Growing up in Pennsylvania, fall was already a truly magical time. The leaves on the trees changing color and you could just feel the change in the air. Even now, being in California you can feel the weather changing. The days begin to take on a different feel, and though it's much subtler here, the fall is still noticeable all around you. However, on Halloween everything seems to come alive. The nights seem darker, the trees seem to grow over night, reaching out to you as you pass by them. And the air itself becomes crisper and fills with the sweet smells of wood fires and pies baking. Some of my fondest memories are of walking the streets with my family, feeling the cool air against my face and looking out into the shadows with the curiosity of a child in a toy store. For me, feelings and moments like this are caught, suspended in time, within some of our most classic horror movies. Though there are many horror movies out there for everyone to indulge in and claim as our favorites, for me it's Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Bram Stoker's "Dracula".
These movies, as well as their novels, have always had a special place in my heart. To me they are classic, dark, gothic, and absolutely wonderful. "Interview with the Vampire" by Ann Rice is also both a fantastic novel and movie. I was happy and truly surprised at how well all of these movies so closely followed the novels they are based upon. This is not something that I come across very often and I find to be a real treat. Another movie that falls into this list is "The Stand" by Stephen King. Out of all of his fantastic novels turned movies, this is one of my favorites. It is an extremely long movie - about four hours - but one that is definitely worth seeing. "The Stand" is filled with a great collection of talented actors/actresses, a fantastic plot line, and a dark feel that only comes with the masterful story telling talent of Stephen King.
Halloween also brings about memories of carving pumpkins, telling ghost stories around a dimly lit flashlight, and lots and lots of good times. Recently we have taken to going to a local corn maze each year. Walking through the maze at night, shivering in the cool air, we would constantly be watching the corn stalks towering above our heads. They seem to dwarf everything around them, making us feel small in comparison. Take all of that, add in a touch of wind, and you have the makings of a good Halloween story. It's here though, wondering through the maze at night, that I realized nothing can scare a person more than their own imagination. For all the ghost stories I've read, and horror movies I've watched, nothing gets me more than my own mind. I'm always in this kind of mind set, which is why I not only love all things horror, but it's why I would love nothing more than to be an author. Halloween has never been just another holiday to me. It is a day to keep ones mind a little more open to the possibilities the darkness offers around us. A day to delve, if only just a little more, into the shadowy corners of our imagination.