Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Do You Hear Something?

Last night, the owls were really going at it. There is a pair of Great Horned Owls living in the woods that border our place and they were calling back and forth for what seemed like hours. From time to time, a screech owl would chime in with his eerie little call.

I enjoy listening to the owls, but not so much at 12:30 AM, when I'm in the house alone, the moon is just a little past full, and the dogs keep pacing the house growling at things outside that I can't see.  The Great Horned's resonate "Hoo-hoo, Hoo-hoo" brings to mind entirely too many creepy movie scenes. The dogs probably see a barn cat, deer, possum, raccoon or fox, but I can't help getting a mild case of the heebie jeebies.

Maybe I'm susceptible since this is the time of year for spooks and spirits and shadowy shapes, with October 31 coming right up.  Halloween is a big money holiday in the US these days, with over $7 billion spent yearly on pumpkins, costumes, decorations, related paraphernalia and of course, candy.  If you enjoy getting into the spooky spirit, the library can help you get your shriek on.
Corgi Dog in Pumpkin Patch
The pumpkin is the centerpiece of any Halloween festivity, and finding just the right round orange gourd can take some careful selection. There are lots of pumpkin patches in the local area if you like to make your selection in the great outdoors instead of the supermarket.  
Once you get your purchase home, then the design debate begins. Funny or scary? Face or picture? Jack O' Lantern carving  can be a very elaborate process, or a simple as three triangles and a gap toothed grin.  The library has some titles to help you out, and there are plenty of websites too.

A great costume is de rigeur for Halloween haunting.   We always spurned the "store bought" costume at my house when I was a kid, and making your own costume is really a big part of the fun.  Even with limited or no sewing skills, there are plenty of clever ideas that can be put together the evening of the party.  If you have more time and ability (or enthusiasm), try a book like this one.

For party activities, showing a creepy black and white horror classic is a fun idea for a small group. The library can offer such sure fire frightfests as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho or the Bela Lugosi Dracula.   Or you might want to try something more contemporary, like Fright Night.
More great party, decorating and menu ideas can be found in the selection of Halloween books at your local library.  For a more personal celebration of the spooky season, borrow a book or audio by one of the masters of horror writing.  The tales of Edgar Allen Poe are still some of the best for a quick shot of the shivers. Stephen King, Dean Koontz or Clive Barker can all spin a story that will have you, like me,  jumping when the dog growls at nothing.

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Anita V.

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