When I was 16 years old I started working at a haunted house that belonged to a friend of my mother.
The gentleman took his own house, money out of his own pocket and turned it into a spooky walkthrough (short but bordering on scary enough to compete with any paid haunted house). A lot of his props remained part of his decor through the year. Being one of those gothy type people has that advantage.
When you walked into his living room on any ordinary day of the year after Halloween you would find hand made coffin as the coffee table (coffin-table get it?) and if you were so inclined as to inspect it's insides... yes it was lined, cushioned, comfortable and functional if you needed a place to crash for the night.
If you looked in his living room (or back yard, garage, side yard, bedroom, front lawn...) any weekend of the weeks leading up to Halloween you were likely to find me and a few others with severed body parts, bones and skulls in hand prepping them for their use in that years haunted house. Sometimes smeared in red paint (I still have a pair of sneakers covered in it), sometimes chasing each other around with said paint, maybe forming or painting skulls or in most cases eagerly creating, prepping and painting large displays of human intestines to hang on the walls. I have photos of them somewhere.
At 16 years old I told my father, "When I have my own house I want a coffin table I can use as an extra bed." I also told him I wanted a collection of lifelike human limbs used as candlabras, faux (and real) bones formed into pieces of entertainment ware and bed knobs and (my personal favorite) a severed head placed on my dinner table with the cranium hollowed out and used to house a flower bouquet. At the time I imagined the Christopher Walken head from Sleepy Hollow. Because who doesn't want to severed prop head of Christopher-FUCKING-Walken watching them eat breakfast with a few daisies sticking out of his forehead.
More importantly: I wanted to make these things. I wanted to create horror movie props and make up that was so lifelike the neighborhood kids would never forget how terrified they were.
My dad, ever supporting told me that if I still wanted all that when I was older and had a house (that wasn't his) to put it in it would be cool. But also told me it was just a phase.
Today I am 24 years old, going on 25. I traveled around a little bit and soaked up all the knowledge and did all the sight-seeing and absorbing I could for few years.
I still want that coffin table and collections of prop body parts in my closet, I still want a workshop to create life like severed heads in and I'm still fascinated with putting on one hell of a horror show.
I talk excitedly about making that severed head flower pot, and have expanded my wishes to include several different flower pots (all a different severed head of course). I want to get drunk and curl up in my coffin-table and create picture frames with the same human intestines on them that I used to decorate the walls of the haunt with.
And this week I finally got the "okay" to go to school for it and stop doing it out of my own personal make up box and prop bin. This week my dad admitted that it is not a phase and I really am just THAT weird.
No I don't want a house that looks like a slaughter house. I want a totally normal house with a few out of place decorations that make people do a double take before they realize it's a part of my art.
At this age I'm also smart enough to realize that no matter where I go... my neighbors are going to hate me. I'll make sure to give out the big candy bars to anyone brave enough to get within 10 feet of my house on Halloween.