Thirteen Days of Halloween, Day 1 – The October Country

In the days leading up to, and past, the Halloween holiday, I’ll be taking a look at and recommending all manner of Halloween horrors and spooky treats. These are the

Thirteen Days of Halloween

Day 1 – October 22nd: The October Country
Day 2 – October 23rd: Bone-Chilling Books
Day 3 – October 24th: Terrifying Television
Day 4 – October 25th: Petrifying Podcasts
Day 5 – October 26th: Grisly Games
Day 6 – October 27th: Creepy Comics
Day 7 – October 28th: Frightening Films
Day 8 – October 29th: This Is (A) Halloween (Mixtape)
Day 9 – October 30th: Halloween Horror
Day 10 – October 31st: Why Halloween?
Day 11 – November 1st: All Hallows’ Day
Day 12 – November 2nd: Día de los Muertos
Day 13 – November 3rd: Nightmares before Christmas

Day 1 – October 22nd: The October Country

                … that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain….

– Ray Bradbury

trick_or_treat_by_radojavor

As I sit here in the dark of my apartment, surrounded by stacks of horror comics and books, I can see a heavy fog rolling in, slowly consuming the township of Langley; more than that, I can feel it rolling in, encroaching on me and the safety of my bedroom. I hear a noise and look up from my laptop but of course there’s nothing there – there never is. Nothing but the chill of the October air as it seeps in through the open window. I consider closing the window and locking out the fog, but something stops me.

When I was younger, I avoided the horror genre completely. I was a wimp, frightened at the mere thought of watching M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs. I would attend Halloween parties and begrudgingly attempt to watch whatever horror movie was playing while attempting to convince the other party-goers to do something else. And yet, there was always something about this time of year that appealed to me. There was something about the crisp autumn air, and the rust colored leaves, and the way the two combined. There was something about this time of year, but more importantly, there was something about Halloween itself, something beyond candy and the prospect of dressing up (which I never liked doing anyway). I never really understood it back then. Even now, I’m not sure that I can really put it into words, but as this feeling grew over the years, something changed. Somewhere along the way, a switch flipped for me, and I went from completely avoiding the horror genre to relishing it. This will be my attempt to, over the next thirteen days, put into writing why this change happened, and to potentially encourage such a change in one of you.

So allow me, if you will, to invite you along as I do my best to channel the spirit of October in this series of blog posts. Journey with me as we explore the deepest, darkest nooks and crannies of the world of pop culture, exposing all manner of creepy, unnerving, and horrifying delights. You just might like what you find.

Welcome to October Country.

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