There are people who love Christmas. They decorate their houses the day after Thanksgiving, and they play cheerful Rat Pack carols all month. Well, I’m not one of those people. I love Halloween. I already have black nail polish on my fingertips, and I’ve added about a dozen horror movies to my Netflix queue.
Have you seen Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas? It begins with a swooping camera dive past a sign that says “Halloween Town.” In Halloween Town, everything is dark and spooky. There are witches, vampires, werewolves, and most importantly, Jack, the Pumpkin King. There are ghouls in kids’ closets, and the sun never shines. It’s always gray, and even the street musicians are waiting to freak you out.
This is where I want to live.
Don’t think I’m morbid, okay? I don’t literally want to be a ghost or a blood-sucking albino. But I love Halloween time—most notably, Halloween time in Ohio. In Ohio at Halloween time, the weather starts to change. The summer air turns cold and crisp. The green leaves begin to turn orange and red, and it rains every day. There’s this smell up north, like clove cigarettes and wet moss, and I’ve missed that smell, ever since heading south, to warmer climates.
I also love being scared—horror movies, haunted houses, walks in pitch black cemeteries at midnight. These are things I used to do often, especially as a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio—widely considered one of the most haunted places in the US. (Don’t believe me? See episode of Scariest Places on Earth, Part 1 and Part 2. And, trust me, watch at your own risk.)
So what happened to the spook in me? I guess I got busy and important, and what a stupid excuse for missing out on my favorite month of the year, blessed October.
While wallowing in the horrendously dull summer heat of Arizona, I realized I was not going to miss my favorite month this year. I would not allow October to fly by, to be left wondering, what happened to Halloween? No, my freaky friends, I’ve decided to dedicate the entire month of October to … Halloween Town.
Over the next month, we will meet a Wiccan priestess, voyage through a Glendale pumpkin patch, visit the walking dead at a haunted house in Surprise, and finally, relive the glory of Halloween at OU. There will be plenty more, too, but you’ll just have to wait and see.
Since it’s October 1st today, I officially declare it time to eat, drink, and be scary. It’s time to decorate our houses with orange and purple lights. It’s time to stick our arms, elbow deep, into the slimy pit of a pumpkin and cower in fear as Jamie Lee Curtis dares to ask “Is somebody out there?” And it’s time to figure out what the heck I’m going to wear for my costume to the Haunted Hotel Ball in Scottsdale a month from now.
Get ready for Halloween. Your dreams are about to become nightmares. Oh, and don’t worry about the sound of footsteps behind you in that dark alley. By the time you see who’s following you, it’ll be too late.