Halloween! How I love the chance to cross the border, to taste the darker world, the secret, hidden nature of other characters, other lives. What better way to step into another world than to become someone else for a night? What better way to understand ourselves, and our fear? One night a year, the divide yawns open, the chasm between what we know to be real and what we sense to be true. Masks cloak our fear of losing ourselves, fear of the unknown entity lurking within our own hearts, every one of us a stranger. Every one of us a nightmare about to come true.

Click the image to watch Shade sweep his cloak!

Favorite characters, or dreams of who we should have been?
One night a year, dreams go free to roam the waking world.
Who are you when you dream?


The first Halloween costumes I sewed featured my favorite show, Battle of the Planets. One, Princess, was a girlie-pink bow to convention. The other, Jason, closer to my heart, remains hidden, uncaptured by photographs.

At left, an attempt at Prince Corwin of Amber on short notice. My sister plays Jon Bon Jovi; my brother, a beatnik. We were never too old for Halloween.

My sister is wise in the ways of birds, animals, and ancient lore.

The face behind the mirror is cruel. Herself? Her evil twin?

She dreams, and dreaming, brings nightmares to life.

On Halloween, the German teacher reveals his clownish side, and the mild-mannered professor transforms into a murderous thug.

Fables and fairy tales?

Or the world's darker side, revealed to all eyes when the veils between fact and legend grow thin on one bitter-cold eve?

We think that we wear masks. If we were pawns, the mirrors of other spirits for one evening, would we know? Or care?

Masks bring frightening freedom. Spirits reveal themselves. See.

All text and images (except black cat clip art at upper left) copyright 1991-2003 by C. A. Gardner.