Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Halloween Countdown

"It's almost time, kids. The clock is ticking. Be in front of your TV sets for the Horrorthon, and remember the Big Giveaway at nine. Don't miss it. And don't forget to wear your masks. The clock is ticking. It's almost time."
--Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Yes, it is!

If you know me at all then you know I live for Halloween and not that prettied-up don't-the-children-look-cute-dressed-as-fairies-and-princesses-and lame-superheroes-let's-send-'em-out-into-the-dark-to-strangers'-houses-for-candy (not that there's anything wrong with scoring free candy); I want something...darker*. It is my fervent belief that if you're going to dress up for Halloween you need to be scary, else the day has no meaning. You wanna go as Ginger from Gilligan's Island? Fine, go as Ginger, but go as Ginger, if the boat never found the island! French maid outfit? No, French maid from beyond the grave! Cute widdle pussycat? No, rabid widdle pussycat! Superheroes? No, superheroes had their arch-nemeses claimed ultimate victory!

See, Halloween is about dark forces and imagination, about what if.... It's wondering about that noise in the cellar and things that go bump in the night. It's the one holiday of the year devoted to fantasy.**

And I'm not alone in this; to wit, The Halloween Countdown.

"The Halloween Countdown is something of a virtual neighborhood to go trick or treating in. Imagine a neighborhood where all of the neighbors really got into the spirit of the holiday and went all out with decorating their yards and homes and on top of that also handed out the coolest treats whenever some kid in a costume rang their doorbell. Well, you are that kid in a costume, and the participants in the countdown are the neighbors with the cool houses and candy. When you visit their blogs, you will essentially be ringing their doorbell and shouting "Trick or treat." rewarded by a solid thunk at the bottom of your plastic Halloween bucket which is their post for the day. In a way that's even better than the actual Halloween (no way! I hear you saying) you get to ring their doorbell and trick or treat every single day throughout October. Not only that, but there is bound to be over 100 houses for you to visit each day as well."

Come along and join the fun!

*Again, from Halloween III, Conal Cochran speaks:

{Y}ou don't really know much about Halloween; you thought no further than the strange custom of having your children wear masks and go out begging for candy.


It was the start of the year in our old Celtic lands, and we'd be waiting in our houses of wattles and clay. The barriers would be down, you see, between the real and the unreal, and the dead might be looking in to sit by our fires of turf.


Halloween, the festival of Samhain! The last great one took place three thousand years ago, when the hills ran red with the blood of animals and children.

Daniel Challis: Sacrifices.

Conal Cochran: It was part of our world, our craft.

Daniel Challis: Witchcraft.

Conal Cochran: To us, it was a way of controlling our environment. It's not so different now. It's time again. In the end, we don't decide these things, you know; the planets do. They're in alignment, and it's time again. The world's going to change tonight, doctor; I'm glad you'll be able to watch it. And... happy Halloween.

** Unless you're a die-hard atheist, in which case you have to deal with Judeo-Christian fantasy holidays like Christmas and Easter, either of which is pretty spooky when you get right down to it.

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