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Halloween: Season of the Witch

October 29, 2010

     I suppose that I should apologize for borrowing from the film, Halloween III: Season of the Witch for using part of their title for my heading; however, since that film is so universally [Censored by WW editorial staff], they may actually wish to offer us some residuals for bringing it up in the first place. In any event, I mean only to speak of the season that we are currently in, which is, of course, Halloween.

Now, being a church-going, Bible-thumping, Bible-believing kind of guy, I could easily write a very long post about several reasons why we should not want anything to do with such a date and the supposed thinning of the veil. Thankfully, this is not the forum for such posts, and personally I let this particular “holiday” pass by like water off the proverbial duck’s back. We have never really decorated our house or yard, but that wasn’t because we had taken some concrete, unyielding stance or another. We just never have. My sons did go trick or treating. How else was my wife going to get her chocolate fix? Okay, I wanted some candy, too. I kind of like the whole ghosts and goblins craziness…as long as there are no “real” apparitions to be seen in my house in the middle of the night. Some of you may know just how early I have to get up in the morning for my day-job; if there were some “things in the dead of night”, I would definitely “bump” into them.

How about some of you folks? Are there any traditions that you enjoy, regarding this particular season? Do you decorate your yard or the inside of the house? Do you have small children or grandchildren that you dress up and escort about town, hunting for treats? The following photo is of Disney’s Haunted Mansion after it has been transformed into The Nightmare Before Christmas. They do this for the holidays and not necessarily every year. Speaking of someone who has visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California quite often, it is spectacular to behold.

Disney's Haunted Mansion

There is one thing that I would like to do, but continue to fail at and that is hunting for horror films to watch. When I was a teenager, back when Nosferatu was a new film, I used to enjoy watching scary things (I was kidding about Nosferatu; I hope you caught that). I grew up with Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, John Carpenter films, and several other movies commonly regarded as Slasher Films. However, now that I think about it, I question whether we actually enjoyed those films, or simply partook of them because they were a bit of a taboo. Perhaps it was simply the thrill of watching something that our parents were barely allowing us to view, or that we were not allowed to do, but were doing so behind their backs anyway. Maybe it was a bit like that first drink, or the day we passed our driving test and could finally drive alone or our first [Once again,Censored by WW editorial staff] .

My problem now is I don’t think I have the stomach for senseless violence. I’m not terribly interested in something so formula-driven: several teenagers get together for drinking, doing drugs and having sex (yeah, I let that one go-the Censored joke had run its course) only to be hunted down, one by one, until the last one defeats the villain and survives; at least until the sequel. I’m not interested in torture porn, either. These days I prefer to be pulled along by The Sixth Sense or White Noise or The Silence of the Lambs or something that is more mentally frightening than physically disgusting.

How about you folks? Do you enjoy scary movies during this season of the year? If so, what are your favorites? Perhaps you may even help me by pointing out some films that I should really give a chance to. I’m always ready for a good ghost story, for example. Recently I have thought about watching certain films, The Messengers or The Skeleton Key come to mind, but I just never really took the plunge. Part of the reason has to do with having no one to view these films with; my wife can’t watch anything the least bit scary and my oldest son is barely at that age now. I let him watch Silence about a year ago and he sat there quiet as that lamb that finally stopped screaming when it was over, mind fully blown. When I have watched these films, I have had to do it on a laptop in the privacy of the back bedroom, so nobody else would see what they most definitely did not wish to see.

In any event, I am open, so what have you got? I would love to hear from any and all of you on this subject.

No matter how you view Halloween, may it be a safe one.

And if you must say Candyman or Beetlejuice, please refrain from saying it no more than twice…

…and never in my presence. I like all of my ghosts on the printed page.

Watch out for hitchhiking ghosts.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2010 10:53 am

    As I grow older, my taste for mind engaging thriller movies increases. One of my favorites is anything by by M. Night Shyamalan (aka the Village, Signs, The Lady in the Water, etc.) and of course, anything Hitchcock. Very tame, to what I use to watch in my teenage years.

    As for traditions, I no longer celebrate Halloween because of religious convictions ( a carry over from my days as a chaplain.) I don’t mind talking about Halloween or participating in the occasional costume party (the costume is always in good taste), and I love to see how creative some area homes get.

    However, I am finding myself totally turned off, by the whole whoop-n-snorkle. Halloween is fast becoming as commercialized as Christmas (and I don’t really celebrate Christmas anymore either, on the bases that it has been beaten to death by the mighty dollar.)

