Join Patrick Lacey as he discusses his love of Halloween…
If you’re anything like me, you know that Halloween is the greatest night of the year. Just imagine explaining it to someone new to the concept. Yeah, I get dressed up like a witch or a goblin and I hand out candy to children I’ve never met and they’re dressed up too and later on, when the big kids come out, my town looks like the scene of a crime. Toilet paper. Eggs. Shaving cream. It’s kinda like legal vandalism.
And that’s only the night. What about everything leading up to it? What about seeing plastic skulls and ceramic demons in your local department store while it’s still grilling weather? What about pumpkin beers and cereals that turn milk green and certainly what about candles that smell like candy corn and cost more than your car payment?
It’s most wonderful time of the year. That’s why on Halloween night, I do precisely one thing and one thing only.
The spooky season has become an assignment for me. With social media, everyone has a micro-blog of their own. My followers and the people I follow, they’re posting pictures of Halloween ephemera the moment it sneaks into stores. It becomes an adventure. It becomes my civic duty. I want to document all of the hub-bub because, in some corner of my delusional mind, people have actually come to expect and, dare I say, look forward to me posting pictures of pumpkin spice Cheerios.
And then there’s the movies. We live in a golden age of media if you’re a collector like me. Thousands of horror movies are available in special editions at the click of a button. And don’t even get me started on streaming services. You’ve got endless content on your hands. Your seasonal viewing is infinite but time is not. So you whittle it down. But do you only watch Halloween-related films or do you watch movies that remind you of Halloween? Something nostalgic or do you take a chance on a new release?
And in between mainlining slashers and inhaling Mellowcreme Pumpkins, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got to take in a haunt or seven. Everybody’s doing them these days, from local churches and farm stands to elaborate production companies who’ve paid a few big ones to rent out that abandoned hospital your city wants to convert into a mall. It’s hard to choose. The bigger guys have the budgets but those locals affairs are oozing with charm. So you do the logical thing. You attend them all.
I’m exhausted. Aren’t you? That’s why, come October 31st, the last thing I want to do is get dressed up and head to some party where there’s always that one guy, dressed as a gorilla, that no one seemed to invite. Instead, I get takeout. Something greasy and fried. Something I’ll have to pretend I didn’t eat the next time my doctor checks my cholesterol. I turn off the lights, leave a bowl of candy on the porch with a note that says Take One, like that’ll keep ’em in line. I light up the ol’ Jack O’ Lanterns and those pricey pumpkin candles. Then I throw on something spooky. Something I’ve seen a billion times so that it becomes background noise. I eat and watch, eat and watch, and outside the mayhem filters into the mix and it becomes a trance, one you only feel once each year, if you’re like me, and then all of the noise and visuals come to a boil and I’m—
And I’m sleeping on the couch and my wife is waking me up because it’s November 1st and while I’m more than a little bummed that the cycle has once again ended, I’m also relieved.
Besides, if you’re anything like me, you’ll just finish off the candy corn for breakfast and throw on some scary movies.
Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He currently spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, his over-sized cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him. Follow him on Twitter, find him on Facebook, or visit his website.
I’ll be seeing you.
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Growing up dead.
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One decade after Melvin’s death, something strange is happening to Lynnwood High School’s smartest and most popular students. They begin to act out and spend time at the former high school, now abandoned and said to be haunted. And their numbers grow at an alarming rate.
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