Regular Horror Freak News readers got better acquainted with a couple of icons last week; Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger were both subjects of articles delving into lesser known bits of trivia. Today, we’re giving Michael Myers the same treatment. The mute brute with a one-track mind might seem a mundane study, but still waters run deep. What you don’t know about the Halloween’s “Boogeyman” may just shock you.
Michael Myers is Sometimes Referred to as “The Shape”
Many Halloween fans know that Michael is referred to as The Shape in the original screenplay, but they might not know why. It certainly fits his shadowy, nebulous presence, but author and horror aficionado Gene DeRosa* explains how it goes much deeper than this: “The name ‘The Shape’, given to Michael Myers whenever he is wearing the mask, was taken from a term used by Cotton Mather during the Salem Witch Trials.” He used the term “shape” to describe the spirits of the accused doing mischief or harming others.
6 Different Actors Played Michael Myers in the Original Halloween
Will Sandin played young Michael in the opening sequence, but the hands seen in the famous POV shot (stabbing his sister, Judith) actually belong to Halloween scribe Debra Hill. Nick Castle played grown-up Michael for the majority of the film; Tommy Lee Wallace was The Shape in the closet scene and stuntman Jim Winburn played Myers in the dangerous shots. Tony Moran was the face of Michael Myers when Laurie unmasks him in during the film’s climax.
Michael Myers Exists in 3 Separate Planes of Existence
This might get a bit existential. The first Myers timeline includes the first two films in the franchise, ignores Season of the Witch, and picks up again for Chapters 4-6 (The Return of Michael Myers, The Revenge of Michael Myers, and The Curse of Michael Myers). The second timeline also beings with parts 1 & 2, but it ignores all of the sequels until 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and concludes with Halloween: Resurrection in 2002. The second timeline doesn’t sit well with many fans, as it invalidates and erases the existence of Laurie’s daughter Jamie Lloyd (played by Danielle Harris, a fan favorite), leaves Myer’s first timeline fate unknown, and contains the two least lauded installments of the entire franchise. The third timeline is, of course, Rob Zombie’s reboots.
Michael Myers Can Talk
Just because he never utters a single syllable throughout the entire franchise doesn’t mean he couldn’t talk—if he wanted to. Nothing suggests Michael was mute before he killed his sister at age 6, and in Curtis Richards’ 1979 novelization of Halloween, Dr. Loomis tells a colleague at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium: “This catatonia is a conscious act. There is an instinctive force within him. He’s waiting.” I for one, would love to hear what Michael has to say for himself!
Michael Myers’ Season of the Witch Cameo
While it’s enjoying moderate cult status, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, will forever be reviled as the only film in the franchise that doesn’t have Michael Myers in it. But that’s not exactly true. When Dr. Dan Challis flips television stations while having a drink at the bar, we see an advert for the first Halloween; you can clearly see The Shape chasing Laurie down a flight of stairs.
Michael Myers was Driven Insane by “Voices”
While Dr. Loomis believes Myers is an inhuman personification of pure evil, Richard’s novelization offers a few different theories for his deranged behaviors. First: “The horror started on the eve of Samhain, in a foggy vale in northern Ireland, at the dawn of the Celtic race. And once started, it trod the earth forevermore, wreaking its savagery suddenly, swiftly, and with incredible ferocity.” Short version: An ancient Druid curse. Second: Michael confesses to his grandmother that “voices tell me to say I hate people”. A third possibility is hereditary: Micahel’s great-grandfather “shot a couple to death at a harvest dance on Halloween 1898 or 1899, and, before he was hanged for the murders, he identified his victims by names he’d heard in his dreams.”
Michael Myers Visited Elm Street (Kind Of)
Thanks again to Gene DeRosa for giving me the low down: “The additional scene of Laurie and Lynda inside Laurie’s house, which was added for the TV version of Halloween (1979), was filmed at 1428 N. Genesee Avenue in Hollywood, California.” Hardcore “Fred Heads” will recognize this as the same address used for the exterior shots of Nancy’s house in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
Michael Myers: Screenwriter
After donning the mask in the original Halloween, Nick Castle went on to have a successful career as a screenwriter. He co-wrote Escape from New York with John Carpenter and helmed the sci-fi videogame epic The Last Starfighter in 1984. He most recently penned August Rush in 2007; it’s “a drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.” (IMDB)
Michael Myers Hates Dogs, Loves Cats
The most conclusive proof that Michael Myers really is pure unadulterated evil isn’t his human body count; deplorably, The Shape has put down more than just a few dogs. In the first Halloween, he kills a German Shepard; He kills a Golden Retriever in Halloween 4 and a Doberman Pinscher in Halloween 5. And let’s not forget what he was eating while recuperating in that dilapidated cabin. Asshole! Surprisingly, Myers seems to have a soft spot for cats; also in Part 5, he slays a couple humpers with a pitchfork, but spares the box of kittens in the corner.
Michael’s Middle Name is Audrey
Now this might really explain why Myers became a depraved murderer: He’s got a girl’s name! Michael’s full moniker can be seen on a set of medical files in the 1979 Extended version of Halloween that aired on television. Some contend that the label actually reads “Aubrey” which is at least a boy’s name, but still pure bully fuel. The other kids on the playground must have been merciless.
Michael Myers Appeared on The Ghost Whisperer
Let’s just consider this a low-point in The Shape’s career. In The Ghost Whisperer, a psychic played by Jennifer Love Hewitt helps the recently deceased communicate final messages to their loved ones. It was a mainstream reimagining of The Sixth Sense aimed at the Grey’s Anatomy crowd. Unbelievably, Michael Myers pops up in an episode called Horror Story that aired in 2008 wherein Hewitt communes with the ghost of a hardcore horror fan. Optimistic genre lovers can flip this embarrassing moment by reframing it as a Halloween vs. I Know What You Did Last Summer crossover. Because that would be cool.
Is Michael Myers Based on a Real Serial Killer?
For quite some time, rumors have circulated that Michael Myers is based on real-life serial killer Stanley Stiers. Ask Mystic Investigations claims, back in 1923, an abused Stiers snapped and murdered his entire family on Halloween; he was just 11 years old. Substantiation that he ever existed is impossible to find, but stories continue to swirl in chatrooms, where Stiers’ mythology becomes truly outlandish; for example: “After he killed his family, he went trick or treating, and also killed a few classmates that bullied him. He was described as having an inhuman strength, and escaped from [a] government testing facility where they kept him for 13 years.” (Source)
How did Michael Myers Learn to Drive?
Just how Myers learned to drive after being locked up at age 6 (where he supposedly remained in a state of catatonia for the best part of 2 decades) has been a constant point of contention among Halloween fans, many of who consider this a major plot hole. A few years back, writer/director Adam Green (The Hatchett Trilogy) produced a parody purporting to be a “deleted scene” that puts all speculation and conjecture to rest. See yourself in the video above.
*I’d like to thank horror author and uber fan Gene DeRosa, who was integral in producing this article. Gene has published two books; 6-13 A Friday the 13th Movie Trivia Book and 10-31 A Halloween Movie Trivia Book; a third publication is already in the works. His books can be purchased separately or in a combo pack for only $20 HERE.