    I DO celebrate Thanksgiving – because how can one put a price tag on being thankful? (not yet anyway – The gods willin’ and I don’t get a rejection on my MS…)

    However, I do have a tradition I tend to do every year in the month of October (except this year, because all my DVDs are in storage) — and that is watch one classic scary ( –NOT horror–) movie per night during the month, ending with my all time favorite “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (I’ve gotten so I can sing most of the songs by heart…)

    I mean, who can’t love Jack when he heartily belts out: “I Jack! The Pumpkin King, am growing weary of the same ole’ thing…”

    (Oh yes! Sing it to me Jack! I feel your pain and flail myself on the edge of the davenport…)

    • October 29, 2010 7:41 pm

      Thanks for your comment, George. Does this reflect unfavorably about our advancing age that we love tamer things like Shyamalan or Hitchcock? LOL! speaking of this, I just caught up with some Hitchcock this past year. North by Northwest and Vertigo. My wife and mother know that all that I want for Christmas is a stack of DVD’s, especially classic ones. Thankfully they ablige. Speaking of M. Night… I’m really rooting for him, but he seems to be on one hell of a bad streak right now. Does he need to focus of writing only; directing only? What do you think? I loved Sense and Village and Signs, but everything else that I’ve seen has been rather dull. Well, Unbreakable was okay, but not one of my favorites.
      By the way, I love The Nightmare Before Christmas, too. “What’s this? What’s this?…
      Have a great weekend,
      -Jimmy

  2. October 29, 2010 3:06 pm

    Hey Jimmy! We decorate the house inside and out. The kids are still pretty young and they absolutely love the dressing up part. They keep begging for more decorations and last year we bought a zombie body/fog machine that hangs out under a bush by the front of the house – bathed in red spooky spotlights of course.

    I’ll take some pictures this year and post them.

    We’ll be watching Beetlejuice tonight or tomorrow as well. Their first time! Very excited.

    Want me to ship you some candy next week? We’re the house that gives out full candy bars. We’re located at the end of the street and got skipped for years, I had to do something to get the kids to come by!

  3. October 29, 2010 4:30 pm

    Okay, James, here’s a partial list of horror movies that don’t qualify as splatter-porn:

    Curse of the Demon
    Harvest Home
    The Wicker Man (the original with Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward)
    Cat People (the original with the gorgeous Simone Simon)
    Kingdom of the Spiders
    Ringu (the Japanese version of “The Ring”)
    Wolfen

    • October 29, 2010 7:55 pm

      Thank you, Sir! I think I’ve seen Wolfen, but it’s been years. I’m afraid that I am terribly behind on everything else, such as The Ring, The Grudge. My kids and I had wanted to watch The Wolfman this past year, but we have yet to do so. The reviews were not great so our interest cooled. Thanks for the list.
      -Jimmy

      • October 30, 2010 3:10 pm

        Don’t waste your time on the Wolfman. We watched it and it started good… then it seemed like mid-way through another movie took over. And it sucked.

  4. October 29, 2010 9:43 pm

    Uh, James? You have to say Candyman and Beetlejuice 3 times to make them appear, not twice. 😉 As for me, I love scary, bloody things! I grew up watching the Crypt Keeper. 😉

    • James Garcia Jr permalink*
      October 29, 2010 10:04 pm

      J.D., I know that. I don’t like them. Well, I guess Beetlejuice is okay. After all, he is the “ghost with the most”, babe!

  5. October 31, 2010 4:01 pm

    Enjoyed this, brings back my own memories. I think we grew up in a better time.

  6. loreleibell permalink
    October 31, 2010 4:12 pm

    My husband and I go in for the old b&w classics. Even those made later on, Christopher Lee as Dracula.

    I decorate the house. I LOVE Halloween. It is my holiday, since I write vampire fiction.

    I’ve a collection of ceramic, plastic, etc. pumpkins. It’s too bad we live so far out–I used to get into costume and make the place a spooky as I could.

    Glad I discovered this place from your own blog, James!

    • November 3, 2010 8:59 am

      Me, too! I’m glad to have helped.
      I’m afraid that I’m a big softy, and actually do not go all out until Christmas. I used to wait for my wife to go to work on Saturdays and then spend the whole day transforming the house, and having it completely done when she got home. These days we make it a family affair. We’ll see how Xbox impedes this year. I can’t hardly get my 12 year old off of there. In any event, the day after Thanksgiving, there I’ll be, setting it all up again. I’m the saddest one in January when I have to put away all of my Christmas coffee mugs… Wait! Am I in danger of losing my “horror writer” status with all of this weepy talk? Snap! 😉
      Have a great week and weekend,
      -Jimmy

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