Every year, as the leaves change and the weather gets cooler, it becomes Octoberfest for me and a few of my friends. We get a special thrill out of this time of year, and I can honestly say that I love this month more than any other because everything about it suddenly becomes steeped in creepy macabre decorations and a fascination with scary stories.
In particular, I usually take this month to go back and rewatch some of the classic horror movies that I’ve loved. There’s a long list, but to name a few of my favorites, it almost always includes Psycho, The Birds, The Blair Witch Project, The Fly (1986), Insidious, and Poltergeist. There’s something so exciting about dedicating a month to tales of horror. I think the fun part about it is that it is okay to be scared. Think about it. In our lives, how much are we afraid of? Terrorism? War? Things we can’t control? For me, watching a horror movie is one of those safe kind of thrills, the type that Stephen King mentions in his masterful book Danse Macabre, where he says that we laugh because we know we are safe in our seats on the couch…but in the back of our minds, we know that these sort of terrifying things could happen out there somewhere.
My other favorite thing to do (and if you live in New England and can drive a reasonable distance, I highly recommend it) is make the trek down to Candia, New Hampshire where every year a water park is converted into a terrifying haunted house attraction called “Haunted Acres”. I discovered this gem a few years back and have made it a tradition for three years in a row. There are no less than five haunted houses to walk through, and some of them make me scared to move my feet.
Last year they even had an extra for people willing to donate to a charity where you could ride and run through a simulation of a zombie apocalypse (partially inspiration for my Can You Survive? title). Actual army veterans rode us in a bus to a drop off point and we were told that we needed to run through the woods to the next checkpoint. If the zombies came out of the woods, they would try to hold them off, but there were no guarantees. Sure enough, the zombies did come out of the woods, and a few people stumbled – just like in the horror movies! – and nobody stopped to help them. We were all too scared! If that doesn’t tell you something about yourself, I don’t know what will. A few kids even cried. I thought it was great fun, and I can’t wait to go again this year to see what they have cooked up.
Then there are all the amazing foods to eat. I love everything pumpkin and apple. There’s nothing better than a crisp apple right off the tree in October. I gutted my pumpkin to cook all the seeds. I also love mulled wine and hot apple cider. And, I will admit, now that I’m an adult, I buy myself a bowl of candy – all the good kinds.
This is the season, my friends. Christmas is nice, but Halloween is my favorite. I will try to document my movie watching with a few themed reviews and perhaps some pictures from my search for scary locations. As an aside, I have been hard at work on Episode Three of The Entity, and I hope to have it published shortly. Just a few more scenes to finish up and it will be ready. I hope you enjoy it when it’s out, and I will be sure to post an excerpt here when it gets closer. I’m also in the middle of reading Consumption by Michael Patrick Hicks and am gleefully enjoying every moment of it. I will post a review for it when I’m finished reading – and you should definitely pre-order your copy of the book here!
Until later, don’t get lost in any corn mazes. Who knows what you might find in there?