My Ode to Spooky Women - Kelly's April Pick
Currently listening to: Type O Negative - October Rust
I consider myself a “spooky woman”; that means I like weird, dark, and unusual things and wear all black. I have been a self-professed “spooky woman” since I was a 15-year-old goth teen. I wore black lace and mesh with Doc Martens while adorning huge, silver sword or Ankh necklaces. When my parents gave their permission, I dyed my hair black and my transformation into a “spooky woman” was complete.
Before this, I loved 90s rock music and had CDs from bands like Third Eye Blind, Everclear and Nirvana. Then I discovered extreme metal and quickly indulged in Gothic, symphonic metal bands like Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania and Cradle of Filth, along with the likes of Marilyn Manson and goth rockers Type O Negative (obviously my anthem was "Black No. 1"). I would paint my nails black, light black and red candles while staying up late on Yahoo chat rooms with other “spooky people”. I created cheesy screen names like Ebony Tears and Vampyre Soul (my old Hotmail account was seriously firstname.lastname@example.org).
I was obsessed with the film The Craft and Nancy was my “spooky woman” idol. I also fell in love with Tosh, Danielle Harris’ character in Urban Legend. As well, I had massive crushes on Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark herself, Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Kim Diamond from Book of Shadows: The Blair Witch 2, not to mention my fascination with Evil Lily in Legend! I adored goth fashion: big black hair, elaborate makeup, latex, vinyl and I discovered that it was all about the BOOTS! I was enamored with everything dark and “spooky”.
Prior to all this, I was already a huge fan of horror films and once teen slashers like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend and the ilk made their appearance into my life, I became charmed by them (STILL AM). They contained hot young actors of a relevant age and I thought they were super fun! I also dove headfirst into vampire lore and became infatuated with vampire films and novels like Interview with the Vampire, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. As I became further entrenched into all things “spooky”, I went from being a “spooky'' teenage girl to a full-fledged “spooky woman”.
Now, as a 36-year-old “spooky woman” I no longer dress as overtly Gothic and feminine, but more so like a “metal chick” with tight jeans, boots and cut up band shirts. I feel like I still embody the “spooky woman” -- I just evolved to another form of the “spooky woman” and I still celebrate and adore all that is dark and mysterious, horrific and macabre, harsh and heavy, both in music and film, just in a different way. I will always be a “spooky woman” and they will forever be a part of me and now I know, and can articulate, why I love them so much and why they spoke to me so deeply as a teen. This is because “spooky women” are strong, independent women who OWN who they are, despite what anyone thinks of them. They never give up their autonomy, nor their identities, for anyone. These ”spooky women '' dressed how they wanted, acted how they wanted, and did whatever they wanted without a second thought.
Looking back at these earlier favourite films of mine, sometimes these ”spooky women” weren't treated as well as I would have liked - Nancy Downs in The Craft was driven insane with power and institutionalized. Tosh from Urban Legend was killed off but not before showing us that she struggled with mental illness and was medicated for it. Despite this, I loved them. “Spooky women” reveled in knowing who they were and sometimes died because of this.
The “spooky women” that I have recently fallen in love with, new and old, are Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful, Ginger from Ginger Snaps, Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Vampira, and Mary in American Mary. I still love my teen screams with Jennifer’s Body being at the top of the list!
“Spooky women” gain strength in their individuality and bold appearance. There is power in darkness and they harness it for all it’s worth. They take what is within themselves and become incredible role models for young women who are also walking down a “spooky” path. I brought out that power inside of myself and have carried it into adulthood, making me the confident, unwavering, fearless woman I am today.
To all those “spooky women” out there, I love and adore you. I also kinda want to kiss you….