A haunting we will go
What will you be doing for Hallowe'en? Personally, I'll be spending the evening as I always do, with my family, and remembering loved ones who are no longer with us. That's what Hallowe'en means to me. If the veil between the dead and the living is thinner at this time, then what better way to re-connect?
For most people, though, Hallowe'en is about scares and witches and long-legged ghoulies. Children dress up in fancy dress (okay, quite a lot of grown ups dress up too) and pounce at doorbells for sweeties to add to their trick or treat buckets. It's a great way to bring people together.
Just in case you're not heading out on a confectionery rampage though, I thought I'd offer up some suggestions for Hallowe'en reading and viewing.
1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - not a light read by any means but incredibly atmospheric and masterly writing with a constant sense of doom.
2. Haunted by James Herbert - plenty of ghosts, betrayal and scares in this one. It was also made into a film which kept reasonably to the book.
3. Cabal by Clive Barker - a story of otherworlders who see us as the terrors. Again, this was made into a film, although it was never as good as the read.
4. Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub - this was a follow up novel to the jointly written The Talisman, but works as a stand alone read. Murders, monsters and abducted children.
5. It by Stephen King - this had me frightened to look in my fridge for a long time. You'll have to read it to find out why.
Films to watch from behind the couch
1. Evil Dead - I saw this when I was sixteen years old with my then boyfriend (a couple of years older than me) and it reduced me to a quivering wreck, mainly because of the relentless horror with very few breaks for humour or breath. I still don't like cellars.
2. The Exorcist - I saw this one on a first date at a late night Hallowe'en showing. Never saw that guy again.
3. An American Werewolf in London - Again, saw this when I was sixteen or seventeen with then boyfriend. Loved the gruesome transformations, the rotting friend and the Yorkshire tavern at the beginning. Boyfriend wouldn't put his car away in the dark garage that evening.
4. Salem's Lot - Watched this at a friend's house when I was at secondary school. She lived in a tiny village with only one lamp-post. Just as we were settling down to sleep, lights off, we heard a tapping at the window. This was a first floor bedroom and visions of a floating vampire boy of course jumped into our heads. I made my friend go and check. Thankfully, it was only her cat wanting to come in. Phew.
5. The Cabin in the Woods - A more recent horror film. I don't watch much horror nowadays but my husband persuaded me to see this one. Written by Joss Whedon, it probably features every aspect of horror you can imagine and then gives it a Whedon twist.
So there you have it - scares aplenty. However you spend tonight, have a wonderful time.