I am not typically fond of generalizations, but I feel confident in asserting that most people enjoy the fall season.
Cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, bonfires, comforting beverages, apple picking, warm-scented candles, pumpkin versions of everything and, my particular interest, the approaching holiday season!
Although Thanksgiving has always held a special place in my stomach—uh, I mean, heart—and Christmas is regarded as “the most wonderful time of the year,” Halloween is my favorite day of the year. If I was a mother, and the holidays were my children, Halloween would be my “I don’t have a favorite,” favorite child.
Halloween is the one day out of the year that I can openly indulge in my obsession with all things creepy, weird, and—my favorite category—creepy-cute without being accused of being a morbid psychopath.
One day out of the year is hardly a substantial amount of time to satisfy my spooky interests, which is why I dedicate the entire month of October to watching, reading, and buying ALL the eerie content I can get my claws on.
Whether you’re a connoisseur of creepy things like myself or a seasonal appreciator of Halloween, here are a few things I’ve been bingeing on this past month which you might enjoy:
TELEVISION – OVER THE GARDEN WALL (2014)
Although I was admittedly tempted to blog about the Netflix-original Stranger Things, I decided against it since the Internet is already teeming with theories in anticipation of the next season.
Instead, let me introduce you to the lesser known Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall. This epitome of creepy-cute first aired in November of 2014, but completely flew under my radar because of my decision to get rid of my cable box roughly three years back. Thankfully, it is available on Hulu!
This dark, adventure-fantasy unfolds around two half-brothers, Wirt and Greg, who are walking home through the woods when they are struck with the sudden realization that they are lost. They encounter an unthinkable amount of whimsical and frightening things in the Unknown as they do their best discern who they can trust to help them find their way home.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show because of the balanced distribution of morbid and lighthearted moments throughout: one minute the brothers are singing and eating lunch with a bunch of animal school-children and the next moment they’re fleeing from a horrendous monster.
Although it is a cartoon on a network for children, don’t let the picturesque scenery fool you; this show is unsettling and bone-chilling. Have you ever rewatched a show you used to enjoy as a child and thought to yourself, “This is definitely not a show for kids” (I’m looking at you, Courage the Cowardly Dog)? Well, now you can add Over the Garden Wall to your arsenal…if you dare.
FILM – IT FOLLOWS (2014)
I could easily dedicate an entire blog post to my favorite thriller/horror films of all time that will make your paranoia run rampant for weeks on end, but of all the movies I’ve watched this month, It Follows made the largest impact on my fancy…and sanity.
This psychological horror film follows Jay, a college student, who receives a curse through an unpleasant sexual encounter with her new boyfriend, Hugh. Once passed to the victim, this deadly curse follows them in the form of either someone the victim knows or a complete stranger and will not rest until it kills the current victim…or until the curse is passed onto someone else.
The worst part? Only the victim (and previous victims) can see the entities. Yikes. I used to (and unfortunately sometimes still do on occasion) have these soul-chilling, hyper-realistic nightmares where I would see evil beings that no one else could see. They were always lurking in the background and could only inflict harm on those who could see them, lucky me. I would wake from these dreams sweating, panic-stricken, and unable to discern if I had been dreaming or not primarily because my body would be sore wherever it had bitten, clawed, or grasped me in my dream. Um, no thank you!
It Follows embodies nearly all of my fears in one storyline: being followed, feeling emotionally alone, suspecting that every rustling noise in the night is a damn, dirty monster trying to eat my flesh, etc. The film definitely gave more of a thriller vibe versus horror because the entity’s ability to take the form of any person had me continuously on edge until the end.
APP – HOOKED
I came across HOOKED in the oddest of places, on Instagram as an advertised post. HOOKED is a free app that lets you read riveting user-submitted stories that are told in the format of chat message conversations. The nature of the text message format makes it easy to digest and, if using it on your phone, makes you feel involved in the stories themselves. You can even write and post your own stories too!
Though there are several genres to choose from, I naturally gravitated to the horror and thriller genres. If you give HOOKED a try, I highly recommend “The Watcher” by Sean Dunne. The story tells of a girl named Chloe who is home alone when she is messaged by her father who warns that there is a man outside the house watching her. Despite the many questions she poses, her father insists the most important thing is that she keeps the man in her sight so he is unable to move (Doctor Who fans will appreciate this detail, I’m sure). The story takes quite a few unexpected turns and left me gripping my covers extra tight.
I hope the rest of your October is spook-tacular!