For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Halloween. The combination of a crisp fall, a full moon, and a scary costume was far more exciting to me than the eternal hype heading into the Christmas season. I was never the kid that horded toys or wanted tons of shit because I was pretty satisfied with my imagination and my imaginary friends.
Stephen King is primarily responsible for lighting the fire under my literary ass and turning my juvenile fascination with horror into a lifelong passion. My parents are both staunch Catholics and therefore we did not watch a lot of scary movies or read frightening books. To this day, I know my mom still thinks that AC/DC stands for “Anti-Christ Devil Children”, which it probably does. Not by coincidence, the movie and book that confirmed my affinity for dark horror came from the nightmares of Stephen King.
Pet Sematary was the first book that made me fearful of a dark room. I remember reading it at age eleven and thinking that Gage was hiding in the corner. The storytelling was masterful and reanimation is a timeless theme of literary horror.
The Shining, quite simply, scared the shit out of me. Although Kubrick’s film interpretation had elements that “fell flat” according to Stephen King, the movie is still the most frightening ever made. Shocking, gory films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, and the Saw franchise have a place in the history of cinematic horror. But nothing terrifies like the human psyche in a downward spiral. That and Jack Nicholson. That dude scares me even when I see him on the floor at Laker games.
As you give candy to kids dressed as Angry Big Bird or Honey Boo Boo, remember that every day is Halloween as long as you’ve got a Kindle, a Netflix account, or one crazy-ass caretaker with an axe inside The Overlook Hotel.
In celebration of the holiday, I’ve joined forces with SB Knight for his Monster Bash event on Facebook. Head over and enter to win free shit. Yep, free shit. In addition, if you sign up for my free newsletter (top left of the page) before November 1st, 2012, I’ll send you a free electronic version of The Hunt, a post-apocalyptic vampire short story released as a special Halloween treat.
From the Facebook SB Knight Monster Bash event page:
“What better way to celebrate the release of Drago’s Revenge than with a Monster Mash? We will have vampires, zombies, werewolves, and other creatures that stalk the night. Meet the authors that give them life and pull you into their world of terror. Ah, but you have a place in this too. Post your Halloween pictures, spooky stories, posters of favorite horror movies…”