I must open with a confession. On this All Hallows Eve, I must spill a dark secret that will earn me enmity, derision, and scorn.
I really really really HATE Nightmare Before Christmas. I didn’t always hate it, but I never liked it. It was… okay. The songs were generic, trying to be all gothy while still being sugary pop (An Elfman staple. Sorry, his music is hit or miss for me. ) The story was… blah. Jack as a character was… blah. I rooted for Oogie Boogie, really.
All that changed one fateful October, after years away, visiting the Happiest Kingdom on Earth with my mom and brother. I raced for the Haunted Mansion. Unaware of what waited. I saw the additions on the outside, and was all… well, okay. As long as they didn’t mess with the inside. 15 minutes later, exiting the Mansion, my rage slowly rising the entire time, I now HATED that movie with a passion. How DARE they.
Anyways, a couple weeks ago, a coworker announced they were going to Disneyland for Halloween weekend. I scoffed. “I do not go to Disney in October. It’s too… painful”
Another co-worker, who has heard me rant before, rolled her eyes. “Jesus Alex, you’re so dramatic about it.”
I… may have been temporarily possessed by the ghosts of Houdini, Vincent Price, and Ken Anderson. That is the only thing to explain the next few minutes. Note, this is from memory, I MAY have tweaked a few lines below.
“Dramatic? Too dramatic? NAY! I say I am not dramatic enough about this… evil.”
I looked at the original coworker, the one who as you read is enjoying the Mouse. “You may be unaware. But my feet will not find themselves passing under the gates this month, or the next, no. Not even until after the Yule season has passed, and the three Kings have finished their annual pilgrimage to the manger, can my soul walk with ease upon the grounds of the so called, Happiest Place on Earth.”
I fluffed an imaginary cape behind me, and stood straight. My voice was carrying, and carrying a mild unidentifiable accent, and I started drawing a crowd. The last three words, Happiest Place On Earth, were said with a sneer and slow sarcastic cadence that I hope would have made Price proud.
“You see, there is an unholy abomination this time of year. There is a blight, a disturbing blasphemy that winds its tendrils through the Temple of Terror. A creeping evil that grows along the walls of that shrine of darkness, that plot of land where all may bask in true darkness.
Yes, within the sacred graveyard where I have buried my very heart, to forever thrill in horror and dream sweet in the concentrated nightmare of Glory, the seeds of disdain are planted, and growing vines of decay. My beloved Haunted Mansion, the Manse of Macabre where my true self can be free, is BOUND. BOUND I SAY!
Bound in chains of crassness, bound with shackles of commercialism, bound by the gauche gaudy ungainly streamers hung by that… that villain. That KNAVE of pumpkins, who would DARE attempt to claim the crown of Halloween and name himself King, the Man Jack. ”
At this point, my coworkers were evenly split between giggling and backing away slowly. I may have spun a few times and gesticulated wildly with my hands. I do that.
“But his profane influence wanes. The Glorious Holy Imagineers who, caught in his spell as the summer fades, and fall begins, will soon find their minds clearing. Yes, even they whose hands did the dirty work of the Pumpkin Knave will doubt, and the true Unholy Peace that is the spirit of the Mansion will cleanse their minds of his taint. And LO, in the cleansing powers of the new year’s frost, they will put right that which they themselves have put wrong, and Jack and his Ilk will find themselves again in boxes, gathering dust through spring and summer, waiting for their time to again blaspheme. And then, once its halls are restored to their rightful sinful terror. THEN, and not one moment before, will my feet once again walk the Main Street, and find happiness in the darkness as I wander the tombs of those who have gone before, and enter the Halls of the Haunted Mansion. ”
At this point, the crowd was a bit tense. I figured, enh, cathartic end.
“And don’t even get me started on Space Mountain.”