A: Actions to suit the month, whether it be wearing costumes or watching your spooky favourites for the umpteenth time. ‘Tis time for buying some new horror films, stock up on munchies and soda, and settle in to scare yourself silly.
B: The Bean Sidhe, wailing her warning across the Emerald Isle and far beyond. Like all good legends she has cried across the planet, and people who have never been to Erin’s Green hills know her name.
C: Cats, especially black ones with eyes like steady flames, arching and hissing in the dark. Their lithe movements on silent paws, and delicate whiskers are full of the grace of a true predator
D: Darkness, darkness, surrounding you and hiding what could be after you. Oohh what shadows can become when you add just a little imagination to the mix!
E: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks, and plenty of them, the closer we get to Halloween night, the more there is. From horrible masks and stage blood to gauze-wrapped mummies, there is plenty to shriek at.
F: Fear, shivering along your nerve trunks and roiling slowly in your belly. Nibbling your fingernails and shakin’ in your shoes at the drive-in scary- still the best way to see a movie.
G: “…ghosties and ghoulies, and other horrors that we carry from our childhood and teen years. Every Town U.S.A.’s The Ghost of Mr. _____, The Killer on ________ Road, Ghostly Hitchhiker, and other urban legends to share with the next generation of locals.
H: Halloween, the night we all wait for, when we play at being something else, and blow off our diets for ‘just a couple days’. Will there be a full moon? Should the kids wear sweaters under their costumes? Maybe we should just throw a party here instead of trick-or-treating. When I was a kid-kid that was the awfullest of sacrileges!!
I: Ideas, the kind that get stuck in your brain and repeat mindlessly. Like… If you look at it this way doesn’t that grain pattern in the bathroom door look just like a werewolf stalking you? And there’s another one, and further up a third werewolf growing out of the wood!
J: Jack-O-Lantern, the iconic grinning pumpkin, hollowed out and carved to frighten away the restless, unhappy spirits. The first ones were hollowed turnips, and held a wee candle. Today you can buy pre-carved faux Jacks-O-Lanterns…. Ick.
K: Killers, psychotic and otherwise that have films released at this time of year. Michael Myers in Haddonfield (no relation to moi) is still going strong after 30 years. So is Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees, and there is always the killer du jour being touted at the theatre.
L: Little Green Men, exiting their spaceships with evil intent, and super-weapons to destroy us with. Whether it be Martians, the Pod People, Klingons, ET, the Drakkon or H. R. Giger’s sleekly deadly creature of Ridley Scott’s “Alien”, aliens can be counted upon to supply all sorts of interesting twists
M: Monsters!! Like the Mummy, Werewolf, and Count Dracula, creeping up to the newest ones. The classics didn’t scare me, I thought Dracula was the coolest, the Wolfman’s howl set my pulses racing, and to be a Mummy, surely it must be bliss to a Mummy.
N: Necromancy- the Black Art, and its practitioner, the Necromancer. There will always be the bad seed, how can we choose to serve the good if we don’t know what the bad is? Seeing the glimpses of a psychotic killer’s life would surely cure one of self-pity.
O: Overnight parties, piled into a bed with family and friends, scaring yourself silly with one horror film after another. There is always the one who will, if dared enough, go outside and make that scary noise from the show we wasn’t apposed’ta watch outside the girls’ bedroom window.
P: Popcorn Balls, wrapped loosely in plastic wrap, made by hand the day of the celebration. They are best fresh from the kitchen, hot and buttery, their scent finding every corner of your house.
Q: Queer ideas, that circle ‘round your brain a-widdershins, shadows in a private balefire of madness. I wonder if you could get rid of a body with pool acid? How nasty does oleander taste? I wonder if someone could really kill a person with fish filter charcoal?
R: Rotting corpses that are always left where the unsuspecting townspeople will be sure to find them. Not one of the victims in the ‘slasher’ movies is given a decent burial. Nope, they just hang around and decompose!
S: Scary Decorations-and Haunted Houses to shriek your way through. From Hospital X-rays’ bats made from old films, to the charmingly lopsided older child’s’ first pumpkin carving attempt.
T: Tombstones- old and new, bidding the dear departed to Rest In Peace, instead of haunting us. The neat rows of a new graveyard, with flat plaques on the ground look desolate, while the genteel, wandering grace of 19th century Cemeteries announce their place in the cycle of life proudly.
U: Undead, the drinkers of Blood, pointed of tooth and pallid of aspect. They stalk our sleeping hours away. Blessed with so many facets by their Dark Gift, and cursed to never see a sunrise or sunset.
Villains: Whether it be ‘Pinhead’, “Hannibal Lecter’ or the Blob, the villains are always lurking in the shadows. The bad guy lurks in our subconscious always ready to take over our rationality. W:
Werewolves, howling, and hunting their prey under a cold, uncaring full moon. You know them, the pack that lives in the wild places near your home. Have you ever felt the pull of their hunting song? Your soul has wanted to sing back to them, I can see it in your eyes.
X: Extra-scary, the scenes in the movies where we jump and scream, then laugh shamefacedly; or worse, crawl into bed with Mum for security. That scene that sends your worst fears gibbering mindlessly your mind, yes… that one.
Y: Yelling, “Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat, Give me something good to eat!” And then later, happily swapping candy with your siblings and friends. How many hours have been spent in happy arguments over the benefits of Mounds over Milky Way, or plain M&Ms versus Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?
Z: Zombies- Groaning and lurching their way into your subconscious, hungry for living flesh, and brains. They are comical in a mindless, appetite-driven sort of way… I think….