It’s the start of the spooky season, the favorite time of year for your favorite bestselling authors. We love to write scary scenes and stories.
Why? Read on.
If you dare.
Halloween conjures a fantastic memory from trick or treating when I was a kid. We lived in a little neighborhood in Irving, Texas and made the rounds on Halloween night with our plastic pumpkins and dad in tow. Most of the houses weren’t really decorated, but one house was spectacular! They had spider’s webs. Skeletons hanging in the trees. Spooky music. And a very long path from the sidewalk to the front door.
We bravely made the trip past all the creepiness and knocked. The door swung slowly open with a long creaaaak, and a ghost literally floated down the hall to the front door! Like any sane kids, we scrambled for our dad, who was bent in half, laughing. It took ages before we believed that the ghost was gone and got brave enough to follow Dad up the path to the open door and take a piece of candy from the bowl.
I’d like to say that I’m now a rational adult and understand that the sheet on a wire was a neat trick, but I can see that ghost floating down the hall and still swear it was real!
I’ve loved fall and Halloween since I was a kid!
October kicks off three months of holiday festivities…what’s not to love about that?
On top of that, both kids and adults get to dress up and play pretend, setting aside reality for a short while. I write fiction, so naturally this appeals to me.
Aside from the candy (duh!), one last thing to love about Halloween is the “safe” thrills and chills it often invokes.
There’s something invigorating about a fun scare!
My family and I love Halloween! We spend most of the month watching scary movies and like to stay up late on Halloween night to watch our favorites.
I also love dressing up and making costumes, even though my kids are too old to dress up (their opinion, not mine) and my husband isn’t the biggest fan of dressing up either. Every once in a while I convince him to dress up, and if we ever finish our basement we’ll host a Halloween party down there.
I also love scary stories, in movie or book form, and enjoy learning about the mythology behind various cultural traditions surrounding the season. I’ve been collecting them for future Ghost Host books, if I ever get back to them. On my list is Dia de los Muertos and some of the Santeria traditions.
Hallowe’en is my favourite yearly celebration primarily because it’s a day devoted simply to fun. No expectations, no pressure, just an opportunity for play.
Hallowe’en is also the season to indulge your favorite fantasies, to give yourself powers you cannot hope to wield at any other time of year. It’s time for love potions.
It’s also in fall, when nature puts on its most spectacular display, when you can wear your favorite sweater and leather jacket again. It’s just a sensual delight.
Putting up ghoulish decorations, hanging little ghosts and webs in the front yard, playing spooky music, handing out candy (which may or may not happen this year) — it’s all good fun. Plus, I look good in a cape.
As a horror writer—and an all-round horror film lover—I know I’m not alone when I say that those gusty October nights around Halloween stir those deep desires for some good old-fashioned scares. Who doesn’t pop in a copy of The Shining or Halloween into the Blu-Ray player around the 31st? Just hearing the opening notes of John Carpenter’s haunting theme always gives me goosepimples and has me sleeping with the lights on.
For a lot of people, this is their favorite time of year—their favorite “holiday.” Dressing up, pulling pranks, scaring the screams out of little ones with some eerie music or some downright disturbing costumes or “blood-soaked” decorations … it’s just damn good fun.
We all fear something, and I think horror fans fear lots of things. It’s why we read horror. Why we watch it. It gives us power knowing we can face our fears with the surety we’ll come out on top—it’s just a movie, just a book. And Halloween? It’s our one day of the year where we get to turn the tables and be that thing under the bed—and have a blast doing it. It’s just damn … good … fun.
Now where the hell’s my Freddie Kruger glove?
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