BOO!!! Halloween’s coming Monday, October 31 – the prime time for scary stuff. But scary isn’t just for Halloween. It comes in all flavors, anytime, for anyone who likes a little fright on the side or as the main course. But All Hallows Even is the best time of year to immerse yourself in your fear factor. So ... what’s your favorite flavor of fear?
OOKY SPOOKY. Oftentimes the unknown is much scarier than the known. What you can’t see can scare you the best. Good psychological thrillers will make you think there really is something hiding in your closet or under your bed. What’s that bumping on the stairs or thumping in the attic? A rat ... or something worse? Whether it’s Gothic ghost stories, horrid fairytale monsters, modern thrillers like The Sixth Sense, or the classics like The Mummy or Wolf Man, at times we all like to be scared – it gets the blood pumping and reminds us we’re still alive.
GORY GUTS AND GLORY. There’s also the blood and guts category, with gore and more gore. Maybe puce vomit and dark circles around the eyes and a 360 head spin, or a fang or two with presto-chango skin-splitting transformations from man to beast and back again are your style. From hatchet murderers to vampires to werewolves, there’s gore-a-plenty to be found. And sometimes a good old over-the-top gorefest is just what the serial killer ordered to peg your scream-o-meter. A good horror movie or book is like a great rollercoaster ride – it rockets you forward, screaming, and plummets you with surprises that will take your stomach away. The cathartic release when it’s all over will leave you exhausted but somehow peculiarly satisfied.
DIE LAUGHING. Goofy or unbelievably overdramatic horror can be so silly, it’s funny. Laughter’s the best medicine to cure resident fears we all harbor. Maybe a parody horror movie like Scream or a hackfest like Texas Chain Saw Massacre will tickle your fancy and bring out the giggles and howls. Whatever works, laugh at your fears and disarm the worries the fuel your nightmares.
ONE NIGHT ONLY. Books, movies, video games, haunted tours, séances, costume parties, trick-or-treating, TP-ing – you name it, and Halloween’s the time to do it. Halloween’s also a great excuse for some to make a little mischief – as long as nobody gets hurt. Most of us simply settle for some trick-or-treating and a tame little party with apple-bobbing. The fun of harvest time and the fall season can be celebrated for weeks prior to Halloween. However you choose to celebrate, don’t be afraid. Well, be a little afraid! Just make sure you enjoy the dark-side revelry and celebrate All Hallows Even. It comes but once a year, allowing the dead to come out and dance. The rest of the time, you’ll have to set the mood yourself and turn out all the lights to watch a scary movie or read a scary story by candlelight. Just remember, don’t do too good a job scaring yourself – it’s all in fun!
Pat Morrison, Penumbra Publishing