A Most Haunted Month

No comments

I don’t see anything wrong with a grown man trick-or-treating on Halloween. The “trick,” in my case, is to use a pillowcase for sheer durability and to club any child that gets in my way.

I haven’t outgrown haunted houses either. My own house might be haunted the more I think about it, but it’s probably just shoddy craftsmanship. Just the other day, I put a hole through the ceiling after lurking around in the attic.

Nice job!

You might wonder what I was doing up there in the first place. I had found an old treasure map hidden in an abandoned shoe box of pornography left by the previous owners. But cans of 16mm stag films from the 1920s were the least of my concern. With more bills due lately than I can keep up with, I was all in on the treasure hunt.

The treasure map, exactly how I found it

I crawled around in the attic with my cheap, flickering flashlight, carefully following instructions. Halfway through my journey, I slipped and stepped straight through some drywall. Fortunately, the damage was above the garage. I wouldn’t have to look up from my living room couch while watching Maude reruns and eating Swanson TV dinners to see a large hole above me. I was frustrated enough, however, to give up my search for the day, despite needing money for the damage. Such eagerness and greed had cost me.

Of course, that’s not how it really happened. The real story is far less interesting. I was having A/C work done, replacing old ducts with modernized, flexible ones. It’s made quite the difference so far, and I couldn’t be happier. Special thanks to my good friends Jill & Brenden for making it happen. Anyway, everything had gone well until the end of the day, when my blunder occurred. I blame the tools I was carrying and the government, naturally. I also learned a valuable lesson in where not to step in an already cramped and stifling environment.

Halloween Shindig

I’m a big fan of Halloween and the fall season in general. I think most of us are. I love horror movies year-round, but this month provides the needed excuse to indulge in them further. Stay tuned for my authoritative Top Ten list, coming to a blog near you.

Some VHS Classics

With any holiday, there are always certain shows or movies to re-watch, attractions to attend, and activities to partake in. You haven’t celebrated Halloween until you’ve gone hayride apple bobbing through a graveyard. You can trust me on that.

For big attractions, there’s Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights and Busch Gardens/Sea World’s Howl-O-Scream. I’ve been to HHN more often than the other but would regularly do both if I had the time, money, and patience. Theme park lines are an interesting concept. You stand, wait, and inch forward for an hour or more, nearing the goal at hand. Then it’s over before you know it, just like a three-day weekend.

Halloween Horror Nights is celebrating their thirtieth big year. It’s been a tradition of mine since I was a teenager. I don’t think I went to the very first one, but I was close. It was a smaller affair back then, and the park has grown and evolved over the years. The first house I remember was for The People Under the Stairs, based on the classic 1991 Wes Craven film. You walked between walls, avoiding freaks along the way.

Universal has a knack for recreating scenes and set pieces from many of these movies, and it’s well worth checking out if you’re into that kind of thing. This year, I experienced The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Beetlejuice, House on Haunted Hill, and some generic house called Revenge of the Tooth Fairy.

The performers/scare actors wore COVID masks, and the houses had these hanging Plexiglass coverings everywhere. It takes you out of the moment but remains necessary, I assume, for these attractions to operate during this time. I also noticed the limited drink options throughout the park, most likely to prevent drunken morons from attacking costumed employees, among other reasons.

The park was decorated throughout with several unique scare zones, featuring dedicated performers giving their all each night. There’s an atmosphere to these events that is truly special. It’s not possible to do all twelve houses or so in one night, but from the ones I experienced, Texas Chainsaw and Beetlejuice were obvious standouts. I felt I was walking onto the set of two movies I hold dear, while being shuffled along the way.

A Dead Man’s Party

I never put much thought into dressing up for Halloween. I am, after all, an adult. I’m also in the process of decorating my first house, something I’ve wanted to do for many years. Besides, it’s hard to top my costume from ions ago as Dr. Strangelove, circa late-nineties.

I ventured into Spirit Halloween store the other week. They had some “interesting” overpriced costumes but lacked the horror-themed finesse I was searching for. How about a full-body Predator suit straight from Stan Winston’s workshop? Would that be too much to ask? Maybe I’ll just paint myself green and pop out of a hot dog cart like Slimer from Ghostbusters. When all else fails, there’s always sexy nurse outfits.

It’s the time of the season, so let loose, carve some pumpkins, and enjoy what only comes once a year. In others news, Dr. Fauci recently green-lit Halloween for kids around the country. He also said it’s safe to watch his new aggrandizing National Geographic documentary and then jump into a ravine afterwards. We might just get back to normal soon enough. But probably not. Happy Halloween!

Leave a Reply