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Ghastly greetings, dear reader! I am pumped because its finally October, the spookiest month of the year, and I am all about spooky. Since last year’s Halloween Fun List was such a spook-tacular success, I decided to create another eerie-sistible list for this year which will include thematic clothing and accessories, fang-tastic food and drink, bone-chilling books, montrous movies, and so much more.

My work wardrobe will be accessorized from head to toe with Halloween/Fall earrings, pins, infinity scarves, and socks. I may even acquire a Halloween t-shirt or two for my creepy collection. Additionally, I will be adding some Halloween decorations in the reading area of my bedroom and on my front porch, mixing them in with the fall decorations already on display. Kelsi and I have planned a couple of days to hang out together, so I am hoping we will conjure up a thrilling treat or two while celebrating this enchanted month.

BOOKS/SHORT STORIES

This Halloween, Kelsi and I are participating in a Readathon that we created together. It is the first time that we are doing this type of reading activity. Our book and short story selections are based on horror movies. I have listed my terrifying TBR choices for the month below.

  • Cabal by Clive Barker
  • Thinner by Richard Bachman
  • Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  • Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
  • Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
  • Fear Zone 2 by K.R. Alexander
  • The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
  • ”The Mangler” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • ”Jerusalem’s Lot” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • “Sometimes They Come Back” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • “The Magic Ball” by Charles J. Finger (A Newbery Halloween)
  • ”The Man of Influence” by Paul Fleishman (A Newbery Halloween)

In addition to the Halloween Readathon, I will be reading The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury which was chosen by the mesmerizing members of the Chills, Thrills, and Kills Book Club (book club that Kelsi and I started back in May 2021). Also, I will be finishing up the spine-tingling short story collection AutumnCrow by Cameron Chaney which I started on the first day of fall.

MOVIES

October would be totally boring if it did not include a few hair-raising movies, so I decided on 20 movies for the Halloween season. A couple will provide lighthearted entertainment while others are guaranteed to raise goosebumps and inspire nightmares. Two of my movie choices are based on books, which will be enjoyable to compare/contrast and to discuss with Kelsi. Nightbreed is based on Cabal by Clive Barker, and Silver Bullet is based on Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King.

EERIE EXTRAS

There are two additional aah-inspiring activities that I would love to include on my list if my schedule allows, weather permits, and COVID restrictions relax. First, I would love to see the play, The House on Haunted Hill, I auditioned for at the Columbia Theatre back in August. Second, Barry and I would enjoy shuffling in the 2021 New Orleans Zombie Run. It is a two-mile run/walk/crawl that begins and ends at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street. Of course, in the event any other Halloween or fall-related activities are lurking in the shadows this month, I will add them to my already unBOOlieveable list. Lastly, if the weather is pleasant on Halloween night, I will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

There was a certain crispness to the early morning air today, dear reader. October has arrived and is making sure we take notice. What are your plans for the month of October? Whatever you decide, have a howling good time. Happiness!

“There is a child in everyone of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit porch.” ~ Robert Brault 

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Kelsi and I completed our Holiday Horror Movie Marathon at the end of April. It was a two-month long marathon (March/April) that entailed watching 15 holiday related horror movies. We both kicked off the marathon with Holidays, an anthology of eight short horror films centered around holidays, and I wrapped it up with The Evil in Us. Kelsi and I originally chose 18 films for this marathon; however, we made some adjustments after viewing Rottentail. We bothed nixed Hanukkah and replaced Father’s Day because of content. Kelsi watched Stepfather, and I watched Stepfather 2. We also decided to move Thankskilling to November. Additionally, since we were unable to find a full-length movie of Groundhog (only watched trailer, teaser, and kill count videos), we removed it completely from our lists with the hope of getting a DVD of the movie by next year.

Out of the 15 movies that I watched, two of them were rewatches, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Terror Train. Overall, I enjoyed most of the movies that I chose for this marathon with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter being my top favorite. Along with Fat Tuesday, it was filmed in Louisiana. Both films feature local actors which I absolutely love. In fact, about ten years ago, I worked on a short film called Hotcakes with Michelle Kolwalski, who acted in and produced Fat Tuesday. As you can see from my rankings, there are two films that I wholly hated and have NO redeeming qualities. Both Leprechaun in the Hood and Rottentail are beyond terrible (content) and were difficult to sit through the entire viewing.

