The Monsters Outside

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the costumes, the candy, and the decor. When we were in Philadelphia, my older brother pointed out that there were a lot more decorations, because the Northeast takes the holiday much more seriously. I enjoyed taking pictures of what I saw., especially since trick-or-treating on the weekend was a wash this year.

Stephen King has given permission for a new film adaptation of IT. We don’t have Tim Curry playing the clown, but we have a lot of promised scares. It makes one miss Goosebumps, while also viewing the potential in children’s horror.  We’ve seen better stories than those in the Goosebumps books come along, including Coraline, which won our hearts as one of the best stop motion films of the late 00s. More will follow, with the field constantly growing.

Goosebumps teak wood post card

My nightmares have gotten boring, as have my regular dreams, when I remember them.  I was relieved to wake up from a nightmare this morning that was about the fear of drowning. The dream involved walking underwater through a recreation of Titanic, with a breather and with a life jacket. I started having trouble breathing when I poked through the logic of such a walkthrough, and woke up. This nightmare could never happen, because of the regulations in place and the outcries that would ensue. And that relieves me. Most of my nightmares are about me attending college classes while going to my day job. Yes, it is terrifying to think you’ve forgotten a test or your daily route.

Frankly, real life is scarier than anything fiction could concoct. It feels like any day a gunman can storm into a public space, or a school, and fire. High school students have found that authorities may arrest their parents on various charges, while their classmates espouse white supremacy. We have politicians that will sacrifice lives for monetary gains. 911 people have died in Puerto Rico, and more will follow. Foreign countries have compromised our democracy through social media.

Fear art installation from Flickr

We can’t control what we fear, especially when they are rational. With that said, we can deal with them. Given certain news, one can work to turn the tide against systematic evil and spreading of misinformation and propaganda.  And we can also escape to magical worlds where we can always defeat evil after it gives us the heebie-jeebies.

This Halloween, savor the fictional horrors that give you comfort. “Treehouse of Horror,” the Simpsons horror segments, has delivered on that, at least when they rerun old episodes. I plan to watch some uncanny Disney shorts from the 1930s and 40s that espouse why I like the company so much. Last night I wrote a folktale that made the first reader fear apple trees brushing in the wind. Perhaps this weekend, when not doing Nanowrimo, I will work out to Coraline, the animated film based on the adventurous novel by Neil Gaiman.  It’s a good opportunity to get some caramel corn, read up on the Salem Witch Trials, and shiver in the sudden cold front. At least, we are getting cold down here.

Coraline screencap

Happy Halloween, everyone. I wish that you are safe, and that you survive November. Good night.

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