Memories Before the Horror
Being that Halloween is next weekend, I am proud to share some of the frightfully good memories from my childhood during the month of October. Sadly, some of the quintessential moments of my childhood Halloween days are no longer shown to the masses of growing girls and boys (the future horror fans, if you will) even though some of those traditions are less horror and more Halloween goodness.
Scares and frights are necessities of the holiday of Halloween, whether big or small. And I brought the terror to the streets of my hometown during high school, decorating the paint-chipped porch of my parents’ house with lifelike animatronics and classic cobwebs. Strobe lights, fog machines, and cackling sound effects created the perfect atmosphere on the hollowed ground at home. Children ran away screaming or walked up to the candy dish crying, the limp body of my best friend sitting on the porch with a bloody slit throat caused most children to flee in terror.
It has been years since I decorated the porch with jack-o-lanterns and flying bats, being away at university during the night for ghosts and ghouls. And carving pumpkins into strange and creepy designs was the best competition between my father and me.
During my younger days, the Halloween cartoon specials broadcasted every year were the highlight of the holiday. Shrieking with delight as the beloved characters from Disney had the more suspenseful moments compiled together in a 1-hour special hosted by the magic mirror. And the more creepy episodes of Looney Tunes were broadcasted in greater frequency during the month of October.
The favored Halloween cartoon special was and is from that beloved fat, lazy cat Garfield. With its Halloween costume options for Garfield and Odie and the creepy old man telling the story of a haunted treasure, my Halloween was never complete as a child unless it was viewed at least once. The saddest thing is that I have never seen it mentioned or broadcasted in the past few years (Charlie Brown and his Great Pumpkin can go fall into a dark cavern in a pile of flailing limbs and pumpkin seeds for all I care – To quote Trick ‘r Treat, “Charlie Brown’s an asshole.”).