Every mother wants her child delivery to go as smoothly, painlessly, and surprise-free as possible, but that wasn’t necessarily the case for Brittany Selph of Tennessee. Still, two outta three ain't bad.
When her water broke on the morning of Oct. 31, the expectant mom from Waverly, was in for a rude awakening. That’s because her obstetrician, Dr. Paul Locus, is a festive fella who enjoys dressing up on Halloween when it falls during the work week. Upon arriving at the hospital to deliver their third child shortly before noon, Brittany and her husband, Justin Selph, were greeted by an eerie facsimile of Heath Ledger’s Joker from 2008’s The Dark Knight.
"Our first reaction to seeing Dr. Locus dressed up as the joker was very amusing," Justin told SYFY WIRE over Facebook Messenger. "Also kind of speechless. He looked great! It definitely fit his personality."
This wasn't out of the blue for Locus, who exclusively spoke to us about that day.
“I’ve been doing this for a little over 30 years and for the last 28 years, whenever Halloween happened on a Monday through Friday, then I would dress up because I felt like it was kind of fun for the patients and I picked different things to dress up as,” he said, speaking on the phone. “I get little goodie bags with candy and stuff that I give them, the ones that come into the office. And if someone happens to deliver, then I’ll deliver [the baby] while I’m dressed up.”
Coming face-to-face with the Crime Prince of Gotham in the delivery room was, however, a bit surprising for the family, who knew it was all in good fun, said Justin. "It never crossed our minds that day he’d be dressed up for Halloween, much less the Joker," he explained. "But it’s by no surprise that he did as his personality is great and he will go and do anything for his patients to feel comfortable and satisfied."
In addition to delivering new humans into the world, Locus is extremely adept at creating detailed and accurate Halloween outfits. He’ll buy and make parts of the costumes, even scouring Goodwill for certain items and doing his own makeup, he said. All of it done in the service of making a family’s special day even more special. “Delivery is a great miracle and it’s good if we can just make sure it’s gonna be something that’s memorable,” Locus said.
Over the years, the good doctor has dressed up as the Terminator, the Phantom of the Opera, and Indiana Jones. One time, he scared an in-labor patient pretty badly as the Creeper from the Jeepers Creepers movies. This year, however, he decided to dial down the terror factor with his costume for the sake of the younger crowd that often passes through his office.
“This particular [costume] here, I just thought it had been a few years since [The Dark Knight] had come out, but I always liked the way that Joker looked and I said, ‘Well that would be something that wouldn’t be too scary for patients’ kids,” said Locus. “I try not to be too scary for their children or anything, except for that one year. And then to give them a fun experience of coming through the office or getting delivered on Halloween.”
Considering Ledger’s character has that great scene of infiltrating a hospital as a nurse and then blowing up said hospital, the costume seems like a no-brainer. As for his Joker impression, Locus isn’t hoping to win an Oscar anytime soon.
“I’m no actor, so I don’t know that I’m as good as Heath Ledger, rest his soul, was when he was around,” he said, adding with a laugh: “But I did what I could with it without being too unprofessional.”
"He spoke in Joker voice like to our other children and such, being funny," added Justin.
This costume has also been 50 years in the making, according to Locus.
“I liked the Joker back in the [Adam West] TV series of Batman because I’m that old and I liked Jack Nicholson — I thought [he] did a good job with his part of it," he said. "Heath Ledger’s, though, I liked because it looked more like a guy that’s kind of losing it. [Joker’s] in the Arkham Asylum so he’s always on the edge of sanity anyway, and just the makeup and the dress and the way he acted was I think a better portrayal of a guy that’s right on the edge of sanity or insanity.”
In the end, Locus delivered a healthy baby girl, Oaklyn Saige Selph, who joins an older sister, McKinley, 4, and brother, Brenden,10.
We can't help but wonder, though: Is it too late to change her name to Harley Quinn?