The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Man of my nightmares

Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund, Rose Weldon ’19 and some Insomnia Cookies (Courtesy of Rose Weldon).

A fan recalls meeting Freddy Krueger

In October of my freshman year, I became aware of Robert Englund.

I was working on a blog for a communications class that involved looking at outlandish movies. One of them was “The Phantom of the Opera,” a 1989 low-budget horror flick with Englund as the Phantom. He had been hired due to his popularity as Freddy Krueger, a murderer who haunts and kills people in their dreams, in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies, but had never seen any of these films. The weekend before Halloween, I rectified that by watching the first six Freddy films. Even if the movie wasn’t great, Englund was always there, giving 100 percent and acting through heavy makeup.

In the summer of 2016, I found on Twitter that Englund would be a guest at MonsterMania, a horror convention in Cherry Hill, N.J. Having earned some cash from a summer job, I woke up at dawn and made the three-hour drive to New Jersey from Long Island.

As I drove down the New Jersey Turnpike, I noticed I was an hour early, and had a brilliant idea. Taking a slight detour, I drove to Center City and picked up something from a shop in Old Town.

Once I arrived at MonsterMania, I paid for my ticket and was ushered into the holding room. When I arrived, it was 10:30 a.m. By the time the 50 of us lined up to go to the signing room, it was 2:30 p.m. My heart started pounding as I clutched my copy of his autobiography, wondering if the thing I had picked up, now waiting in my backpack, would make it to the table.

I followed the line, and there he was.

Englund looked nothing like one would assume from his movies: a gray-haired, bespectacled gentleman who looked like a grandfather. Before I had time to think, it was my turn to go.

Who’s next?” Englund shrieked in his Freddy voice, eliciting laughs from the line. He winked and gestured to the chair next to him, and I handed my phone off to a volunteer.

“Rose,” he read off the Post-It on my book. “Here, I’ll draw something for you.” Englund pulled out a black Sharpie. As he doodled a caricature of himself, I stammered something about Andy Kaufman, barely able to look at him. “I used to live above Andy in the 70s,” he said. “Nice guy. Very quiet.”

Englund shut the front cover of the book, and I quickly unzipped my backpack, taking out a small box. “Incidentally,” I said, trying to sound nonchalant, “I brought you something.” I handed him the box, and he grinned.

“‘Insomnia Cookies,’” Englund read the label.

The volunteer laughed out loud. “Now that’s clever.” Englund opened the box. “Well, now I have to try them.” He pulled out a chocolate-chip and took a bite. “Very nice. Can we get a picture with the box?” I was surprised, he’d only taken one picture with the person before me. “Are you sure?”

Englund laughed and held the Insomnia box toward the volunteer. “Of course. Don’t you want to tell your friends you gave Freddy Krueger insomnia?”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *