Happy Halloween 2013

October 31, 2013 — After today, it’s officially one less Halloween Season that any of us will ever experience. Sad, but awesome. The season’s all about endings…crops are cut down, death loses its taboo, the curtain of night falls faster. It’s one of the reasons I can’t celebrate Halloween all year ’round like some really cool people do (per se, at least…I certainly dig the morbid all year ’round). Part of the power of holidays, I think, is that they’re ephemeral. A melting snowman. A rotting jack-o-lantern. An empty box of chocolates. And that’s especially true of Halloween…says the guy who celebrates it for a month and a half.


I opened this year’s blog on Friday, September the 13th, complaining about how so much of my life was up in the air. Like skeet-shoot-up-in-the-air. But all the disruptions that were lining themselves up like shotguns in my life either didn’t happen or got pushed farther down my timeline or were just dealt with.

And me and mine got to experience a full, glorious Halloween Season.

Still, just as with every season, there were some great surprises.

Getting to talk to Jeffrey Combs was a huge one. Watching his movies was a non-elective part of my horror education back when I used to mainline horror movies in our attic in northeastern Maryland on a tiny TV thanks to a local video rental store that offered five movies for five days for five dollars. I’m talking VHS tapes here.

And that guy’s phone number is now in my cell phone.

Oh, and the maraschino cherry on that is somehow, as a result of that interview, my Twitter handle was inadvertently included in a Twitter conversation started by none other than movie legend Roger Corman himself (or whoever runs his Twitter account):


And while all that was definitely my highlight, the lesser lights were no less bright. Discovering the ruins of Medfield State Hospital was one of my favorite memories of this entire year, much less season. And then getting to see a piece of Edgar Allan Poe’s original coffin was surreal.

Also incredibly surprising was the amount of attention the silly post about my skeletons received. It’s kind of been everywhere online, but the biggest media outlets that contacted me for interviews and to run the pictures were The Daily Mail and Good Morning America. Getting major attention for something minor is a weird and much more preferred than getting minor attention for something major, I guess.

But, to be fair, here’s an exclusive Skull in the Family pick just for you guys:


Much of my Halloween Season was laid out in the pages of this blog, but there was so much that I just didn’t have time to write about. Like the books I read. Or the fact that, thanks to Netflix and my daughter, I watched more episodes of Goosebumps in one month than I did during the years that it was on television.

Or the strange situation that, this season, we watched more spooky episodic television than spooky movies. I mean we live in a time where Dracula, Hannibal Ector, Edgar Allan Poe, the Headless Horseman, zombies, witches (of East End and American Horror Story), psychos, and vampires are all taking prime-time spots instead of the usual barrage of cop and medical dramas. And while I can’t say they’re all great shows, I way dig the idea of taking my horror in hour increments...complete with Halloween-themed commercials.

Anyway, my season gets capped tonight by trick-or-treating for the second year in a row, after which we’ll hang out with friends, drink hard cider (or maybe faux Pepsi Jazz), and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Then the jack-o-lanterns will go dark.

Usually, after overdosing on the macabre throughout the season, I like to take a break from the morbid until Christmas. But this year, I dive right back into my Poe book project. After all, by the time the next Halloween Season rolls around, I want to be able to show you guys a book with a mustachioed man on the cover.

I mean, I’ll be around…maybe not publishing that many long-form articles over the next few months, but definitely posting other things, here, on the OTIS Facebook Page, Twitter. So stick with me. I’ll need you to distract me from my work frequently. It’s how I work.

Seriously, thanks so much for reading the OTIS Halloween Blog (and OTIS in general), sending me emails and hitting me up on the socials. For liking posts and pages and retweeting links and sharing posts with friends and not getting pissed that my site is light text on a dark background.

I like celebrating the season with you guys.












7 comments:

  1. Happy Halloween, J.W!

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  2. Aaaannnd, thank you! Your blog is awesome but around this time of the year it just gets a bit better. Cheers for a good season and we'll see you next year.

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  3. Thank YOU, sir! Through your site and books I've discovered many weird, wonderful, odd things. You keep seeing them, I'll keep reading them. Happy Halloween!

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  4. It's been a great Halloween season, made all the more special with your annual blog. Thanks J.W. I'm looking forward to next years.

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  5. I thought meeting Bruce Campbell at E3 years ago when he was promoting an Evil Dead game and Dario Argento when he was promoting Mother Of Tears was pretty cool but you've been Tweeted by Jeffery Combs and Rene Auberjonois and Roger Corman. That's like the trifecta of cool. I look forward to your Poe book and thanks for another Halloween season of blogs. It went by way to fast.

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  6. I never comment on blogs. In fact, I take a twisted pride in that. However, I must make it known to you just how much I appreciate your writing and how much extra joy your site brought me this Halloween season. As I wrapped up Halloween last night and blew out the jack-o-lanterns, the first thought I had was "Oh no, no more Halloween OTIS blogs for almost an entire year!" It has become a tradition, so I look forward to sharing it with you next year. Thank you, again!

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  7. Man, thanks all. Makes me...feel things.

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