My favorite season is rapidly approaching–Halloween. A while back I wrote about being scared and some reasons why we like to be frightened. (see my blog---On Being Scared.) So as we creep into the season of monsters and things that go bump in the night, it’s fun to revisit and remember what compels us to peer into dark corners of the basement, watch for the umpteenth time old horror films, or maybe even take a stroll through a dark cemetery.
Growing up I so looked forward to Creature Features on Friday nights (before Elvira even). I thoroughly enjoyed lying on the floor with a big bowl of popcorn, watching all the old black & white classics as well as the B grade movies from the Hammer studios. (I can’t believe Christopher Lee is still making movies!) Also there were some great weekly shows like Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Boris Karloff’s Thriller. I still remember vividly an episode from that show called The Terror in Teakwood. After the show I laid awake looking across my bedroom towards the door, I swear I could see those dismembered hands crawling across my floor. That scary moment is as fresh in my mind’s eye today as it was in 1961! Ah, what fond memories.
I think one of the reasons why I like this time of year is because getting scared is based in wild, imaginative scenarios and storylines. Think along the lines of vampires, werewolves, and the trendy, in vogue zombie. On many levels having them chase me around in my imagination is a nice break from the fears that are seen on the nightly news all year long. To get scared by a flesh eating zombie is certainly more enjoyable than watching the terror that exists in the Middle East splayed across my TV.
Halloween is a great time to escape into a dark scary world, one that doesn’t have the threat of real terror from an extremist faction. So escape! Turn off that nightly news. Go put on a costume for a party, may I suggest fetid zombie. They’re all the rage. Or perhaps curl up with a good scary book, or watch Terror in Teakwood (you can find it on YouTube). But just be forewarned when you go to bed, close your eyes tightly and don’t look at the floor!!
Oh… and by the way, if you are in need of amplifying your horror library, may I humbly suggest a visit to my site at Amazon (I know…shameless plug, but as a horror writer one must seize the season.) –http://amzn.to/SSL1Wl. And if I am successful in scaring you even just a little, let me know. I’d be thrilled to hear from you. You can visit me on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.jameshoch.com. Happy Halloween!