Halloween is easily my favourite time of year. I’m not one of those people who go all out with the costumes and decorations and stuff, but I love it none the less. Halloween fills me with joy – and mini chocolate bars. I’ve always felt this way. As a kid, I loved everything about Halloween – except having to have a costume that you could fit over a parka in our truly frigid Alberta winters. Honestly, they were colder back then. I know that’s a thing people always say, but man, it was true. You almost wanted one of those terrible, full-face plastic masks just to keep your face warm. Running from house to house to collect candy and to keep warm was something I waited for all year.
Eventually, this gave way to the teen years of Halloween. This involved a new town that had never seen my adorable Jem costumes and a group of friends who loved eggs. Cartons of eggs that would sit in the upper reaches of the closet, hidden from parents, until just the right time. A town where the local stores that sold eggs (the whole two of them) wouldn’t sell you eggs during the month of October if you were a teen. Bootlegged eggs, people. Turning our spirited teenage youth against us, the school decided to set up a fundraiser where we sold Halloween ‘insurance’ to local businesses and houses. If anyone who had bought said insurance was hit by eggs on Halloween, the high school students would trek out the next morning and be forced to clean off the gunk – which was now frozen to the windows and siding. It really was a genius idea. I don’t know if egging is still a thing, but it was for us.
Now I’m an adult. I love the way everything looks at Halloween. I love the decorations and colours and the spirit. Halloween is the time to be who you aren’t. But I think it’s when people let themselves really be who they are – just for a fraction of a moment, they let a little bit of the person they’re scared to release the rest of the year. Whether that’s a scary thing, a crazy thing, a slutty thing, or whatever. It’s a moment to be something you want to try without having to adopt the persona. And Halloween shit is just damn cute.
Anyway, what does this have to do with books? Halloween is this week’s TTT prompt from the B&B ladies. Books, movies and tv shows that get you in the spirit. I should explain that I don’t love gory, slasher style scares. I like shivers down your spine, waiting for what’s around the corner scares. Good old campfire stories. I also read a lot of thrillers – like a lot. So I don’t really count them as ways to get ready for the season. There won’t actually be a lot of books this week. I prefer visual mediums to get me in the spirit.
Edgar Allan Poe
Clichéd? Maybe. Worth it? Yes. If you’ve never read Poe, or you’ve only read The Raven, expand your horizons this year and read one of his other stories. These are slow burn stories. I’m partial to The Fall of the House of Usher, but there are lots of good ones, and several I haven’t read yet. I picked up a collection on audiobook at the library today and they’ll be colouring my bus rides for the next couple weeks.
These are horror stories. There are creatures from the beyond. There is weird ass shit happening. There are lots and lots of stories to choose from. Go grab a short story, or better yet, go grab a copy of Necronomicon, put it on your shelf, and visit it throughout the year. There’s a lovely special edition copy I own.
Supernatural – Season One Episode One – Pilot
Basically, all of the first three seasons of Supernatural were bad ass ghost stories, but it’s the very first episode that really gets me in the spirit. The myth of the woman in white. It’s one my favourite ghost stories. This episode perfectly sets up the beginning of the series (before it kind of went off the rails around season six) and is loaded with creep factor. And, if I’m not mistaken, it actual includes a Halloween party.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 4 Episode 4 – Fear Itself
A Halloween episode. Not even my favourite Halloween episode, but the one that is best for the spirit of the season. There’s a tacky haunted house that transforms into an actual haunted house. One that kills people and turns on them. It’s what everyone kind of hopes/fears will happen when they’re in a haunted house. Halloween shenanigans!
American Horror Story – Season One Episodes 4 & 5
A two parter Halloween episode. This whole season had excellent creep factor – especially that damn theme song and that whistle, but these episodes were particularly good. The ghosts can finally leave the house and Tate is confronted by the students he killed. Creepy and delightful.
Technically, this is a mini-series. A Stephen King, written for tv mini-series. I am not a fan of Mr. King’s books, but I don’t mind some of the movie/television adaptations. This one is based on the idea of the Winchester House in California – if you don’t know what that is, go look up the story. It’s weird enough on its own to get you in the spirit. The show is super cheesy and I love it. I turn off all the lights and curl up on the couch and watch it every couple years. It usually takes a few days, but it gets you in the spooky spirit. Also, one of the actors died partway through filming and some of his scenes are digital – oooo spooky.
One of those movies that actually spooked the crap out of me. Interesting story and climb into your own lap kind of scares. It’s exactly the kind of movie I want at this time of year.
This is one of my favourite movies. It works just as well now as if does at Christmas. And any other time of year really. Jack and Sally – The perfect Halloween couple.
A teens go to a cabin in the woods and terrible things happen movie, but awesome instead of terrible. Like actually awesome. Whedon’s second appearance on the list is well deserved. It’s great for getting into that monsters are everywhere mindset. I waited a really long time for this movie (it was finished years before it was released) and it did not disappoint.
The creepy little ‘boy’. That is all you need to know.