Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Recently a lot of posts on my social media page are insisting that the Halloween Season has begun. Yes, it’s about five weeks out (give or take), but that’s fair. After all, we all know that the Christmas shopping season starts at least three to four months out, so why not get excited about Halloween and start it about a month in advance?
Some of us use Halloween decorations as our everyday household decorations. I have a giant skull staring at me even as I write this, and a skull mug sitting on my table. On my desk upstairs, a skull watches me work, and outside of my bedroom is a life-sized complete skeleton sporting a leopard print dress and heels. It scared the crap out of a couple of young women I had hired to clean my house. I laughed. They left.
At the drive-in, a woman explained to me that she had just completed her sixth life-sized skeleton. She is trying to recreate the scene from The Goonies, with the skeletons sitting around a table as if in a meeting. She tells me that every year she can afford to add one new skeleton. Personally, I’ve been considering getting skeletons to hang them as if they are scaling the wall of my house. I love that decoration. But they probably wouldn’t be wearing dresses. Women, even dead ones, are not that interested in getting to me.
I’m trying to hold off until October 1, but I have literally dozens of horror movies on DVDs in my collection. I love the collection of really lousy movies where you get fifty or so movies for three bucks. There is always at least one movie in the collection worth three buck, so I just count the other movies as bonuses. In another week or so, I’ll begin my usual horror flick marathon. I’ll stop with my streaming movie services and start running through those horror flicks. There’s no point to it, but why not?
Frankly, I like the old horror flicks the best. The very earliest movies wouldn’t even allow a movie to show a creature climbing out of a coffin because it was thought it would be too disturbing to the delicate sensibilities of the audience. Back then, the writers were forced to come up with actual story lines and develop characters for the horror. The gore was left to the imagination of the viewer. Today, it feels as if to make a horror movie all you need is a lot of stage blood and shocking gore scenes. I don’t find these frightening because usually I don’t really care about the main characters. I have a movie which revolves around a bunch of truly obnoxious and arrogant high school kids in detention. When the killing began, I was rooting for pumpkin head, because I just didn’t care about the kids. In old movies, there was a backstory, and you cared about the main people, so it was truly terrifying when they started being killed. It was like losing a friend.
On a side note, I’ve never understood why ghosts are scary. If ghosts are real, it means that there’s an afterlife of at least some sort, and if they kill you, so what? You just become a ghost. Which would be awesome. I could finally see her naked. And no, I’m not telling you who. Besides, it’s really just a joke.
Are ghosts real? You know, I don’t believe so, but I’m also smart enough to know how little I really know. I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, but I’m willing to accept that they may, after all, be real. I doubt it, but I have two friends, actually, who have felt hands on their back pushing them when nobody was there. My neighbor tells me that his house is undoubtedly haunted, and I have noticed some strange things in my house. In fact, I’ve even gone so far as to “smudge” my house with burning sage as the Native Americans will do to cleanse spirits. I wasn’t really trying to get rid of the ghosts so much as freeing them. I think it would be sad to be stuck in this house as a ghost. I’m really just not that interesting.
I don’t really frighten easily. It’s not the “scare” of Halloween that I enjoy so much as it is just the joy of the imagination. There’s a freedom in being able to dress up as anything that you want and go to parties or beg for candy. The macabre allows your wild side free. The Mexican “Day of the Dead” is a joyous celebration of those who passed, inviting their lost ancestors to come out and play with them for a day. Death is in the cards for all of us, so why not embrace it and have fun with it?