I love October, but not because of pumpkin spice everything or the changing weather or the dozens of tiny pumpkins I bring home to decorate and bewilder my husband with (win-win!) I love October because I LOVE Halloween. As a life-long devotee of horror movies, creepy books, and the macabre in general, I try to dedicate my free time in October to scaring the crap out of myself. (Admittedly, not hard to do.) I’ve been planning for a while and am happy to finally bask in my to-do for October 2014:
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. It’s the sequel to The Shining, which I read more than a decade ago and remains the scariest book I have ever read.
- But I have heard that House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski might be the one to knock The Shining down a peg. My sister cannot talk about this book without noticeably shivering. I’m excited and terrified to read it.
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I heard of this book years ago, but didn’t realize it was by the same author of The Haunting of Hill House, which left a serious mark on my psyche and ability to sleep at night if I’m dumb enough to think of it before going to bed.
- The internet provides so many scary stories for free, and it can be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of scaring the bajesus out of yourself. My favorite sources are the subreddit, Let’s Not Meet, this fabulously creepy tumblr blog, and of course, Creepypasta.
- Every year I love to re-watch Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments and 13 Scarier Movie Moments. It’s a seriously great, definitive list with interesting discussion from writers, directors and actors who have passionately contributed to the genre, and is just wonderful to experience all over again each year. Unfortunately Bravo has stopped showing it, but fortunately both series are available in their entirety on YouTube.
- I was disappointed by the last season of American Horror Story, but have high hopes for AHS: Freak Show, which premiers October 8.
- Netflix is a veritable host of terrible horror movies, which can be so fun to watch. I’m hoping to get my Awesomely Bad Movie Club together for a viewing (and wish, not for the first time, that they would bring Basket Case back to the instant watch list.)
- Every year I like to watch an old favorite, especially if it’s one my husband hasn’t seen. He recently revealed that he’s never watched Rosemary’s Baby, so introducing him to that mindfuck of a film has become a top priority.
- And finally, I like to check out at least one or two new (to me) movies that horror fans rave about. This year my picks are The Changeling and Lake Mungo.
To listen to:
- I provided a list of my favorite creepy episodes of This American Life in an earlier post. This is my definitive list that I return to each October (especially while driving at night): The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar, …And the Call Was Coming From the Basement, Halloween, and (my personal favorite), The House on Loon Lake.
- Sticher has provided a great list of scary podcasts.
- I love to visit haunted places and go on haunted hayrides and take haunted house tours. This year I’m planning a day-trip to King’s Dominion for their Halloween Haunt with some friends. I went a few years ago and this doll factory scared the crap out of me:
And with that, I should be sufficiently scared silly by Halloween.