The 2013 OTIS Halloween Season Might Kill Me

September 13, 2013 – It's that time of year again. That time when I'm terrified my headphones will pop out of my phone and everyone will hear Fresh Prince's Nightmare on My Street blaring from it.

That time of year I forget I have full-sized skeletons lying around the house and scare myself every time I come downstairs in the morning.

That time of year that I pretend to like pumpkin flavor a lot more than I do just so I can be surrounded by images of the beautiful orange spheres on everything I buy.

That time of year that I want colors I would never want on anything I ownyellow, red, orangeto be everywhere I look.

Halloween is a strange holiday. Makes us do strange things. That’s a big part of its appeal. But this Halloween, for me, might be a really strange one. Of course, by holiday, I mean season…because I, we, this site, possibly you, lots of other people, celebrate Halloween and Fall and everything that goes with it for about month and a half, sometimes two…from the first cool September day to the empty candy wrapper ending of the holy unholy day itself.

And I have the proof. For the past three years, I’ve blogged the whole thing to the point where the blog has become a big part of the celebration for me.

As to this year’s strange Halloween season, a lot of things are up in the air in my life. And by up in the air I mean in the way that Scud missiles barrel down at a target. Professionally, personally, semi-professionally (or pseudo-professionally), there is the high possibility for some collision and disruption to the normal course of my extended Halloween season.

In short, my Halloween season will probably be a little out of control.

But, honestly, out-of-control might not be a bad way to celebrate the season. I mean, sure, I love the idea that every day’s an empty trick-or-treat bag that I can leisurely fill with whatever I want. That, if I was so moved, I could sit in front of the TV for 45 straight days drinking caramel apple martinis and watching Halloween specials and horror movies.

Or turning every weekend into a Fall road trip, trying to invent more compass points as I go.

Or hanging out in a different graveyard every other night, partying with as many ghosts as want to leave their cozy little plots as I can.

Or inventing whole new ways to embrace the holiday.

Basically all the things I try to do every year that make this time of year so comfortable, so much fun, and so worth living through the other 10 months of the year for.

On the flip side of the pumpkin lid, the surprises of the season are often its highlights. During the 2010 season, I found myself on short notice in the decidedly non-Autumn environs of Los Angeles for business reasons. But, instead of it being a couple of days sacrificed for the real world, I found myself face to face with the actual stop-motion puppets from The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Tim Burton exhibit that just happened to be at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art during my visit. That once-in-a-lifetime moment was worth ten caramel apple martini nights. At least a solid eight.

In 2011, we had Oct-snow-ber, where many of us got to live in a world where jack-o-lanterns had snow toupees and the Wampa was a workable trick-or-treat costume. It was awesome. However, had you asked me two weeks before if I wanted snow in my Halloween season, I’d of said, “Sacrilege. Save it for Christmas.”

I mean, what kind of a Halloween would it have been for the boys in Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, if their long-anticipated night of trick-or-treating hadn’t been interrupted by the sickness of their friend?

Of course, all that said, nothing out of the Halloween-ordinary could happen at all. That’s also a possibility. Uncertainty is my one certainty for the next couple of months.

So here’s my plan both for the season and for the 2013 OTIS Halloween Blog…I’m going to do Halloween as usual, and when I can’t, I’m going to do it as unusual.

So if you’re up for that with me, hold tight to your broom handles and let’s see if they take us somewhere cool. Today is Friday the 13th. The first one we've had during the Halloween Season since 2006. That's a great place to start the celebration.

As usual, check back here daily for articles and posts on spooky site visits both past and present, silly Halloween pop culture ephemera, tenuous Fall moments caught briefly in spider webs, and the kinds of activities that only work in the right temperatures, backdropped only against the right colors.

Also, hang out with me on the OTIS Facebook Page or on Twitter for Halloween living between the articles, and, if that’s still not enough, live in the past at the OTIS Halloween Season archives. Nostalgia is, after all, a huge part of the season.

The 2013 OTIS Halloween Season might kill me, but daggone if Halloween might not be the best season to go.


  1. Can't wait for this season's blog, I've been waiting for it since the one last year ended!

  2. I like to carry on that Halloween season until Thanksgiving. It takes a while to get through my Halloween reading. I'll be doing my MR James collection for the next few week.

  3. Okay now it's official. I started my Halloween season several weeks ago, much to the chagrin of my wife, but now that OTIS has started the Halloween season Blog, I can display my tea light lit haunted house and burn my bleeding candles shamelessly.

  4. All right - here we go! Love your stuff, JW! Happy Halloween Season to all the "Autumn People" out there (to borrow the term from the much-missed Mr. Ray Bradbury!).

    Brian C.
    Chelmsford, Massachusetts

  5. Started my own Halloween season tonight with a viewing of the Shining. Looking forward to this year's blog!