Thursday, October 1, 2009

Halloween Season

The 1st of October is the unofficial beginning of the Halloween Season. Actually, there is no “Halloween Season,” so the unofficial beginning may be the official one. Regardless, this is when we see stores displaying all their Halloween stuff. For me, I’ve marked the start of the season by reading a “scary” book.

In years past I’ve read at this time, amongst others, classics like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I’ve read modern horror classics like The Exorcist, Ghost Story, Salem’s Lot, and I Am Legend. I’ve also read some Clive Barker books since most his books are fitting for the Halloween Season.

This year I’m reading The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. For those who don’t know, according to the book jacket:

In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that, one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property—complete with boathouse and swimming pool—and the price had been too good to pass up. Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror.
The Amityville house is about a half hour drive from my own home. Yes, it’s still there. It’s been renovated and the infamous quarter-round windows have been replaced with conventional rectangular ones. Much of the controversy surrounding the book and subsequent film is because the story has been marketed as true. There’s a lot of contradictory information out there comparing events depicted in the book compared to the history record which is described in the Wiki article.

Is it real or not? I have no idea. As a kid, though, the story scared the heck out of me and anytime I saw the coming attractions for the 1979 film I had to switch the channel. Whenever I saw a house with those infamous windows I’d freak. It didn’t help that both my parents were superstitious so I always thought it was real. But know it doesn’t matter. The novel is an entertaining—although melodramatic—read.

1 comment:

  1. I love this time of year. I'm not such a big horror fan (especially movies), but I am reading appropriately-themed lit for the season as I research my upcoming novel. I wrote about it here:

    So looks like I'm going to be knee-deep in Vlad the Impaler and 15th century Romanian shenanigans for a while. Cool!