Halloween, 365 Days a Year
Posted October 8, 2007 1:51 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2007 2:10 p.m. EDT
Children fresh off a night of trick-or-treating often look at their overflowing sack of candy bars and wish every day could be Halloween.
Kalvin Roberts turned that dream into a reality.
The 25-year-old Tulsa, Oklahoma, native decorated his bedroom with ghouls and goblins 10 years ago - and never took them down. And now that he has his own apartment, those monsters under his bed and in his closet have spread to the hallway, kitchen and bathroom.
For Roberts, it's October 31, 24/7/365.
"Some kids want to go to the beach," Roberts said. "I always wanted to go to a foggy London town."
While there aren't any fog machines in Roberts' 1,500-square-foot, third-story apartment, he's got just about everything else - candelabras swing from the ceiling, skeletons stand guard in the living room, a raven sits perched above his bed. Mummified alligator hands in red velvet-lined boxes "tie together" the hallway. On his walls, framed portraits of iconic horror figures jockey for space with pictures of his family.
Roberts can pinpoint the moment he was lured to the dark side - watching the 1980 Canadian horror flick "The Changeling," a film about a haunted mansion.
"The images have stuck with me my whole life," said Roberts, a screen-printer and part-time college student. "I've always wanted to live in a haunted house. That's my goal when I finally move out and buy my own place."
The odd thing about Roberts' obsession - OK, one of the odd things - is the reclusive nature of it. Lots of people go crazy with Christmas decorations, blanketing their roofs with blinking lights and their lawns with plastic statues. Roberts' world remains cordoned off, with only three small trinkets adorning his apartment door.
"Being on the third floor, you can't really see much (from outside)," Roberts explained.
But, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you don't need to live in Roberts' building or even in Oklahoma to get a glimpse of his interior design skills. Roberts submitted a video tour to an Apartments.com "Possession Obsession" contest and was selected as one of three finalists for the $20,000 prize.
"I heard about the contest on MySpace, and I knew I had to enter," he said. "The subject of the stuff I like is a little darker, and I wasn't sure if it would fly, but luckily they thought it was creative enough."
Lisa DeVries, one of the jurors for Apartments.com, flew to Tulsa to check out the apartment and meet the man himself.
"I wouldn't say he's creepy at all," DeVries said. "They way he approaches it is that he likes horror and scary movies, but it's all campy stuff he really enjoys. He looks for the humor and the fun in everything.
"He doesn't have any decomposing corpses in his closets or anything," she joked. "At least he didn't show them to us when we were there."
Yes, underneath his frightening facade, Roberts seems like a pretty nice guy. In fact, if he wins the contest, he said he plans to make a hefty donation to "Scares That Care," a Maryland organization that raises money for sick children.
Well, that and a trip to Transylvania.
See Roberts' apartment here: http://possessionobsession.apartments.com/contestant/35/