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I’m so bummed out.

You’re always bummed out.

Not when it’s Halloween, and Halloween is over.

Yep. They’re already playing Christmas music in stores.

That’s really depressing.

Indeed.

But f*ck that! Every day is Halloween!

No, it’s not.

Don’t you listen to Ministry?

That’s an old song.

“Why can’t I live a life for me?”

You’re old.

“Why should I take the abuse that’s served?”

Why do you like Halloween so much, anyway?

Why the hell not? Colorful leaves are falling gracefully from branches bare, dancing in the cool breeze. I get to wear colorful scarves. People walking the streets dressed as Michael Myers. Pumpkin carving. Candy! Scary movies!

But you suffer from depression that sometimes has you crying alone in your apartment.

Usually in the shower, and you’re sharing way too much again.

You also suffer from anxiety that often paralyzes you with fear, not to mention all the panic attacks.

And I sometimes try to overcompensate for that fear, especially if I’m around someone I like. I’ve said and done so much stupid sh*t that torpedoed so many possible relationships; you have no idea.

And all of those potentially happy relationships, all of those futures negated by your mental instability. Must be painful to think about.

Horrific to think about! Punctuated with a penetrating loneliness that threatens to collapse the sun.

So… why do you like Halloween? Why watch all those scary movies?

Scary movies should be watched all year round, not just on Halloween.

Whatever. Doesn’t all that horror and screaming on the screen remind you of all the horror and screaming in your mind?

It’s not so much a reminder—believe me. I’ve never needed a reminder of the lingering, shadowy presence of depression. Maybe it’s because the horror movie itself becomes this physical narrative of the horror in my head.

And that’s a good thing?

Even a cathartic thing!

Maybe you just need more meds.

Take one of the most iconic horror movies ever made: Hellraiser, written and directed by Clive Barker, released in 1987.

That OLD movie with that tall, leather-clad dude with all the pins nailed into his skull?

Yes! Pinhead!

And those terrifying demon things?

They’re called Cenobites, silly. When I first saw the movie, I remember relating to all those wonderfully woeful words that slid out between Pinhead’s pale lips.

Like when the main character, Kristy—

Kirsty.

Whatever. When Kirsty opens that puzzle box which summons Pinhead and those demon things?

Cenobites! Kirsty’s crying in terror, surrounded by these unsympathetic creatures from another dimension, all bound in flesh and leather and blood, when Pinhead says, “Oh, no tears please.  It’s a waste of good suffering!”

That’s a creeptastic line.

Indeed.

Don’t forget when Pinhead says, “Pain has a face. Allow me to show it to you.”

Actually, that quote is from Hellraiser IV: Bloodline, the fourth movie in the franchise that came out in 1996 and was—

OK, I get it, I get it. What’s your point?

Those quotes are relatable through the lens of depression, or any mental anguish. Especially when Pinhead proudly proclaims in Bloodlines, “I. Am. Pain!” He’s the physical manifestation of depression, how it can take on this painful, over-the-top movie monster that dominates all of my thinking, torturing and terrifying me to no end.

Depression is like the movie Hellraiser?

Where slender, sharp hooks shoot out of the darkness at the end of long, black chains that dig deep into the mind, tearing at my thoughts as my brain is ripped apart—Pinhead standing over me without expression, eyes unblinking as I scream helplessly in muted suffering.

That’s a bit too vivid. And unsettling.

Just like the movie! And because that fear and pain is personified into all this vivid imagery on the movie screen, it’s somehow not as frightening in my skull.

But Pinhead tortures those poor souls in the movies.

Don’t forget that Kirsty is absolutely overwhelmed and paralyzed by Pinhead and the Cenobites at first, but she fights back! She’s drowning in this deluge of fear and hopelessness, but she still fights back!

So, you’re saying Hellraiser gives you hope?

And that’s why I dig horror movies!

You need more therapy.

I need to watch Hellraiser again.     

Photo by Mike Yost