“You are cavorting with the devil himself! The people you are working with are straight from hell, but you can still save yourself! I will pray for you!”

This is what was said to me by a zealot at a local convenience store Monday night when I was simply trying to buy a big bottle of water for the gym.

What was my “crime”? I was simply wearing my hoodie from Nightmare on 19th Street.

My hoodie was enough to set this woman off.

I simply told her: "Thank you for your comments, but you obviously know nothing about what we do. Have a good night."

I walked out in disbelief.

What I should have done is explain what an incredible organization Nightmare On 19th Street is.

First of all, Nightmare is a family. Folks from different walks of life coming together to do something positive that each and every one of us enjoy. At the end of the night, everyone walks out as friends.

Second, a number of folks learn new skills, including social interaction, costuming and make-up and construction skills. How is this work of the devil?

Third, Nightmare is part of Haunters Against Hate, a group who is opposed to hate speech and discrimination of any kind. Sounds like this woman was the one discriminating.

Fourth, all of the actors, staff, build crew, etc. are in a safe, caring environment with a wide-open door policy. To put it another way, we are all there for each other, no matter what.

As a part of the build crew at Nightmare, I am proud to be involved with such an incredible organization, and I certainly see nothing evil in what we do. In fact, I see quite the opposite. I see something very positive and rewarding.

So, to the woman who made these comments toward me and those at Nightmare On 19th Street -- people who I care about -- I say this: You could learn from us.

Tolerance, patience, and understanding are the key to a happy life. Insulting others and making claims based on nothing but your own ignorance of the facts is what obviously make you so miserable. So miserable you feel the need to make a scene inside a convenience store.

The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author and are not necessarily those of Townsquare Media, its staff, advertisers or sponsors. 


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