Where are my manners? My mama would smack me if she knew I neglected to let one of the ladies of Horror Blogger All Star Week go first. Let’s remedy that situation with Heather Seebach of Viewer DiscretionAdvised. I have no clue how her blog flew under my radar since 2011, but I finally discovered it when Heather made a “heads up” post during SDCC that (thanks to a share by Dr. Terror) led to me snagging one of those 8-bit Jason figures. I will always be in your debt for that one, Heather. I also thank her for turning me around on female horror bloggers. Don't get me wrong, I've never been one of those chauvinists who thinks horror should be a boy's club. At the time I discovered her blog, however, I had just been extremely off put by certain female horror bloggers deciding that it was time to incessantly scream "discrimination" about anything, everything, and nothing. As I began to read through her site, I ran across a post titled Were the Oscars Really Sexist? Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Take a Joke in which she basically told everyone to grow a thicker skin and a sense of humor. That’s when I became a fan of her. That attitude is truly refreshing. She, along with a couple of other gals I discovered around the same time, reminded me that not all chicks in horror are as obnoxious as...oops, I almost named names there. I like it when people snap me out of my generalizations. Not to mention, she's the owner of an unspeakably awesome Hausu shirt that I’m jealous of. Heather just returned from a trip to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (which you can read about on her blog), so you know that she’s a Halloween fan through and through. Speaking of Halloween and awkward segue-ways…
“Halloween Never Dies: How October 31st Makes Happy Kids, and Even Happier Adults
Of all my nostalgic childhood attachments, Halloween has got to be the most difficult to let go. Back in the day, October 31st meant costumed parades around the elementary school; braving that one house in the neighborhood that sought to scare the bejesus out of every kid; playing Nightmare on VHS at sleepover parties; and falling into a sugar-induced coma atop a pile of trick-or-treat spoils. Inevitably the day came when I was too tall to run up and down the street demanding candy (or bluffing mischief if they declined), but that does not mean Halloween died with adulthood. These days, the holiday means the arrival of Spirit stores, pumpkin lattes, and the annual costume party at the Seebach house. My age may limit the things I can do, but my excitement for this time of year has not changed one bit.
|Halloween circa 1992|
In fact, Halloween means more to me today than ever. I grew up in a kind of horror fan denial. Monster Squad, House, Tremors, and Killer Klowns from Outer Space were regularly playing in our house (recorded from television onto blank Betamax's) but I did not consider myself a horror fan. Since Evil Dead came into my life and changed my entire perspective on the genre, my passion for the spookiest time of year also increased. Now I have traditions like watching Trick r' Treat and Murder Party every Halloween. And attending as many local haunts as I can, including my brother's own "haunted" house. Plus, horror film festivals, conventions, midnight movies, zombie walks, and whatever else consumes my entire October. All the while trying to get my hands on the coveted Reese's pumpkins and boxes of Count Chocula.
Furthermore, I love everything that comes with the Halloween season: chilly mornings ripe for hoodie-wearing; pumpkin-flavored everything everywhere; and the gorgeous array of colored leaves. I am not sure which came first - do I love Halloween because occurs in the fall, or do I love autumn because of Halloween? Either way, tis the season when nature and the macabre come together in perfect harmony to make me one happy, candy-corn-eating, costume-planning, monster-movie-watching kid again.
|Halloween circa 2012|
Since the horror community kindly welcomed me, it has brought new friends and memories, for whom Halloween is our unofficial holiday. When it comes to a shared love of Boo Berry and jack-o-lantern carving, we put aside the petty squabbling to revel in this magical time of year. In 2013, I get the pleasure of celebrating the occasion with Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios; two genre film festivals in D.C. and Toronto respectively; a 24-hour horror marathon with new friends; and a Halloween party with old ones. Maybe 12-year-old Heather was more excited about Christmas presents, but today Halloween brings me better "gifts" than I ever knew I needed.
Though someday you will have to tell your kids that Santa Clause does not exist, you can assure them that Halloween lives forever. For years, I was bitter that I could not trick or treat anymore - not for the candy, but for the nostalgic joy - but then I realized October 31st only gets better with age. The holiday once represented the end of the harvest season, but those dying leaves and vivid sunsets prove there is beauty in change. It is not the time to mourn the past, but rather to celebrate it. And like the souls of the dead returning on Samhain, those childhood memories never truly die - they are reborn anew each Halloween.”
21 days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. 21 days ‘til Halloween. Silver Shamrock.