My neighbors went all out this year, with an amazing combination of visual and auditory special effects. Children were crying as their parents dragged them to the front door, which is the sign of a spooky job well-done.
Our decorations were a bit more modest, although I got several compliments on my growing collection of Star Trek pumpkins. Last year I carved Spock, and this year I added Uhura. Since these are intricate and take a bit of time to carve, I use the hollow craft pumpkins that you buy at your local craft store. The patterns are from pinkraygun.
|Spock and Uhura greet Trick-or-Treaters from my windowsill|
One of the aspects I love most about Halloween is how central stories are to celebrating this holiday. Every part of celebrating Halloween has a story element present. When you decorate your front porch, decide which scary movies to watch, and choose your costume, you’re forming the narrative of your Halloween. Even if you choose a costume that is one of the basic Halloween concepts, like a witch, how you portray being a witch is going to be different from how anyone else does it. I met five or so little girls tonight who were dressed as witches, and each of them had a different witchy story conveyed by their outfit. You could begin to guess a little bit about the person underneath the pointy hat by whether it was covered in iridescent cobwebs or was a simple black that highlighted dramatic makeup.
You might have heard of All Hallow’s Read, a new tradition of giving scary books to people on Halloween. As Neil Gaiman explains, this isn’t to replace trick-or-treating or costuming or any other Halloween activities. In addition to all of those fun traditions, you give a scary book to someone. This year I am going to give The Walking Dead comic book to my younger brother. He’s been enjoying the television series adaptation, and it seems like a good opportunity to rekindle his interest in comic books and, hopefully, reading for pleasure.
And for you, reader, I want to share a collection of Ray Bradbury stories. These are from a DVD set I bought when I was in Alaska. I watched the first two discs in October of last year, when I was jobless and aimless. Bradbury’s stories helped put some of the wonder back into every day life.
The Ray Bradbury Theater has stand alone stories, all written by Bradbury. Some of my favorite episodes are “The Playground” (starring William Shatner), “The Crowd”, and “The Screaming Woman” (starring a very young Drew Barrymore). You can find whole episodes on YouTube, or buy the box set rather cheaply online ($10).
Here’s the opening sequence:
“Well then, right now, what shall it be? Out of all this, what do I choose to make a story?”
What was your Halloween story like this year?