Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows’ Eve. – Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree
It’s upon us again: my very favorite of days, Halloween. This would have been a glorious year for trick-or-treating; the weather was already cool by the first, an autumn cold snap arrived on the sixth and the weather has been quite lovely since then. The leaves turned gradually and gloriously over the course of the month, and best of all we’re only barely past the full moon! It would have been a fine night for trick-or-treating, if I were a third of a century younger and our culture not afraid of its own collective shadow. Even so, I’m looking forward to a lovely evening of movies and stories with my loved ones, as I described in my recent “Halloween Favorites” column.
This is actually my second attempt at writing this column; the first time I was moved by the Muse in a completely unexpected direction, and before I knew it I had produced tomorrow’s column (which is a lot more sober and serious). That isn’t to say it came from some gloomy mood; far from it, despite the black subject matter. Death and I are old dance partners, and he knows I won’t play hard to get when he eventually comes to claim me. However, few people are as comfortable with the topic as I am, so I felt it best to simply rewrite the introductory paragraph and move it to tomorrow, which is El Dia de los Muertos anyhow. For today I really wanted something much more in keeping with the witchy joy I generally feel on Halloween, so I’ve decided to point y’all toward a few older columns which may help you to get into the Halloween spirit. “Halloween”, “Samhain” and “Moondance” all discuss my own feelings about the season, and “Saint Death” introduces you to Mexico’s Santa Muerte, patron goddess of death. “Mass Hysteria” compared the “sex trafficking” panic to that attending the famous War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938 (and links a recording for your listening pleasure), and “October Miscellanea” contained an item about horror comics and a listing of shows featuring vampire whores. Finally, a number of my fictional interludes include horror themes, including this month’s “Pandora”, “Friend” from August, “Dry Spell” and “Pearls Before Swine” from previous Octobers, and also “The Trick”, “Painted Devil” and “Ripper”.
Happy Halloween, Dear Readers, and Blessed Be!