Blogging Halloween 2011

September 12, 2011 — For the past 12 months, there's been a prominent sign in the retail district of my New England town that reads Halloween Express in dripping orange letters on a black background. It's a leftover from last year’s seasonal store that I wrote about here, and it's been both annoying and jarring to see it piercing the dull gray sky of winter, the Simpsons sky of spring, and the blue oven sky of summer.

However, as of today, like the proverbial broken clock, the sign is finally right…it’s Halloween again.

Well, sort of. It’s the Halloween season. Or Autumn. Or Fall. Or whatever you personally like to call this jumble of colorful leaves, mossy tombstones, monster movies, and apple and caramel concoctions that lasts from somewhere in early to mid-September (for those of us who refuse to heed equinoxes and axial tilts) to the last day of October and which is, quite simply, the best time of the year, give or take a Christmas.

I had a blast doing last year's inaugural Halloween blog, so I'm totally doing it again this year, analytics be damned. I’ve got a lot of activities and road trips on the docket to take full advantage of the season, and by docket I mean casual list of misspelled half-thoughts and phrases in an email draft folder. I’m tempted to make promises now about what’s going to be on the blog this year, but like those complicated pumpkin carving patterns you get at the store, the end result always turns out a bit different for me than the plan (and by different, I mean that the detailed haunted house under a cloud of bats pattern that I often attempt usually just ends up being a gaping hole in the gourd).

Eh, what the heck. We can at least consider the below list aspirational (and by no means complete).

I’m hoping to visit burial locations of both a werewolf and a vampire, take a trip down to Sleepy Hollow, NY, write about various Edgar Allan Poe-related sites that I’ve been to, hit up Salem, MA, give you a sneak peek into my New York Grimpendium book project that is currently underway, do some Halloween videos to supplement the articles, and try out a couple different ways to talk to the dead.

And all that’s in addition to all the usual sampling of new and grisly candies, watching horror movies and Halloween specials, visitng grave yards, hitting Fall festivals, taking day trips through New England, scaring my wife, drinking seasonal cocktails, carving pumpkins, and finding new traditions and ways to reinvigorate old ones. I can at least promise that it'll be a mix of mild adventure and comfortable minutia*, and a record of this 2011 Halloween season that is currently just a pile of pumpkin-orange potential.

Basically, by October 31, when the last preciously costumed small child has violently tripped down that sagging front porch step that I’ve never fixed, I want all the letter keys involved in typing the word Halloween to be completely rubbed off my keyboard.

I’ll be posting every day or so, but feel free to skim through last year’s blog (which you can also find in the sidebar) as I consider that ground officially [leaf] covered, and you can follow me on twitter (@jwocker) for some real-time Halloweenery and for all the stuff that I can’t or don’t have time to build entire posts around. Also, hit me up on the O.T.I.S. Facebook page, as I want to know what you’re doing this season. Post pics. Especially if you’re in Arizona. Seriously. I really want to know what you do during Halloween in Arizona.

All aboard the Halloween Express.

*Mild Adventure and Comfortable Minutia is a trademark of J.W. Ocker, LLC and Infringements will be prosecuted to the full extent of both God's and Murphy's law.


Can't wait for the new book!
I'm preordering this time. My toddler keeps grabbing the New England one and asking me about the skull on the cover.
Can't wait for him to be old enough to read it to!
BTW- If you ever get down to Florida, go to the Ripley's Museum in St. Augustine. It's supposedly the oldest and housed in a former hotel that was the scene of a rumored double homicide.
The ghost tour was a lot of fun.

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