Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Welcome October!

Welcome to October!!!!!  I love, love, love this month.  Nope- not because of birthdays, anniversaries or any personal events but because I am a complete fool for Halloween, Samhain, Parentalia, All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day or All Souls Day; what ever it is that you celebrate at the end of this month.

I love the idea that the veil between us and our lost loved ones is thinnest this time of year and that, other than January 1st, there is an alternative "New Year" out there.  There is something about the costumes, the revelry, the changing leaves, the smell of fires burning in the home and the crispness of the air that feels far more like a new beginning than the dead of winter ever will.  One of the traditions that I have kept is to make "New Year's Resolutions" on Halloween.  Somehow, those tend to last much longer than than the January 1st resolutions.

For many, many years (closing in on 20) I spent my Halloween in the Halloween capital of the world- Salem, MA.  No matter if I went alone or with friends or with my son, there is an infectious feeling to Salem on Halloween.  I would get decked out in my costume of choice and head out by train.  Even on the 6am train from my town to Boston I would not be alone in my costumed state.  On the second train, from North Station to Salem- those of us who were decked out would far outnumber those who were not.  

I had certain....rituals that I observed when I got to town.  Breakfast at Deb's or the Salem Diner, an obligatory trip to the Witch Museum and often Hawthorne House, lunch (including a fantastic Blueberry Beer) at Salem BeerWorks, wander around town to the Wharf and to all of the different Haunted Houses, the the Commemorative Candlelight Walk from the Wharfs to Gallows Hill.  In between, it all depended on who was with us.  Sometimes we did the Ghost Tours, sometimes just hung around downtown with all of the others celebrating or any of the other Haunted Happenings but there was just a feeling in the air that is indescribable.  If you ever have the opportunity to get to Salem for Halloween- don't walk- RUN.  It's a terrific time even for someone like me who is not too fond of crowds.  You can't help but get swept up in the infectious joy of the day.

I also love this time of year for the haunted houses.  I am not scared of them at all, I am actually fascinated by them.  Oh- occasionally someone will pop out and startle me, but I can't remember the last time I was truly scared in one.  I love to see the costumes of the actors, the vignettes that they devise and the work that goes in to creating these places that will scare and delight hundreds of people every night.  Up north- SpookyWorld was a favorite for my son and I.  We went for quite a few years while it was in Berlin, MA  and then in Foxboro.  When it closed we started going to more local Haunts such as Nightmare New England.  It was something that we looked forward to doing together every year.

Since I have been out in Indiana, I have done Waverly Hills Haunted House (it's pretty cool- I have pics of what is left behind year round from my half night trip to Waverly) and this year I am looking forward to checking out the Baxter Avenue Morgue and the Industrial Terrorplex.  Though it's not his "thing"- hubby is a great sport about going with me and if I asked, Dad would go too.

Dad is the one who started this whole love of the macabre.  From the time Carrie came out when I was 10 years old, until now I have loved the whole genre.  Horror flicks are so much fun.  In fact, as I type this I am watching a remake of My Bloody Valentine which is just as cheesy as the original.  I have seen almost every  Hack and Slash movie, every Vampire flick, every Ghost story, every horror film out there.  As I mentioned- I have this one on my DVR and I have Orphan in my little red NetFlix envelope just waiting to be seen.  With the cheesy films- I love watching and dissecting the special effects and seeing how many of the "standard" murders they include.  With the ground breakers (the ORIGINAL Halloween, Friday the 13th, Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity, Scream, Underworld even the Sixth Sense and Saw) I love watching the way they take a great story and twist and turn it to bring an all new type of scare.  In the sequels, I love seeing how many new ways they can add until they completely destroy the original story (Halloween 3- the Season of the Witch and Jason X are good examples) and then how they attempt to disregard those throwaway films and bring it back on track.  One of the fun things about October is that Syfy network brings us the 31 Days of Halloween.  A whole month of horror films, Ghost Hunters and other paranormal reality shows.  Other channels will do marathons and such but we can always count on there being one channel (FX has handed that over to Syfy) that does a month long event.

So that's MY October- I hope you have a terrific month planned too!     

1 comment:

deb aka murphthesurf said...

I too love October. Here we have Octoberfest, the haunted ship thing, ghost walks, and just tons of other festivities to celebrate both fall and Halloween. I so agree with you about this time of year. And it is only the introduction to what awaits us ahead: Thanksgiving, and of course HO!HO! or Christmas. And then rolls in New Years. Ahhh, it is just the beginning of my fav time of the year :-)