Tourists and locals strolling along 16th Street Mall are in for a scare — and it's not one of those persistent petition-handlers. This fall, a towering skeleton suddenly made its appearance. This mysterious character comes courtesy Dan Hill, a Denver newcomer originally from Arnold, California. "I've been dressing up like this for about two months out of the three I've been here," he says. In honor of Halloween, we decided to interview the cloaked figure on stilts to find out who the man behind the mask really is, and why he likes to dress like a skeleton.
Dan Hill: I am a welder.
How did you learn to walk on stilts?
I taught myself how to use the stilts with hours and hours of practice.
What inspired this costume?
This all started for the kids at Halloween, and it just became so popular I do it whenever there are things going on. I read people's reactions and react properly in case they feel threatened or frightened, and change my posture and ease the tension. I've been on an ongoing mission to perfect my look.
How do you dress in your "normal" day-to-day life?
I'm normally just a blue-jeans-and-T-shirt kind of guy.
Black, of course. Because it goes with any color.
What is your favorite film?
What is your favorite song?
I love the national anthem.
I tell myself each time that I'm going to have fun and stay on my feet for stilts.
Describe yourself in three words.
I would have to describe myself as enjoyable, original and unique.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I'd like to add that I don't ever ask for money because I don't expect it. That's not why I'm out here doing this. It's because their happiness makes me happy, and that helps when I'm in a new place with not very many friends. I'm starting to make more each time I go out, but only a few actually want to know the person behind the mask, and I'm very thankful for them.