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.