Never mind all those heightened emotions on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” When the calendar turns to October, Kyle Richards is immune to even the most dramatic of scares. “I love the spooky aspect of Halloween,” she says. “We celebrate it big every year because the holiday has followed me my whole life.”
The Bravo star and actress has the receipts. As a small child, she appeared on the TV series “Little House on the Prairie” and recalls that patriarch Michael Landon had an Oct. 31 birthday. Her oldest daughter, Farrah, was born on the same day in 1989, prompting a slew of decadent themed parties. (Surely “RHOBH” fans remember the bash in which Lisa Rinna dressed up as costar Erika Jayne.)
And, of course, Richards has deep ties to the “Halloween” movie franchise. Not only did she play young Lindsey Wallace in the original 1978 horror classic — Jamie Lee Curtis’ babysitting Laurie Strode successfully protected her against masked killer Michael Meyers — she reprises the role in the purported final installment, “Halloween Ends” (in theaters Friday, Oct. 14). “It’s incredible to me that I’ve been here since the very beginning and playing this character,” Richards says. “I love that the fans are still invested!”
So, where is Lindsey now? Still residing in doomed Haddonfield, Illinois, where she’s friends with Laurie and her granddaughter (Andi Matichak). “It’s a small part, so this movie is really about me supporting Jamie,” she explains.
Richards isn’t yet sure about her plans for the 2022 version of her favorite holiday. Until then, she spoke with CNN Underscored about the decor, costumes and pet accessories that keep her in good Halloween spirits.
Richards starts decorating her Beverly Hills mansion on Oct. 1. “I love to set the vibe and the tone right away,” she says. That means draping fuzzy cobwebs on the front door — along with a “trick or treat” sign — and decking the halls with purple and orange lights. (She enlists her daughters for help on the latter.) “If you walk through my home,” she says, “it’s all lit up inside.”
Pity the pumpkins that used to be displayed on Richards’ porch. “I’d go out to a pumpkin patch and buy these pumpkins — then the dogs and squirrels would eat them,” she says. “I couldn’t deal!” Now she opts for water-resistant pre-lit lanterns that one of her daughters found on Amazon. Perhaps the change is for the best: “My kids are not at an age where they want to carve a pumpkin with me anymore, which is depressing. They can’t be bothered!’
Depending on her agenda for the night, “I’ll either do the mom costume of a black cat with ears or I do sexy,” she says. “Halloween is the one time of year I can actually get away with it!” (See: her Playboy bunny costume in the 2019 “RHOBH” Halloween episode.) Richards makes her picks in-person at Los Angeles' famous Trashy Lingerie, which has been selling apparel and accessories since 1974; non-Angelinos can shop from its online selection.
Richards is aware of the consensus on candy corn ... and doesn’t care! “I know there is hate,” she says. “I love them and will eat them until I have a migraine. I only buy candy that I like!” But because her house is gated, she doesn’t pass out anything to the neighborhood kids. Instead, she heads over to chez Paris Hilton. “My niece has a great area for trick-or-treating, so we’ve gone up there the past few years.”
The (black) cat’s out of the bag! Back in the day, Richards and her husband would pour alcohol in red Solo cups and then whisk the drinks into the night. “We’d go trick-or-treating with the girls and just bring along the cups — it was really obvious,” she says. After all, “we’ve got to have treats too!”
River, Bambi, Storm, Luna, Romeo and Smokey, the family’s rescue dogs, are all in costume on the big night. “I’ve done the lion thing where they have a little mane around their heads,” she says. However, she advises fellow dog owners to choose wisely, as the pets don’t necessarily love the experience quite as much. In fact, she admits that dressing her dog as a fairy princess with a flowing cone hat probably wasn’t the smartest idea.
“Thriller” isn’t the only excellent piece of Halloween music. Every season, Richards likes to change the ringtone on her phone to the creepy “Halloween” theme that plays over the opening credits of the movies. (Fun fact: Halloween director John Carpenter composed it.) “It’s so iconic that whenever it goes off, people freak out!” she says. “I kind of like that.”
OK, so Richards doesn’t exactly watch The Movie That Started It All on the actual night, but she does catch it on TV “by chance,” and people constantly tag her on Instagram when they watch it as well. She also notes that her daughters have never had the pleasure. “It’s not even the scariness,” she says. “There’s nudity! That always used to stress me out as a mom.”