Halloween Die-ary: October 17, 2018

Tonight, we celebrated Halloween night…basically. Just minus the costumes and trick-or-treating. And only minus that because we didn’t want to confuse the neighbors.

It started because Lindsey discovered that Xfinity On-Demand was featuring some of the original Disney Channel Halloween movies from the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Remember those? Every year starting in 1997, the Disney Channel aired an original Halloween movie. Some of them were perfect for the season, and their debuts became a ritual of my Halloweens during that time. You know, before there was way too much stuff to see in a single month and every channel was debuting 8,000 blocks of new programming. In fact, Disney's still probably doing it, but I'm just less aware of it.

My favorites were the mummy flick Under Wraps (which was the first ever Disney Channel original movie), Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire, The Scream Team, and Phantom of the Megaplex (I also lump in When Good Ghouls Go Bad and Monster Maker, but those weren’t Disney…just kid’s Halloween TV movies from the same period). Probably the most famous seasonal fare that came out of this time were the Halloweentown movies.

Also note that these movies came out roughly around my college years, if that gives you any insight into my arrested development.

The movies have been hard to find for us since then. But once Lindsey stumbled across them, we decided we needed to immediately introduce the girls to these movies.

So after work, I grabbed my youngest and we flew to the grocery store, where we picked up a bag full of trick-or-treat candy (that is, the kind of big bag of mixed mini-candy bars you usually buy for trick-or-treaters, not to shove into your face with a spatula while sitting on the sofa), while reveling in all the Autumnal goodness of the grocery store during this time of the year.

After we got home and had a hastily devoured dinner, we got to the candy. It really did feel like a haul from a plastic jack-o-lantern. Had I thought of it, I would have pulled ours out and dumped the candy in them first. We chose Under Wraps for our movie. It’s about a trio of friends who find a living mummy and have to get him back to his sarcophagus before he turns to dust, all against a backdrop of exquisite suburban Halloween.

After the kids went to bed (each one begging for just one more piece of candy like they were practicing for the 31st,) we skipped out on Episode 5 of The Haunting of Hill House to watch something we had just heard about. Travel host Samantha Brown was hosting something called AutumnWatch New England on New Hampshire PBS. It’s a three-night live broadcast from a cozy cabin on a New Hampshire lake. Her and her British co-host (from Old Hampshire in Old England) discuss the history and fall traditions of New England, while every once in a while cutting to infrared live shots of New England wildlife from camera people set up in forests around the area or prerecorded vignettes of the hosts trucking around New England doin’ the Fall thing.

I was expecting it to be cheesy…and it kind of was. But I really dug it. I kind of want a Fall livestream into my house for the whole season now.

Anyway, all in all, pretty decent for a Hallow-screen night, which is pretty much our best option as we sit around waiting for the baby to claim the coolest month on the calendar as his or her own.