The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Liz, in foliage-filled eastern Connecticut, looking forward to Halloween!

Tweetie and batsIt’s officially my favorite time of the year: Halloween season. My decorations went up this past weekend. I’m late to the party this year. Usually the halls are decked with witches, ghosts, goblins, cats and bats by the end of September.

I am the quintessential Halloween junkie. It’s a natural fit, given my long-time love of all things creepy and scary. As a kid, I always begged my parents to let me watch the scary movies – then kept them up all Halloween catnight because I was scared to death. Like the first time I watched Halloween and imagined Michael Meyers in my closet. But I still wanted to watch more. As a teenager, I had posters of Freddy Krueger on my wall, which really made my parents shake their heads (whose kid is she, anyway??). I dressed up like Freddy for a Halloween or two, complete with the glove. I even practiced the “Freddy voice” to entertain my friends in the halls. Yep, I was the quirky kid.

Dark ManorMy quest for haunted things brought me to haunted theme parks like Spooky World, where crazed killers chased your hay ride with axes and bloody figures popped up from corn fields. I was always the one begging my friends to go to haunted houses or ghost tours. I couldn’t get enough.

I chose Salem, Mass. as my college destination, partly for the English program and partly for the witchy experience. I was in heaven the entire month of October during Haunted Happenings – it was a constant costume party. Zombies, Disney characters and other interesting faces mingled with the college students most nights. The metaphysical Me-Shaggy-BizBazbookstores were packed. Laurie Cabot, Salem’s official witch, attracted followers at her store for readings and signings. There were witches’ balls, haunted tours, candlelit walks through history, visits to the site of the long-ago hangings. I loved every minute of it. To this day, I try to visit Salem at least once during its busy season. The dogs love to go too – they get to dress up.

Halloween season has been even better the pastDogs in Salem few years with American Horror Story on the air. The creepy-cool show starts in October and adds to the overall feeling of the season. This year, I’m also scoping out haunted houses in my neck of New England. I may visit Dark Manor again – Connecticut’s scariest haunted house. Also on my list to check out – the Wallingford Trail of Terror. Sounds just like my kind of mayhem.

Of course, the rest of the time I’ll be holed up at home, surrounded by Halloween decos, watching scary movie marathons. And turning all the lights on.

Readers, what’s your favorite time of year? Do you love Halloween as much as I do?

22 thoughts on “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

  1. I love costumes and getting dressed up, so that part’s awesome. I also love handing out candy to little zombies and princesses. But the scary movie stuff I do without, ditto with the haunted houses. And now that I’m a mystery writer, I can imagine too much going wrong with something that’s supposed to be fake scary!

  2. Sounds like great fun at your house for Halloween! Me? I was born to it. In Salem. That’s my home town. My family history goes way back there to its earliest days. My 8th great-grandfather, Robert Paine, was a foreman of the grand jury for the “witch trials.” Not a pretty thing to know. Hawthorne changed the spelling of his last name hoping to disassociate from his grandfather’s history as the judge. Salem has always had the guilt to deal with. It’s never left us. Floats around like a ghost. So Halloween is a natural way to deal. Fight the evil memories with the fright night fun. I love that you went to college there. You probably walked past my great-grandmother’s house on Lafayette Street every day.

  3. I don’t decorate much for Halloween and I don’t dress up, but I do like answering the door and handing out candy. I think I am in the minority of people who like to see the big kids dress up. If a teenager will put on a goofy outfit and go out in public, they will get a handout from me.

    My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It’s all about food and parades at my house.

  4. I used to like scary movies but I gave them up long ago! And I can’t even stand commercials for scary movies. The one for Annabelle — I’m trying to avoid it but it’s everywhere. I scared my husband when it came on the other day and I started yelling, “Change it, change it.”

  5. I do,I really do enjoy Halloween…so much so that Joe,( husband), calls me “Morticia” this time of year. If I am alone or with him, we run horror movies all evening…the kids get shown The Great Pumpkin , WB cartoons and Harry Potter.
    I am slow with getting the decorations up this year, but I have a good number.Then the ghosts and bats go, but the scarecrows and dried arrangements stay. The jack-o-lantern faces get turned to the wall and the Indian corn goes up along with a cornucopia and a turkey or two. I drag it out as long as I can.Fall never lasts long enough for me.

  6. I much prefer Christmas. I start decorating in November. I have to with all the decorations I have. And I have more Christmas music than I can get to in a month. Which means I have to start listening to some of it soon. Actually, I’m going to buy a new Christmas CD today.

    I do have a fascination with scary movies, usually the slasher variety. However, I hate scary things in real life. I avoid haunted houses like the plague. I live in a town with a Six Flags park, and I avoid it during October when they have haunted zones and people dressing up to scare you. I’ll pass, thank you.

    And yes, I also turn on all the lights and fast forward through the very scary parts. But the Scream franchise is calling loud and clear again. It usually does this time of year.

  7. I hate halloween. I didn’t hate it as a kid, particularly, until I walked the whole neighborhood bent over as the back end of a horse, but I hated it as a parent, and I hate costumes and getting dressed up. When my husband’s not home I lock the door and turn off all the lights on trick or treat night.

    It is my least favorite holiday. I’m with Mark about Christmas, though.

  8. I’m a scaredy cat. No scary movies, books or haunted houses for me. That’s why I read cosy mysteries instead of Stephan King type books. Dressing up in costumes is a lot of fun and kids going trick-or-treat is fun, also. Favorite holidays are ones that get friends and family together. That’s what it’s all about for me.

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