I’m currently in the process of trying to convince someone that she wants to go to Halloween Horror Nights with me. I started the pitch with perhaps the dumbest question I could have asked: “So, do you like being scared?”
Pretty much everyone who refuses haunted houses, roller coasters and horror movies does so by saying the same thing: “I don’t like being scared.” To be honest, I’m not sure anyone likes being scared. We enjoy fake simulations of scares. I don’t think anyone who gets mugged thinks that was such a rush! Tomorrow night I’m walking down a dark alley to see if that can happen again! Read more…
Those of you who know me know that the last year has been a rough one. That all seems to be changing this October, though, as the changing of seasons marks the changing of fortune. When I say “changing of seasons,” I mean it figuratively, of course, because Florida doesn’t really have those.
October is normally a great time of year anyway. It signifies baseball’s postseason and the time of the football schedule when the contenders start to separate from the pretenders. October means the return of The Walking Dead, haunted houses, and inappropriately risqué Halloween costumes. It’s the time of year when, just as Jesus changed water to wine, everything edible becomes pumpkin. October means it’s finally socially acceptable for me to gorge myself on candy corn all day long. If those lazy guys at Brach’s would get around to making pumpkin-flavored candy corn, the circle would be complete.
Though many people love Halloween, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It is definitely not the same as when I was a kid. When you’re a kid, Halloween is all about dressing up as your favorite character and getting as much candy as you can. You then do your best to trigger early diabetes by eating enough candy while watching the Simpsons Tree House of Horror to put you into a coma.
When you’re a teenager, it’s about pretending you’re too cool to dress up and ask for candy, but doing it anyway while claiming that you’re just casing the neighborhood while deciding whose house to egg. How do you know whose house to egg? It’s that guy who asked “aren’t you a little old to be trick-or-treating?” You also watch lots of horror movies and probably get drunk at a Halloween party (oops, forget that part, since you’re underage and drinking would have been illegal!). Read more…
Halloween is coming up and one of the great tropes of the holiday is the haunted house. It is one that is particularly appealing to me right now because I recently bought a house after months of house hunting. As I explored various houses, I turned them down for many reasons, but never because I heard a creepy voice or because dishes flew across the kitchen while I was touring the room. Honestly, I think haunted houses get a bad rap because people focus on the negative.
People just focus on the ugly side of haunted houses: the murders, the terror, the creepy stuff that happens in Paranormal Activity. There can be benefits of a haunted house, though. Consider the TV show American Horror Story. The “evil” haunted house took care of a kid that was bullying the girl, a hot ghost kept the house clean, and all of the murders resulted in the family getting the house way under market value. Granted, in context those things are bad. The bully was terrified and almost killed and the maid kept tempting the husband who is constantly tempted to cheat on his wife. Still, in a different context a ghost that protects you, a hot maid, and below-market pricing can be a good thing, right?
I would like to think that the spirits occupying a haunted house can be reasoned with. As soon as people realize a house is haunted, they freak out and try to get rid of the spirits. Well, wouldn’t that piss you off? After all, the ghosts were there first!
“Can you believe this new family? You flicker a few lights and open a few creaky doors and suddenly they want to evict us?” Read more…