October 24-26, 2019: A Hodgepodge of Halloween

I haven’t updated the OTIS Halloween Die-ary for the past three days, and that’s because I’ve been off fighting witches with tins of Morton salt and trying to save Halloween from the Christmas Creep. The day job gets in the way of the season sometimes.

However, despite me not being able to turn the Halloween moments of the past three days into individual narratives, lots of Samhainic stuff has happened that I want to make sure gets mentioned in the Die-ary for when I inevitably revisit it in mid-February, sad and nostalgic and slightly boozed.


Haunted Pub Trivia at Westport Library in Connecticut
Thursday night was my second Westport Library event this season (here was the first), and both were extremely enjoyable. They’re doing great work down there. We had enough in attendance for about twelve teams. I gave a short talk outlining a Connecticut road trip full of vampires, witches, mummies, ghosts, and serial killers, and then I MC’d the questions. The best part of the night (for me) is that the event debuted Twelve Nights at Rotter House, so I got to see people with it in their hands and do some signing. It officially comes out in two days. I’d be way grateful if you picked it up!


The Bridgeport Witch Memorial
On the way to the Westport event, I stopped in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to check out a plaque-on-a-rock dedicated to Goody Knapp, a woman who was executed in 1653 near the spot for being a witch. Partly, that’s because I wanted to include it in the presentation I was about to give, but I also just wanted to see it because it just got installed about two months ago). Surprisingly and disappointingly, the plaque was missing, with only the drill holes in the big stone testifying to me being in the right place. I’m unsure if it fell off, was stolen, or they spelled witch wrong and needed to get it re-done.


Kids’ Halloween Dance
Friday night, my kids had a Halloween dance at their school. So they got dressed up, we walked out into the night like yet another practice trick-or-treat, took the forest path shortcut to the school like some middle-grade horror novel, and then we watched hundreds of costumed kids in a gym full of laser lights and fake fog dance to Vincent Price’s voice in Thriller. Suuuururrrrrreeeeaaaaaaalllllllllllllll.


Joe Bob’s Halloween Hootenanny
Later that night, after our kids had hung up their dance shoes and passed out in bed, Lindsey and I sat down to watch Joe Bob’s Halloween Hootenanny live on Shudder. I’ve watched every episode of his revival series to date. For the mini-marathon, he was hosting three unannounced movies starting at 9 pm. Turns out, they were Halloween, Halloween 4, and Halloween 5.

However, we only watched his introductory monologue. Had he started with Halloween 4 or 5, I might’ve stuck through the first movie, since I’ve seen Halloween so many times it almost slides off my eyeballs. Also, no way were we ever sticking through all three that night, anyway. I will say that the opening monologue was triangle-eye-opening in that JB really put Halloween in perspective alongside other indie horror movies and the Hollywood system (turns out, Halloween is more Hollywood than it’s usually presented as). Also, we regret the movie we watched instead, The Predator (hey, it takes place on Halloween!). Sort of a mess of a movie that was amusing in parts. I will get back to the Halloween Hootenanny, though, to keep my Joe Bob streak alive. Probably when I get back on the treadmill in November to lose my Halloween Season weight before putting on my Christmas Season weight.


New OTIS Podcast Episode
See! I wasn’t avoiding making content for you over the past three days. Episode 15 (!!!) is live and it’s also live, because it’s a Special On-Location episode. Last month, we went on a little road trip to Springfield, Massachusetts, to see a monk cave, a vampire grave, and a witch path. I wrote about it for the September 1 entry of the Halloween Die-ary. But what I didn’t tell you was that I was recording the whole way to make a podcast out of it. So now you can actually join us on the trip.


Almost Landed the Headless Horseman
Saturday morning we visited two Home Depots looking to see if the floor model of the Headless Horseman decoration that I wrote about here was for sale at a discount. At the first Home Depot, it had already been snatched up (and Christmas was eeeevvvverrryyywwherrreeeee…I now have my sights set on a full-sized animatronic Santa). The next Home Depot we visited still had its floor model, and it was discounted by two-thirds. However, turns out it didn’t work, which means even at that deep discount, it wasn’t worth it. So we bailed on the purchase. The money will go to the animatronic Santa.


Ponemah Bog Walk
I’m going to do a full post on this one, but for the purposes of this entry, we hiked through a New Hampshire bog to find carnivorous plants. We’re always trying to push the definition of Halloween Season tradition.


Scream with Friends
We topped off Saturday night at a friend’s house, where we drank fall concoctions chilled with skull-shaped ice cubes, ate seasonally shaped cakes, and watched Scream. Which, as I’ve told you before, is one of the more important movies in my life. Somehow.