Desiccated leaves, dismembered from branches, rot in the dying light and crunch like brittle bones under my boots. The wind whispers ghostly verses of songs sung long ago. Halloween is approaching. It’s time to get your creepy on.
“How do I do that?” you may ask. Sometimes eating candy corn and slaying a few pumpkins isn’t enough. Summerlike weather may defy the season or you feel like you’re too old for the holiday.
Watch thriller movies.
Freaky movies like Single White Female starring Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Steven Weber will get you in the mood. I twitched for hours afterward while sending quick glances over my shoulder. I half expected my husband, Danny, to come home with my identical haircut and color. It’s one of those movies where you want to shout, “Get out of the house, NOW! NO! DON’T GO DOWN IN THE BASEMENT! NOOOO!”
BONUS – It’s a great cardio work out without breaking a sweat.
Before I became obsessed with writing, I collected antiques on the weekends. Found objects are perfect for creepy Halloween decor. Old framed photos, black containers, and silver candlesticks highlight the season. Don’t polish the silver! The tarnish adds to the effect. I know. You’re welcome.
Sticky spider webs are not for me. I don’t want to find them months later. Instead, I use cheesecloth, cut the edges and rip holes by shredding it with my fingers.
Once you’ve created a creepy environment indoors, it’s time to go outside.
I enjoy decorating with lights. Later in the short day is the perfect time to draw with light since they glow while I work. The more haphazard, the better.
What could be better than a dead body in the middle of your driveway when you’re expecting guests? Hmm. I can’t think of anything.
Reading or writing something creepy will stir your Halloween spirit.
Peal of Terror – 100 word flash fiction
I plucked my victim while exploring the outdoors on a bleak and damp night as fog floated around my ankles. After luring him into my laboratory, I laid him on the examination table alongside my favorite tools; a razor sharp knife and an enamel bowl for excess.
His epidermis was flawless. I couldn’t wait to get started. My first incision drew fluid to the surface. I peeled his skin in thin strips revealing soft pulpy flesh. Soon the bowl turned crimson.
My mouth watered in anticipation and then, I took a bite. The sweet juice dripped from my mouth to my chin.
I love apples!
Tell true tales of gore.
Warning: THIS IS A TRUE STORY AND TOTALLY GROSS, but hey. It’s Halloween!
A few weeks ago, my Bichon, Roxy, went nuts downstairs outside the door to our unfinished basement. I ran down the steps and opened it for her. I flipped lightswitch and found a huge mouse lying in the middle of the cement floor.
I ran back upstairs and grabbed a bag. I slipped my hand inside and planned to pick it up, turn the plastic inside out and knot the top. Simple. Right? Wrong. When I stooped to pick it up, the mouse was stuck to the floor. “What?” Using my fingernails through the plastic, I pried the mouse from the floor.
*insert SCREAM here*
The mouse’s underbelly, from the tip of its chin all the way to its tail remained stuck to the floor. I realized why the mouse appeared huge. Its entire body was filled with inch-long, wriggling, white maggots. While cringing and saying over and over, “Omygod! Omygod! Omygod!” I reached back down to scrape as many of the pale squirmy worms into the bag as I could. Then, I tied it up and ran back upstairs for another bag and cleaning supplies. Eww!
The mouse left its ghostly imprint even after a half gallon of bleach…
Go to a corn maze.
And shake that image from your head. Getting totally lost with one hundred other frightened people at night is something I’ve looked forward to for a while.
Visit a cemetery…at night.
Remember, Halloween is the night before All Souls Day. I love visiting old cemeteries. You can feel their creepiness in broad daylight.
Dress up on Halloween night.
You’re never too old for the holiday. I’m getting my creepy on and will channel Morticia Addams along with my husband, Gomez, and Cousin It. Thing might make an appearance as well. His fingers are always pattering around the house, somewhere.