Like all fans of things that go bump in the night, we at the City Paper were thrilled to hear that the newest installment in the Halloween franchise will be filming in Charleston this fall. Short of finally seeing a sequel to the criminally underrated 1991 fantasy drama Drop Dead Fred, a locally sourced Halloween feature is the best we could hope for. So, of course, we reached out to speak with the creative team behind the new Halloween, screenwriters Danny McBride and David Gordon Green. That didn’t really work out in our favor, but there was a profound stroke of luck.
We found Halloween star Michael Myers’ travel diary during his time in Charleston. The soggy bound journal was located along the banks of the Cooper River, filled with the childish scribblings of a madman. What the document offers is a remarkable insight into the mind of a notoriously tight-lipped psychopath who paved the way for slasher villains for decades to come. Completely unedited and uncensored, here is what Myers had to say about his time in the Holy City.
Oct. 29, 2017
Michael, Michael, Michael — how do you let this keep happening? Here you are in America’s No. 1 small city and still the same old psycho-sexual deathstalker you’ve always been. Far removed from the quiet confines of Haddonfield, Ill., it’s a wonder everyone doesn’t see you for the small-town yokel you are. Maybe a change of clothes would serve you well, but it’s just too easy to drop a transmission on a mechanic’s head and steal another dusty blue jumpsuit than it is to decide whether or not you have the right jawline for a bowtie. Maybe it’s because you were completely socialized in an asylum for 15 years, but the times have changed.
It was the late ’70s when you first got back into the dating scene. Things were different then. Hair was feathered. Waistlines were high. And most importantly, no one properly secured their homes. And while you could creep into any elderly couple’s house and grab a random butcher knife, you never really found a home. Maybe Charleston will be different.
Oct. 30, 2017
After a busy day of lingering just at the edge of everyone’s periphery and eating stray dogs, tonight seems like a good opportunity to check out the local Charleston night life. You always push too hard to make the magic happen. Just let them come to you, Michael. Let them get to know the emotionless nightmare that you are. You’ve got plenty to offer. Strong shoulders, a full head of mask hair, an unquenchable bloodlust — you’ve seen it work for other violent illiterates, and they weren’t as tall as you in the least. Especially that poser Ben Tramer. I never knew what Laurie saw in him.
My buddy Dean, a gaffer for the new film, set up a double date for us and some locals. He has super cool sideburns and a willingness to subject us all to a torturous marathon of gore, which is just what I need in a wingman.
The evening began with an incredibly awkward pedicab ride where I instructed the driver by merely sitting silent in the carriage until he shuttled me downtown. He jokingly said that he’s dealt with plenty of passengers too drunk to lead the way. That was before I thoughtlessly impaled him on his own handlebars. Now to really put on the charm.
There are so many cool bars along King Street. What to choose? Dean recommended that we tool around town in his IROC to pick up chicks, but I’d rather just slowly tail attractive babysitters in a stolen beige stationwagon. Apparently this isn’t the surest way to charm women. I’m learning so much from Dean. I haven’t known him long, but he seems like a real friend. The first one I’ve had in quite a while.
In an effort to make a good first impression, we arrived early to pick up our dates. I decided to stand outside of their window, sinisterly veiled in the laundry hanging on the line. Gosh, I’m so nervous. Keep it together, Michael.
Dean introduced me to our dates, Teresa and Maddie, as we piled into his Camaro. “I hope you like the strong, silent type,” he joked to Teresa, poking me in the side with his elbow. “Oh Dean, I’ll kill you last,” I thought as we made our way to dinner.
It’s Halloween eve and the whole city is abuzz. Our party of four grabs a table by the window. Dean pulls out Maddie’s chair as she takes a seat. Not wanting to seem rude, I take a brief pause from trying to violently break down the door to the bathroom stall where Teresa is hiding and we order cocktails. Our waiter comes by to drop off a few sets of silverware.
“No knife for this guy,” Dean tells the waiter, tossing his head back in laughter. The blade of my knife glints in the candlelight, thirsty for Dean’s blood.
Maddie nudges Teresa under the table, urging her to strike up a conversation. “So, Michael,” Teresa nervously sputters, “what do you do for a living?”
I try to think of a joke, something clever to break the tension. What would Freddy say? Time’s running out, Michael.
“He’s in the movie business,” Dean says, coming to my rescue. “We both are.”
“Wow, the movies,” Maddie coos. “I didn’t know we were eating dinner with celebrities.”
Ducking the numerous sharp objects I hurl her way in a relentless quest to claim another life, Teresa nods along politely. I think things are going well.
