Blog Post: I am the Pumpkin King!

Ah Halloween, the only time grown women are allowed to dress as a slutty pirate, and it’s supposed to be okay. A time for eating as much chocolate as possible and watching scary movies till you actually consider leaving your bedside lamp on.

We dress up our children and then authorize their begging for food. We even chaperone said begging by walking them around the neighborhood until their plastic pumpkins are full or they start crying, whichever comes first. What is it about All Hallows’ Eve that makes Americans spend over $8 billion a year?

I’ve got to admit, Halloween has never been my favorite. When I was a kid, it scared the hooey out of me. I hated scary anything–much less an entire holiday around it! I never went as anything remotely frightening, opting for hobos and princesses instead, and when I became double-digits, I stopped trick-or-treating altogether. Having grown up during the “razor blades in candy” time, I was always a little leary of the whole candy thing anyway, and after having my own children, I REALLY didn’t want to indulge in Halloween at all. But fear of warping them forever by denying that age-old tradition forced me to buy costumes and to do the whole shabang.

I’d like to say sharing in the excitement of Halloween with my kids gave me a new appreciation of it. I’d like to say that, but eh, not so much. I mean, who in their right mind wants to be scared? Who wants to fear the things that go bump in the night?

The answer: everyone! In the last couple of  years or so, I’ve experimented with the whole horror thing in preparation for a manuscript I was working on. I had a story to tell, and it just so happened to be a ghost story. So, I did what any good researcher would do, I watched nearly every scary movie on Netflix and recorded every paranormal witness/survivor/ghost-hunting show on tv. And over the course of it, I’ve finally realized why people like that stuff.

We want to be scared. We want that spike of adrenaline of watching the psycho chase the stupid sorority girl instead of actually experiencing it ourselves. We need that catharsis of the credits rolling at the end when we realize WE are still safe unlike the poor schmucks who just drove off before they realized the werewolf was still alive and writing down their license plate (not the worst plot I saw in all those B movies, trust me).

After I’d watched till I was becoming numb to the fear, I started my novel, telling my protagonist’s story with more experience in the scared to death field. I even managed to work in some of the creepy-creepy I’ve experienced in my own possibly haunted house. When last October 31 rolled around, I sort of looked forward to it even though I still stayed away from the scary costume, but who knows? Maybe this year I’ll have fangs and claws–and then I’ll buy a costume. 😉






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