Since our Holiday Horror Movie Marathon was longer than our other marathons, we decided to split our conversations up into four separate videos. There are a few ways that you can watch all four of our delightful chats at your leisure, dear reader. This blog post contains links to all four of our conversations. They are also located on the Movie Marathon page of my blog. And, you can view them and additional fantastic content on Kelsi’s YouTube channel, Slime and Slashers – A Nostalgia and Horror Channel.

Our first chat is featured in my 19 March 2021 blog post, “Kicking Off Holiday Horror Marathon.” This conversation includes our opinions on the holiday horror themed anthology Holidays, and our expectations for the movie marathon.

Our second chat is a review of the first half of the films we watched at the beginning of the marathon. It includes our thoughts on Terror Train, My Bloody Valentine, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Leprechaun, Leprechaun in the Hood, Fat Tuesday, Candy Man: Farewell to the Flesh, and The Happening.

Chat #2

Our third chat is a review of some of the films we watched during the second half of the marathon. It includes our thoughts on April Fool’s Day, Dead Snow, Night of the Lepus, Rottentail, Ladronas de Almas (Soul Thieves), Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and The Evil In Us.

Chat #3

Our fourth and final chat is a wrap-up of the marathon which includes holiday related dishes, literature, activities, and the final three films we watched, Stepfather, Stepfather 2, and Severance. We give our rankings of the films we watched and our thoughts on the marathon in general.

Final Chat

Generally speaking, dear reader, our Holiday Horror Movie Marathon was a success. Some of the highlights of the marathon were watching the horror movies connected to holidays, eating a Mexican feast while watching Ladronas de Almas, and chatting with Kelsi about the movies and our thematic activities. If there was a downside to our marathon, it would be that it was a tad bit too long. Our final concensus is watching holiday horror movies around the actual holiday would be a better approach. Kelsi and I also discovered in April that April is Halfway to Halloween Month. Apparently, it is something new conceived by the streaming service Shudder. Therefore, you can imagine what the two of us will be watching next year during the month of April. All in all, I am happy that I participated and look forward to sharing more of our movie marathon experiences. Happiness!

Horror, at its best, seeks to show its audiences that it’s okay to be scared–scared of anything at all–because fear is the dark before the dawn. ~ Carly Racklin, “Why Horror Matters”

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Kelsi and I kicked off our two-month-long (March/April) Holiday Horror Marathon the first weekend in March with watching the horror anthology Holidays. It is comprised of eight short horror films with each one inspired by a different holiday. A few days later, we had a chat where we reviewed the films and discussed our expectations for this marathon.

Kelsi and I decided that our horror movies would center around holidays throughout the year with the exception of Halloween and Christmas. We both chose 18 movies with many similar choices. I selected films connected to Arbor Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day, but Kelsi did not. I only picked one movie for Easter, and she picked three. Kelsi also included an additional movie for Father’s Day. I have also decided to watch the movies in the order of when the holiday happens during the year. Additionally, we will include some other holiday horror related activities, such as reading a holiday horror story, fixing thematic food and drinks, or listening to music to celebrate the day of festivity. Once we have completed our marathon at the end of April, Kelsi and I will have another conversation or two to discuss our likes, dislikes, the thematic tie-ins, and much more. 

Holiday Horror Movies

  • Holidays (Anthology)*
  • Terror Train (New Year’s Eve)*
  • Groundhog (Groundhog Day)*+
  • My Bloody Valentine – 1981 (Valentine’s Day)*
  • Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (Presidents’ Day)*
  • Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras)*
  • Leprechaun in the Hood (St. Patrick’s Day)
  • April Fool’s Day – 1986 (April Fool’s Day)*
  • Rottentail (Easter)*
  • The Happening (Arbor Day)
  • Soul Thieves (Cinco de Mayo)
  • Mother’s Day (Mother’s Day)*
  • Memorial Day (Memorial Day)
  • Father’s Day (Father’s Day)*
  • The Evil in Us (4th of July)*
  • Severance (Labor Day)*
  • Thankskilling (Thanksgiving)*
  • Hanukkah (Hanukkah)*

Notes: *These are the movies that Kelsi and I have in common. +We watched the trailer, teaser, and Kill Count compilation of Groundhog; however, I am in the process of doing some more research to see if I can find the full-length film of Groundhog for us to watch before the end of the marathon.

