September 19, 2015 — Apparently, I couldn’t sum up the first five years of the OTIS Halloween Blog in a single post. I guess that makes sense. After all, over the course of those five Halloweens I’ve posted more than 200 original articles, of which this two-part reminiscence covers only a fraction. So let’s relive some more Halloween.
Five Halloweens of Horror Movies
At Halloween, every horror movie becomes a holiday movie. Here’s some of what we watched in the dark with pumpkin candles burning and electric ghosts glowing, and how we tried to make an event out of each one of them.
|Here we paired something called Witch's Brew|
with The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
|If you don't like a movie, that just means you didn't drink the right cocktail.|
Something called a Jack-O-Lantern helped us improve Burke and Hare.
|Red candy and the Corman/Price The Masque of the Red Death. |
Twist: Eaten out of a old bag from the
candy company Vincent Price's family started.
|We watched Hocus Pocus on sheet in the barn attic |
and then drove to Salem to search out the filming locales. Great times.
|Same as above. Except this took a bit more planning as it was St. Louis|
and the locations of the real events that inspired The Exorcist.
Five Halloweens of Salem
Every October since 2007 we’ve made it to Salem for a day. And it was always one of the more Halloween days of the entire season. Strange to think that all these moments led up to my family living in Salem for the entire month of October this year for my latest book project.
Five Halloweens of Horrifying My Wife
Every season, I would introduce my wife, who is younger than me (most people are these days), to an 80s horror movie classic. And then I would grill her about her experience to see how these movies hold up to first-time watching a quarter century or so later. One of my favorite things we do every season.
|Apparently we didn't start this tradition until the 2011 OTIS Halloween Blog, so instead here's the time|
I turned the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory into a candy/drinking game.
|When she watched The Fly, she fell in love with Jeff Goldblum.|
|When she watched Hellraiser, she fell in love with S&M.|
|When she watched Re-Animator, she gave me a lesson in types of gore.|
|When she watched she watched The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, she found it beautiful.|
Five Halloweens of Seasonal Events
There are things you must do every Halloween. Traditions you must keep. Places you must go. Activities you must participate in. Events you must witness. But really there’s no “must” about it. If you’re of an Autumn bent, you just naturally do these things every year.
|Of course we corn-maze. Especially when we can do two in one weekend.|
|Of course we haunted house. Especially in Sleepy Hollow.|
|Of course we Fall hike. Especially when we can tie it to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.|
|Of course we pumpkin blaze. Especially when it sets a world record.|
|Of course we Halloween shop. Especially at Christmas-themed stores.|
Five Halloweens of Graveyards
I like to think of October as National Graveyard Month. I mean, we don’t have the relationship down as good as those celebrators of El Dia de los Muertos down south-ways, but I still have hope that one season, we’ll all follow their lead and finally get there.
|Mt. Auburn in Boston, perhaps the best cemetery in New England.|
|A hidden forest graveyard in North Smithfield, RI,|
with a vampire grave...sorta.
|Lowell Cemetery in Lowell, MA, home of the Witch Bonney.|
|The surprisingly atmospheric Milford Cemetery in Milford, CT,|
home of the Nathan A Baldwin Memorial.
|A sudden work trip to Berlin in the middle of October meant a few days|
of my Halloween Season was in German, but it also meant I got to see
the fantastic graveyard where the Brothers Grimm are buried.
Five Halloweens of Randomness
I don’t know what to say about these posts. Except that I hope for more of this type of Halloween randomness every season. Randomness keeps Halloween interesting…which is important when you celebrate it for 45 days every year.
|It's always good to play "Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood"|
around this time of year.
|Oh, we Ouija'd...in a 125-year-old basement in the middle of a dirt pentagram, in fact.|
|While my wife shops for groceries, I often play Halloween Scavenger Hunt.|
|We're always looking for ghost towns and abandoned building this time of year.|
This was the season we found an entire spooky medical complex.
|A random place to end even in a section on randomness, but I dug out this old CD of Halloween|
music from my archives that was a crossroads for all things Halloween.
That's all, spooks. We'll do this again in another five years. Maybe. For now, let's get back to the 2016 OTIS Halloween Season.