Comedian Josie Long shares her Halloween memories
The comic is a fan of scary movies, dressing up and freaking out young children
How do you celebrate Halloween?
‘I really like having fancy dress parties. The best/worst one I’ve ever had was about five years ago. My housemates and I decorated our entire house to look like a kind of alien dungeon. We put green food dye in everything and my friend Daniel made an “atmospheric” playlist of grinding, non-melodic sci-fi film soundtracks. It was horrible.’
How do you feel about watching gory movies/ slasher films? Big fan? Or deeply afraid?
‘I love horror films. As a child, my parents were really strict Christians and didn’t let me or my sister watch any films with any hint of romance in them, however for some weird reason my mum didn’t mind me watching super-damaging-in-retrospect horror films. For years I used to run out of the bathroom because of the scary clown from It.’
Any comedians you’d recommend for their dark material?
‘Andrew O’Neill has a lot of excellent séance and demonology-based jokes. He’s also a ripperologist and in a steampunk band, which is sort of gothic horror, sort of.’
Are there any previous fancy dress costumes you’re particularly proud of?
‘YES! I once won a competition going as half Princess Diana, half Mother Theresa with a sign saying “the worthy dead of 1997”.’
Any dream Halloween outfits you’d like to wear, given the chance?
‘I would love to be given proper, full-on, film quality zombie makeup and have bits of peeling skin. I would love that so much that if the only day it could happen was also my wedding day, I would still do it.’
What do you give to guisers?
‘I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS WORD? IS THIS A SCOTTISH THING? Do you mean trick-or-treaters? PS: I didn’t mean it, please don’t vote to leave the union.’
Do you have a favourite horror movie?
‘I like The Shining, it’s so epic and intense. The best serial killer biopic is Bundy about Ted Bundy. I liked the Nightmare on Elm Street films as a child and I recently really liked Eden Lake because it has the excellent actor who played Cook in Skins in.’
Do you have a favourite creepy book that would be good to dig out at this time of year?
‘The Road? I’m reading it at the moment and it’s ever so frightening, in fact any post-nuclear stuff is the most creepy. There’s an old TV drama called Threads that’s genuinely terrifying, and the comic When the Wind Blows is awfully sad.’
Any favourite Halloween party games?
‘When I was a kid my mum made a massive big deal about Halloween, and she would get us to make witches’ hats, and sing songs and stuff, but one thing she did was sort of fun in the most TERRIFYING way. She would say, ‘I’m not your real mummy, I’m a witch and I’ve killed your real mummy, cut off her face and stuck it on mine.’ And then chase me around the house while I would beg her to say it wasn’t true. Then she would say, ‘No it’s not true… or is it?’ and it would start again. I honestly now, looking at this interview, feel like none of this was normal.’
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure, The Stand, Glasgow, Wed 24 Oct.