In Other Horror News

Kelsi and I are starting a BOOK CLUB. Oh, the Horror! It will be a horror-themed book club focusing on horror fiction as well as occasionally reading mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction. It is sure to provide chills, thrills, and kills with each book club selection. We are super excited since this is our first book club, and we would love for readers who share our love of the mysterious and the macabre to join us. The first order of business is choosing the name of our book club. You can help us, dear reader, by answering just one survey question (click on survey) by 31 March 2021. The name of our book club will be revealed on April Fool’s Day. Happiness!

“And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.”            ~ Stephen King

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Merry Christmas Horror! I successfully completed my 12 Days of Christmas Horror movie marathon a couple of days before Christmas. What a thrilling experience! This movie marathon was part of my Christmas fun list for the month of December.

Out of the twelve horror movies I watched this month, three of them revolve around Krampus, the half-goat/half-demon who is believed to have emerged from German folklore. His role is basically to punish the naughty children. The first time I had heard of Krampus was back in 2015 when the film Krampus, starring Toni Collette and Adam Scott, hit the movie theaters. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it in the theater and essentially tucked it away in the back of my mind until this year. Out of all the Christmas horror movies that I watched for my marathon, this was my absolute favorite. The movies are ranked in the order of how much I liked them and the stars represent my rating.

My top six movies all received 5 STARS from me with my first three favorite films featuring Krampus. Out of my top six movies, five were new watches with one being a superb rewatch (Gremlins) that I had not seen in decades. Better Watch Out is a rollercoaster of a ride with many twists and turns and an ending that keeps you wondering long after the ending credits. Anna and the Apocalypse was a pleasant musical zombie surprise. Think High School Musical meets Shaun of the Dead. I would highly recommend all six movies to anyone who is a fan of horror or dark comedy.

Out of the remaining six movies on my list, five were new watches with one being a rewatch (Scrooged) that I had not seen in decades. The Children and Black Christmas were both wonderful surprises. They were disturbing in their own right and left you, the viewer, to decide the ending. Scrooged was surprisingly a bit of a disappointment because I recalled liking it much more when I first watched it. Wind Chill was slightly dull, Christmas Evil was moderately creepy and somewhat over the top, and Saint was simply awful.

I would highly recommend The Children and Black Christmas (1974 version). Even though I was a little disappointed with Scrooged, I would definitely recommend it. It is more of a dark comedy/fantasy than a horror movie; however, it features the delightful Bill Murray in the role of Scrooge and the hilarious Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present. As for Wind Chill, I would bypass it unless you are a fan of Emily Blunt and want to see her earlier work. I half-heartedly recommend Christmas Evil (Kelsi would disagree), and I definitely do NOT recommend Saint. Shockingly, the last two movies were recommended on Christmas Horror movie lists and rated well on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Not only did I get to watch horror movies related to the Christmas season, but I also had the opportunity to talk about them with my good friend Kelsi. We had an entertaining conversation about our likes and dislikes, surprises, my introduction to Krampus, and much more. While we generally have similar tastes regarding the horror genre and agreed for the most part on many of the films we mutually watched, there were a couple of films that we did not see eye to eye. I invite you to watch our conversation to learn more about the horror movies we watched this season. And, if you have any suggestions for future Christmas horror movies that we should watch next year, please share in the comments of our chat or this blog post.

Finally, I teased in my “12 Days of Christmas Horror” post back in November that I was working on a piece of writing to complement my Christmas Horror movie marathon. Well, I wrote a song called “The Twelve Days of Christmas Horror” using the music from “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It features many of the elements in the horror movies that I chose to watch this month. On a whim, I contacted my voice coach Laura to see if it was even possible for me to sing it, much less record it. We only had three sessions together to practice and record it in the midst of work, commitments, and Christmas hullabaloo. Laura graciously edited it for me, so I could include it in today’s post. While it’s not perfect, I am pretty proud of it. And, I can always tweak it. After all, I am a work in progress.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Horror

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, dear reader. As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed my 12 Days of Christmas Horror. The rest of my holiday festivities for the month of December have been less creepy and more classically Christmas. I am wrapping up my Classic Christmas movie marathon and reading my last Christmas related book which is all about Krampus. Soon, Kelsi and I will have a conversation discussing all of the other items we completed on our Christmas fun lists, and I will post a recap after the first of the year. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your weekend. Happiness!

“Moments later, from the orphanage roof, a creature made of Christmas nightmares and holding a bulging sack that looked to hold doll-shaped toys made its escape through the silhouette of the city, not to be seen for another year.”Sebastian Gregory

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