October is the month when many of us throw caution to the wind and indulge, nay revel, in our eternal love of all things strange and spooky. But in a year of unrelenting real life horrors , how does one find time to partake in such seasonal silliness?
Well, the way I see it we must find the time or else we’ll go insane. I’ve had more panic attacks this year than any other recent year. Every day is a rollercoaster of emotions in 2020. We’re all suffering from pandemic fatigue, and those of us with empathy in our hearts can’t help but spend most of everyday with broken hearts when we see the national and global Covid-19 statistics. I feel like a broken record when I say this, but that’s because 2020 is like a broken record: nothing’s getting better! It’s been one long spooky season, without any of the fun that usually entails. We’ve trended into peak virus numbers this month here in the United States. The election is only a few days away, and the majority of us – and make no mistake, we are the majority, minority rule and Electoral College be damned – are anxious for positive change and we’re putting all our hopes on November 3.
So, as hard as its been, I’ve tried to find time and energy to enjoy Halloween season as much as possible. We’ve gone pumpkin and apple picking with the kids. We’ve carved pumpkins, roasted seeds, and decorated the house. We’ve raked leaves, packed Halloween cookies, and watched some kid-appropriate Halloween animated movies. And later at night, when the house is quiet and I can’t sleep, I’ve managed to find some semblance of relief in something that’s always brought me comfort: horror movies. I’ve watched some old favorites – The House of the Devil, Carrie, Tourist Trap, Prom Night, Kolchak: The Night Stalker – and discovered a few new-to-me films that definitely have the potential to be annual October favorites moving forward – The Hazing, Trick or Treats, Home for the Holidays.
I’ve written extensively on why horror movies bring me a sense of calm, and there are countless articles flooding the internet these days about why others feel the same, so I’ll spare you another TED Talk. Simply put, they offer a window of time in which I can distance myself from real-world concerns and get wrapped up in the protagonists’ fight for survival. Because, at the heart of most horror films lies someone, or several someones, who are fighting for their lives. We identify with the Laurie Strodes and Nancy Thompsons of the horror world because we are them in real life. This is especially true during this hell year.
Happy Halloween, and here’s hoping for some good news, sooner than later.