After dinner, we stroll down to the Market. Dean grabs a few free praline samples for the gals, while I continue to mindlessly slice at the air in front of me. My hands carry the scent of grease from when I shoved that waiter’s head into the deep fryer. I hope Teresa doesn’t notice that I smell like french fries. I really like her. In between her piercing screams for help, I think we really made a connection.
Dean and Maddie lag behind as we reach the Battery, walking hand-in-hand as they look out onto the harbor. The free spirit that she is, Teresa takes the opportunity to dive into the chilly water and swim to safety. Most guys would find that discouraging. But to me, the fact that she didn’t make an escape earlier in the night is all the motivation that I need.
Oct. 31, 2017
I always put so much pressure on myself on Halloween night. It used to be my favorite holiday, but now I’ve come to dread the whole thing. “How many people are you gonna kill this year, Michael?” “Which seemingly safe community will you paint red with the blood of the innocent this year?” I always ask myself. But not today. Today I’m just going to take it easy and enjoy the sights and sounds of this wonderful city.
Beginning the day with a relaxing carriage tour through the city’s historic South of Broad neighborhood, I can’t help but be awestruck by the breathtaking architecture. One of these homes would be perfect for stoically leering out the window for hours, accompanied only by the sound of my own heavy breathing.
Winding along the city streets, I’m a little disturbed by the number of children accompanied by their parents as they trick-or-treat. It’s not even nightfall yet. I just don’t understand kids these days, with all this trunk-or-treat, have-an-adult-check-your-candy nonsense. By the time I was six, I was already hanging out unsupervised, biding my time until I would tally my first kill. The doctors said I had the blackest eyes they had ever seen, the devil’s eyes. But that’s just how things were in the ’60s. Kids were allowed to be kids, no matter how demonic. I would spend most of my time standing in the yard, playing with my friend — knife.
After the carriage tour, it’s time to enjoy some quality Southern cuisine. I’ve noticed while disemboweling a number of locals that shrimp and grits seems to be a popular menu item. I manage to grab a seat at a prestigious local restaurant and slowly sip on a cool glass of sweet tea while I await my meal. Since my mask lacks an opening at the mouth, I mainly just shove food through one of the nostril holes. I’m getting pretty good at it and manage to ring my mouth almost half the time.
As the sun begins to set, I walk along the streets, my rigid posture a sign of the pent up aggression waiting to be unleashed in a hellish torrent of violence. Young people in costumes pass by, paying me little notice. I like it. It feels good not to be noticed, if only for a day. You should do this more often, Michael. Just take some personal time and not get caught up in the everyday bustle of orchestrating a killing spree. Then you notice Teresa. She’s dressed as a very come-hither nurse. And she’s walking arm-in-arm with Elvis. Not the Elvis, of course. An imposter clad in costume jewelry and polyester. But his sideburns are all too real. Dammit. It’s Dean.
I duck behind a row of hedges just as they catch a glimpse of my shape. My heart is pounding. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end. How could Dean do this to me? We were friends. Or I thought we were. But now he’s stepped out with my final gal.
Peering through the bushes, I see Teresa lean into Dean as they laugh. I had plans to go on a ghost tour this evening, maybe steal a few tombstones from an unguarded cemetery. But now I’ve had a change of heart.
Stepping from behind the hedgerow, I see Dean and Teresa racing up King Street away from me. Block after block disappears behind them as they flee, yet I am always just a few yards behind. Finally, after cutting across back alleys and side streets, we reach the foot of the Ravenel Bridge. Teresa clutches her heels, her feet scratched and bloody from the chase. Exhausted, Dean motions at Teresa to continue up the bridge without him. As she limps up the incline, Dean turns to face me, a final heroic stand.
“Come on, bro. You never had a chance with her,” he says before I lift him by the throat. Dean’s legs kick in the air, failing to meet the ground as the life leaves his body.
“You come on, bro. You come on,” I think.
At the top of the bridge, I find Teresa. She’s seated on the empty walkway, facing away from me. As I near her in a slow, deliberate pace, I happen to look back over my shoulder. The city skyline dotted with church steeples captures my attention. Then it hits me. Maybe it wasn’t Teresa that I’ve fallen for, after all. Maybe it was Charleston. Although I’ve only been here a short time, Charleston’s come to feel like home to me. A home I never thought I’d have.
Turning back to Teresa, hoping to share this new revelation, she drives the heel of her shoe into my eye. Staggering back, I tumble over the barrier wall. As I fall into the chilly waters of the Cooper River, I think “This is the place for me.”
For 15 years, I sat in that asylum staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, seeing past it, seeing this night. The doctors, the nurses, everyone gave up on me. Little did I know that Charleston was what I was looking for the whole time.
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.