Welcome To October, Ghouls

Haunt yourself a little happy.

Photo by Cederic X on Unsplash

Welcome, ye who enter here, to October. Macabre Month. Scary Christmas. The month where those of us who live in the dark at last have our time in the spotlight. It’s pumpkins and chilling movies and all manner of treats dressed as body parts. It’s falling leaves and cool air and plastic spider rings just kind of everywhere. It’s a general layer of sinister fog enrobing the entire month and I don’t mind telling you I’m excited.

Naturally, my decor went up September first, but I don’t expect anyone to get it. September is a garbage month full of hot weather when we don’t want it and no discernible enjoyable traits. Additionally, how can I be expected to bask in the orange and purple glow of my twinkle lights for just 31 days per year? That hardly seems like enough. I buy skulls in bulk for heaven’s sake. But today is October 1st, officially the start of Halloween season, a spooky and sinister time that brews great personal joy within my cold, black heart. My black faux candelabra is on as a write this. Dance, little orange flames, dance.

Why do we like this crap? Why are the shelves of Target bedecked with increasing quantities of battery operated novelties and home exterior decor to rival the Griswolds? I have a theory that everyone loves a little creepy, it’s just that October is the only time they feel confident saying so. Nobody wants to be a weirdo, but in October, we all are.

There’s a safety to the scariness of October. Even those who don’t leave the faux raven skeletons out all year have a laugh as they dabble in the darkness. We want to be scared, but safely. Like we need the confidence that the chainsaw is fake to have a good time, you know? I have fake tombstones and a skull in a snow globe in my living room and this month is the only time I can have people over and not have to explain them. This is maybe the only month of the year I can thoroughly relax.

October is a month that, when you think about it, uses death as decoration and yet somehow we’re all remarkably upbeat. It’s indulgence in weirdness of the highest order and it’s a beautiful thing to see and offer candy to out of an automated bowl. October is the only month human bones are funny. I’m not asking for an explanation I’m just stating the facts.

So go forth, gremlins. Haunt on, you spirits. Jump into this cobweb-covered month with both feet—better still if they’re wearing witch shoes at the time. I celebrate October with reckless frivolity, coating my home in black and white striped accents and draping creepy cloth over anything that will keep still. I’ve been running makeup trials of my costume for two weeks and I’ve owned it’s major components since summer. But for a horrible error on my part and the cat would be resting in a tiny haunted house of her own right now. Dammit for selling out. Anyway—what I’m saying is, embrace your inner creep, celebrate your sinister side, and have a very, very happy Halloween, starting right now.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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