Did Millicent Devereaux’s October 31st birthday contribute to her mad love of Gothic Terror? Most people would answer “Obviously! Yes!”. I, myself was born in October and I know what it is to have your birthday forever associated with the biggest Darkland holiday. I am not complaining. I love Halloween.
Millicent loved Halloween more than anyone.
Was her interest because, from the cradle, every birthday party was a Halloween costume party? Every birthday cake was decorated with spiders, cats, and bats, and every gift was wrapped in black or brown paper with black or orange ribbons.
Or was it because the toys that Millicent preferred as a child were usually Halloween themed or very old?
Whatever “it” was, by the time Millicent was four years old she had become fascinated with witches and insisted on dressing as one all year round.
The next year Millicent insisted that all the household staff and extra help dress as witches for her fifth birthday party.
In 1918 Milicent’s Father took her and her brother, Maxwell Jr. away from Atlanta in an effort to escape the Spanish flu pandemic. They stayed in a rented house in the country while the city was under siege. Still fascinated by witches, Millicent can been seen in this picture sporting the largest pointy hat.
Then there were the movies. The very inspirations for Darkland, itself. Millicent was crazy about terror films and the fact that her Father would drop everything to take her to the latest moving picture only strengthened her obsession. In 1920 Millicent was allowed to see “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligori”. She had felt so grown up going in, but was ashamed to admit to her Mother that she had fallen asleep half way through the film.
Millicent Devereaux Age 15
In 1925, Millicent accompanied her Father to the theater to see “The Phantom of the Opera”.
This began her long love affair with Universal Pictures.
One month before Millicent’s seventeenth birthday she declared that the Halloween festivities would begin. That year became known as the month of mischief. By the time October 1927 had passed…
the old Devereaux house had suffered some amount damage, inside and out.
For her eighteenth birthday, at the behest of her Mother, Millicent gave a most elegant Victorian dinner party.
Millicent Devereaux in Victorian Costume - Halloween 1928
Twelve of her closest friends had arrived in full costume and were treated to a an authentic Victorian evening. This Halloween event came to be known as the “swank affair”. An event that was remembered fondly by Millicent’s Mother and not so fondly by Millicent’s friends.
The Halloween party of 1930 had gotten pretty wild. The punch bowl had been spiked, furniture was damaged, rose bushes were destroyed, and girls were compromised. Millicent’s Mother put her foot down and made it absolutely clear that there would be no more parties at the Devereaux house in Atlanta.