Halloween Die-ary: September 23, 2018

Today started in a cemetery and ended with spooky movies. The Lord’s Day, you know.

Well, technically it started at an IHOP. Afterwards we went to a cemetery.

For those of you interested, IHOP’s Fall menu consisted of pumpkin pancakes, cinnamon pancakes, pumpkin and cinnamon pancakes, and pumpkin spice coffee. I didn’t try any of it because I don’t like coffee (at all) or pancakes (that much). So it was non-seasonal eggs and bacon and toast for me.

The cemetery we visited is in southern Nashua, a few minutes from my house. It’s called Old Dunstable Cemetery, and I’ve probably passed it 7,000 times without ever stopping. Which is true for me for a lot of tiny, old cemeteries in the area. I always joke that I pass three historic cemeteries just on my way to the grocery store here in New England, and it’s not really a joke.

But I always notice this particular cemetery for two reasons. One, it has a 19th century schoolhouse in it. And, two, the cemetery is about six feet above a busy road in the main shopping district of the town.

It’s a shaky time to go to cemeteries, at least here in New England. That’s because in two or three weeks, those cemeteries are going to be afire with foliage, making the place and our photos of it 7,000% better. Which really makes me want to put off cemetery jaunts. But I’ve learned form experience that if I put stuff like that off, I probably won’t get to it later in the season.

We were also there scrutinizing the stones for baby names. A lot of the graves in that cemetery date back to the 18th century, which means it had a good chance of providing an interesting range of names. We’re like a month away from our launch date, don’t know the sex of the baby, and don’t have any names agreed to yet. It might really end up being Sam Hain Ocker.

I’ll post more photos of the cemetery here.

After the cemetery, we went twenty feet away to its neighbor…Walgreens, to check out the Halloween section (and get new Band-Aids for my hand after yesterday’s forest violence). Basically, we went from standing atop real skeletons to standing across from plastic skeletons in seconds. Just the way it is in these here parts at this here time of year.

Most of the rest of the day was spent writing for me. It’s an OTIS Club Newsletter day, plus I wanted to post the wolf death site video, plus I had to catch up on yesterday’s die-ary entry, and I have some other writing projects that I wanted to get some progress on before getting all dayjob-minded tomorrow.

We ended our night with the kids watching Scooby Doo! on Zombie Island, the 1998 feature that really re-kicked off Scooby Doo movies as a yearly tradition. It’s still one of the best of all of them, often achieving that creepiness that the property has lacked since its original series run. The movie that came out after this one, Scooby Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost is an excellent Fall cartoon (takes place in Salem!).

Once the kids were abed, we started watching the sequel to the 2015 found footage flick Hell House, LLC. The sequel came out this year and is called Hell House, LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel. It’s also found footage, a genre which I have a soft spot for. I know these types of movies can get tedious visually and are often just excuses for bad film making (like the horror genre needs excuses for that), but there's something about seeing monsters in the context of casual footage that is much more shocking to me than the polished, glossy scares of today’s bigger horror movies.

That said, the original Hell House LLC was a solid movie, honestly, and a perfect one for the season since the story is about a group of haunters turning an abandoned hotel in a small town in New York into a haunt to make some money.

The sequel also takes place in the month of October, too, and has a great chilly Fall feel. Unfortunately, this one has a little trouble focusing on its story (although the premise seems right for a follow-up). We paused it about halfway through, not because of the movie itself, but because we’d only planned on watching half a movie tonight.

I’ll let you know how I feel about it when I’ve finished the whole thing. But you should definitely watch the 2015 Hell House LLC this time of year if you haven’t seen it and are looking for something seasonally appropriate.