Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It happened on October 17, across the street from a haunted house, which meant I couldn’t enjoy Halloween anymore. I had screamed and screamed myself hoarse, and later, the police said they had even heard me screaming, but it was October 17, across the street from a haunted house. Screams filled the air.

Then again, I’m still here, so maybe that means I’m lucky?

Bad enough to give up horror movies, the superior thrill of autumn leaves skittering down the street in a gust of wind, the wearing of short skirts. The real tragedy, though, is giving up that youthful sense of invulnerability, the security that comes from knowing terror is something that happens to other people. Terror happened to me.

That was all more than a decade ago, and I can finally watch scary movies again: a Korean ghost tale, an adaptation of an HP Lovecraft story, some stupid modern slasher flick where gore replaces suspense and character development. Took a while to get over it, but I did. Because, seriously, what’s scary is reality. You want to scare me? Give me a Holocaust memoir. Or how about that scene in the Will Smith movie where he’s newly homeless and he and his kid are sleeping in a public bathroom? Or how about the news?

It was a mistake when I stopped loving Halloween because a crazy man did a crazy thing to me. Halloween is the antidote.