This Is Halloween (Halloween, Halloween)

This particular blog post ran as a guest blog on my buddy’s LiveJournal this past Saturday – visit Benjamin Kane Ethridge’s site, Cloth’s Chapel, if you want to see the original (or better yet, visit just to check in on Ben’s work and see what he’s up to).

Okay then, here we go (with fewer typos than ever before) on with the show…

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Christmas gave it a good run for a while (back when I was a greedy little kid looking forward to piles and piles of gifts), but as I matured and toys began to mean less and less, Halloween tipped the scales for good.


(I eat Christmas like you for breakfast!)

Don’t get me wrong. Christmas is still great. In my family, our sense of togetherness grows even stronger over the holiday season. It’s tough to top that kind of warmth.

And when it comes to Halloween, there’s still an undercurrent of togetherness – we all enjoy it and we all generally get together – but it feels less…I don’t know…special.

This isn’t a bad thing.

I know, I know…less special would seem to indicate that Halloween is the lesser of the holidays, but that’s not what I’m trying to convey here. Sure, it’s less special in terms of familial bonding, but, at the same time, there’s less pressure to appreciate something as grandiose as our Entire Existence! There’s less weepy reflection. Things are carefree. It’s all about having wicked, good fun.

And special or not, I’m all about having some wicked, good fun. I prefer fun. I’ll smile, and hug, and cry, and love my way through the holiday season (and I’ll age, and put on the pounds, and stress out over what gift to buy for this person or that).

But Halloween?

On Halloween I’ll dress like a freak and party my brains out. It’s like this: if you offer me a greasy piece of cheesy, saucey, pepperoni laden pizza or a healthy meal of turkey and veggies, I’m taking the pizza nine times out of ten. Sorry, Christmas, you’re just too wholesome.

Okay then, how about some handy, dandy, helpful Halloween Do’s and Dont’s?


(The IC watermark stands for – It’s Cool, put me in your blog)


Halloween is awesome for going nutz. Dressing in costume and getting crazy go together like peanut butter and jelly. But first things first. The kiddies got have their day too. Trick-or-treat as long as you can before you start looking ridiculous. If your fifteen, and tallish, and already growing a goatee, it’s time to give it up.

Don’t worry, you’ll have the chance to trick-or-treat once your kid is old enough to trick-or-treat.

Oh, and give out good candy! None of this pencil or sticker crap.

Also, no bagsnatching or malicious crap. You can scare people if you like. If you take this one seriously, you’ll have some giddy, dumb fun.

So then, if you love trick-or-treating but you’ve surpassed the age limit, either birth, or work your way into some kid’s life, so you can re-experience all of this lovely stuff vicariously.


Where Christmas is big on sentimental schmaltz, Halloween is big on cheesy, kid-jamz, garbage. You can’t go wrong with sound effects and eerie melodies, some classical, maybe even some scary industrial rock, but stay far, far away from goofy drivel like the Monster Mash or The One-Eyed Purple People Eater.

So stupid and corny.

I Put A Spell On You is by far the coolest of the oldies. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is a Mad Man.

And you definitely gotta listen to Thriller at least once.

(Devil music)

The soundtrack to David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY is perfect music for the season. It’s not treacle or silly. It’s serious and unsettling. My wife was playing it in the background while unpacking and my kid (age 16 and not so familiar with David Lynch films or their soundtracks) asked her if it was, “Devil Music.”

Mission accomplished.


Steer clear of Lifetime and SyFy. They generally go the dumbbell route.

I always run across HALLOWEEN and I always watch a little. It really is the quintessential Halloween film. It’s unsympathetic and sort of evil – often imitated but never equaled. John Carpenter has never made a finer movie (most of his other stuff – there are a handful of exceptions – IMHO, is kinda weak).

(I’ll be down when I’m ready to come down)

Take in one of the Travel Channel’s haunted destination specials. They usually suck, but they’re fun to watch.

Go see a horror movie at the movies. This season’s offerings aren’t that great, but in the spirit of things, take a chance on PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 or THE THING. Their Tomatometers aren’t too bad (PA pulled a 75%). Besides, it doesn’t really matter what you see so long as it is a horror movie. Whether you end up enjoying the movie or not, it’s more about those screaming mimis and talking fools. They add to the ambiance of the performance, giving the movie life.


What are you, ten years old?

No more cutesy costumes. If you’re a kid you got a little more leeway, but as an adult, cute is unacceptable.

No princesses or ballerinas.

(Hello, my pretty)

Sexy girl costumes are embarrassing for everyone. I mean come on, a sexy pirate? Pirates cut your intestines out, steal your loot, and rape your loved ones. I don’t think they have cleavage.


The latest and greatest in the haunted attraction industry is available somewhere within driving distance of where you are at. So what are you waiting for? You gotta go. First, you support the industry, second, you get a good scare. Everybody wins!

The best mazes get your heart-pumping and your nerves racing and they make for an exhilarating good time.


Happy Halloween, Loyal Reader! Have a great, safe evening!



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