Ellen Sanderson, a long time supporter and friend of SOC, is a Jill (the Reaper?) of all trades as far as the online horror scene goes. She runs the facebook page RyaansHorrorMovies as well as administrating one of my favorite horror groups, Lair of Terror. She’s a photographer and artist (you can find her stuff HERE). She’s a social media butterfly (check her out HERE on tumblr and @lovealandjill on Twitter. I think my favorite thing about Ellen, the way we became friends in the first place, and the reason I had to get her in on this countdown is that she’s a true blue, hardcore, tireless horror geek. Just about any time I get on the ‘ol FB, Ellen’s there talking horror. Talking about what she’s watching, what she wants to watch, horror collectibles, movie watching competitions that she’s organizing, and generally just spreading the love of the genre. Anyone THAT into horror is definitely my kind of people. Most importantly, as you’ll see in her piece, she’s a momma. So Ellen, what does Halloween mean to you?
“What DOES Halloween mean to me? Before Nathan presented me with the honor of writing this piece, I thought I knew the answer. What I'm finding as I've written and re-written my entry is that I had NO IDEA how deep and with what an overwhelming passion I would discover my answer to this question.
I believe that having been born in Salem, Massachusetts is where it all begins. Although I have never spent a Halloween in Salem as an adult, the connection I feel to this spot on the map is incredibly powerful. Hailing from a place with such a rich history of darkness, I'm left to feel as if who I am today, and who I am yet destined to become, all stems from my original roots being planted in Salem.
Growing up in Vermont, Halloween has meant the season of fall. If you've ever visited New England at this time of year, then you know of the beauty we are treated to here. As the sun's warming effect lessens the leaves lose their green, resulting in the magnificent explosion of fiery colors across the treetops. The crisp smell of all things fall fills the air. Flip-flops and t-shirts are traded up for warm socks and hoodies as we are taunted by the chill of the coming winter. We celebrate the season with pumpkin and harvest festivals, hayrides, corn mazes, haunted forest walks, and driving around at night to look at the Halloween lights and decorations throughout our town… not to mention trying on every single mask in our local stores and painting up our faces "just because.”
As Halloween arrives, we are never sure what to expect for weather; rain, wind, temps anywhere from 30-70 degrees, even snow! This doesn't stop us from adorning ourselves in our homemade costumes and going off out into the night, even if it's in hats and mittens! We navigate our way through the neighborhoods; feeling the fallen leaves crunch beneath our feet and taking in all of the seasonal sights and sounds as we lead our little ones out for trick or treating.
Since I first became a mother 16 years ago (1 week before Halloween to be exact) the time of year became even more meaningful for me. Sharing Halloween time with children is magical! My children are at the heart of EVERYTHING I do in my life. It only makes sense that they are the heart of my Halloween too! There is no greater joy than seeing my kids happy and excited about something that has always been so special to me. The feeling is overwhelming and wonderful!I had planned on talking about my love for all things HORROR! My film collection and how I celebrate the season with certain titles, but I was caught off guard, and this assignment took me completely in another direction. What does Halloween mean to me? It means feelings of love, wonderment, joy, beauty and having been blessed with my children. Halloween is a gift and a reason for celebration that truly warms my heart. And horror too, of course! It also apparently means the mushiest piece of writing you'll probably ever read on Son Of Celluloid! Cheers and thank you, Nathan. Fun times, my friend! And would you look at that! I didn't drop the F-Bomb once! MUAHAHAHAHA! Happy Halloween, all.”
25 days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. 25 days ‘til Halloween. Silver Shamrock.