Hello ghouls and monstrosities!
It’s that time of year again – Halloween!
I will be posting ten posts all about Halloween, counting up to the night itself!
Comment below, follow me and enjoy!
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So, here, in my life – we take Halloween seriously. Not in the same way as others – I am not a huge fan of slinky Halloween “costumes” where the only parameters are that they show lots of skin, tangentially relate to whatever it is they’re supposed to be and, oh yeah, are aimed at women. Only women. I am more of a purist of Halloween I suppose – I like the goblins, the ghosties, the magic that comes from this time of year, where Hocus Pocus is finally on television again, carved pumpkins sit on porch steps and I indulge in way too many Oh Henrys (or as it turns out, this year, it will be Turtles as there are no Oh Henrys in this country … sigh).
To be honest – California does not very often elicit that feeling of classic Halloween. I think part of it is the fact that this part of the country is so … new. Like, I think the house my grandparents’ owned when I was a kid is older than the state of California. And also, spookier, as it turns out. Another thing is the weather – there is a reason why horror novels have that cliche of starting On a dark and stormy night … – but here in SoCal, a dark and stormy night is near impossible. You want earthquakes? Sure. Tonnes of haze rolling in? Yep, got that. But not usually the stuff that makes you look out of the window and think “This is a night for the spirits.”. Honestly – SoCal is near to the proverbial paradise as weather can get. But for those of us who want a little bit of atmosphere for our Halloween – it’s not great. Add to that the fact that the leaves here don’t turn into that kaleidoscope of colours in the fall, and all the kids in our building are under the age of 2 (and therefore are more likely to scream uncontrollably just because they’re cranky, and not at all because you answered the door in a werewolf mask) and the Halloween spirit is … hard to come by.
But I am no quitter!
This year I am determined to make myself feel the spookiness of the holiday. I have come up with a plan to do so and it will be implemented in the next ten days and fun – why these last ten days? Well, as we found out last year, carving a pumpkin in SoCal is a delicate process … as the heat will rot it out within a couple of days. No matter the preserving agents you put into it. Also – if there is candy in the house, The Boy will find it. And when he finds it, he will eat it. And then feel terrible about it. So, Halloween will be this too-brief ten-day run of scary this year!
(1) Horror Movies
Yep. This is one sure-fired way to get me in the mood for all the Halloween! And there is a wealth of movies to choose from! I posted about some of these last year and you can find that post here. There are the classics – like Hocus Pocus and Halloween – as well as some new classics like Trik-r-Treat and Paranorman. Since joining the Netflix obsession and getting my monthly emails from Toronto After Dark, I have managed to accumulate some more picks for my readers to devour (heh heh) this Halloween!
As well as that, there are a few great tv shows – asides from the obvious American Horror Story – that I would throw into this camp as well. Sleepy Hollow anyone?
(2) Spooky Stories
Again, I had a post about this last year, too. Find it here.
I am a reader by birth – As soon as I start reading a book, nearly any book, I am transported into that world. So much so, that even when I am sitting out in the desert sun, 100F and climbing, I get a chill and need to pile on a sweater as I keep writing. Not everyone is like that, I understand, but I do believe that there are definitely stories out there that can do it for anyone – pull them in, make them feel the cold, the damp, the dark. And I am setting about to create a list of those such works and a few others to put anyone in the mood for Halloween. I am also writing a new short story – keeping those narrative muscles working! You can find last year’s short story here.
And I don’t just mean candy. Though, I also mean candy.
And I don’t mean only pumpkin flavoured things … though I also mean pumpkin flavoured things.
I mean, dark chocolate cakes and lasagna wrapped mummy casserole and such.
Call me a dork (I am such a dork) but this stuff is fun – and more to point, it’s delicious. And creative. I have a particularly bat-like pizza planned, as mentioned lasagna that looks like a mummy, a cake with a dark chocolate forest and other things. I will post whatever I do on my Instagram and hopefully get some recipes or how-tos on here thereafter.
Why food? Well … All holidays are about food in some respects – you have turkey for Thanksgiving, hot dogs for the first/fourth of July, egg nog for the Winter holidays and egg bread for the spring ones. Food is integral to the experience. Also – who would give up an excuse for dark chocolate cake?
(4) Decorations! And Costumes!
There was a commercial on last night about Christmas. I have no recollection of what the commercial was for … maybe a vaccuum? Or possibly some sort of food special? Anyway, the point is that the commercial took place in a heavily-decorated Christmas kitchen. Like, the shelves were wreathed with holly and ornaments, there was a ceramic Santa on the counter and twinkling lights strung up around the counter where the Mom was pitching whatever it was I was supposed to be buying. You can imagine my look of confusion – it’s October after all. But then I thought – why doesn’t anyone decorate their kitchens for Halloween?
This is definitely something to do … I just have to figure out how to make the kitchen look as Halloweeny as the kitchen in the commercial looks Christmassy.
To start – there will be pumpkins. And a Jack-0-Lantern. And maybe some tall drippy candles set in some half obscured wine bottles or something. Suggestions are welcome!
As to costumes – we are staying in this year. Staying in with the aforementioned spooky dinner as well as some candy and a very carefully planned horror movie marathon. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little bit of dressing up. I was thinking Bonnie and Clyde based on one of those Buzzfeed quizzes (Which famous couple are you and your significant other? maybe?) or possibly something to do with those amazing makeup transformations I keep seeing pop up on my Facebook feed. Whatever we end up doing, we’ll Instagram it for you guys 🙂
(5) Halloween Posts
I know I have been a bad poster lately. I have run ito annoying computer problems (seriously, I am a natural luddite) and a little trouble expressing myself with things I am still strugggling with. One is the review I want to post about Gone Girl, which I am pretty sure will garner me no friends. Another is the state of the world where a girl was just shot and killed by a man when she refused to give him her number. I will have to post abou these eventually, but for now I am still .. mulling.
But it’s Halloween! And I love Halloween! Like I said, it’s my favourite Holiday and so I will be celebrating it. Pagan style – that is to say, however it feels right to me. So there will be posts on reflections on Halloween, on good music, good tv, good stories that will spook you or creep you out. There will be, in my real daily life, many attempts of me corralling The Boy into watching the classic horror movies that scare him. And so much more.
And hopefully, on the 31st, there will be some cranky two-year olds at our door, wanting our candy.
So join me – ten days left until Halloween!