently follow creative outlets in her own life.
Though I’m appreciative of all visitor feedback, and I have a lot of fond Halloween memories, I’ve always been extremely proud of that moment. It’s not often that Halloween is thought of as an uplifting night. Many times, we see individuals (and groups) chastising Halloween because of its darkness and supposed negativity. It goes to show that even amidst the darkness, a ton of love, light and joy can be spread and people can be uplifted by the efforts of haunters and Halloween enthusiasts everywhere.
So, that was one of my favorite Halloween memories.
John Wolfe was an Artist, through and through. Not just a haunter, but an Artist, of the greatest kind; talented, humble, kind, friendly, and funny. I had discovered his site in late 2009, through Pumpkinrot's blog. I was astounded by the sheer detail, yet simplicity, of John's amazing creations; so much so, that I immediately emailed him to tell him I enjoyed his work. We started sending emails back and forth, and he would sometimes advise me on haunt ideas. I came to enjoy reading his almost daily blog posts, listening to his online radio, and chuckling and smiling at his tales of Halloweens past. He never failed to appreciate his loyal fans and readers; I remember at Thanksgiving 2010, he had sent me a free Nox Arcana CD and other cool Halloween goodies simply because to show his appreciation of his regular readers. I still have the CD, and I will always cherish it, because it was a mark of a great Artist, Haunter, and Friend. If there is an Afterlife just for Haunters and Halloween People, I know that John Wolfe will be there. John, if you can read this, know that you will never be forgotten, not by me, or anyone, for Artists Never Die. God Rest.
From Barry at Gnostalgia He was a man who enjoyed giving joy. From time to time, I will watch his Halloween videos. I can't help but laugh at the trick or treaters' reaction to his animated prop witch. Shock followed by laughter. The Halloween candy was finished in a few days, but the memories will endure. The ripples from his good deeds will last forever.
Safe passage, John, to the greatest haunt of all. Forever you will be the guardian of Halloween in our hearts and in the spirit of the Season of Shadows.
**See John's projects on video here**