After a long, sweltering summer there is nothing more satisfying to me than a crisp autumn day. Not too cold, but deserving of a light jacket or a fleece. Maybe a morning where you can just see your breath, but perfectly pleasant while the sun shines with just enough warmth.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that we'd be going straight to winter. No passing go. No collecting $200. Just go directly to a goddamn Nor'easter! What the fuck, Mother Nature? I realize the human race is doing all we can to piss you off but this is just cruel. I even got screwed out of my annual haunted hayride trip since, shockingly, most of the people running those things didn't think they'd need to attach a fucking snowplow to the front of their tractors. Jesus.
Anyway, I figured it might be best to concentrate on the things about Halloween that make me happy to take my mind off of this douchebag weather cycle. So here's a few random things that I always look forward to about Halloween.
Halloween-Themed TV Episodes
These are always the first sign that Halloween is almost here. When I was a typical dateless wonder in the mid-to-late nineties, the apex of the season was, of course, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors. There are a lot of great moments so it's hard to pick one out of the rest, but just because I read about it online recently I have to point out the Tron joke from "Homer 3."
But nowadays I'm more interested in finding a show that takes Halloween into a scarier direction. This year's winner has to be the Halloween episode of Castle. Nathan Fillion is one of an surprisingly long list of man crushes that I have, and it's fun watching him geek out at the idea of that a ghost could be the perpetrator in the murder case he's helping investigate. Of course it wasn't a ghost, but the reality of the case was still nice and creepy. Good show, Castle.
AMC's Fear Fest
I'm a child of 80s horror. I can't get enough poorly written slasher movies where 25-year-old "teenagers" get chased down by a maniac in a mask who somehow catches them while never speeding above a leisurely stroll. And apparently, neither can AMC. Friday the 13th and it's many sequels, Halloween and it's almost equally many sequels, and an array of my favorite horror movies. Plus, now I also get The Walking Dead thrown in for good measure. Just great stuff all around.
Haunted Hayride Websites
So, yes, this one is kind of sad. But every year, by early September, I find myself going to the sites of my favorite haunted hayrides to see if they've updated for the new season. I'll probably never wind up going to 99% of the actual attractions that I check out online (or 100% in the years that it fucking snows), but this is another instance of building my anticipation for the Halloween season. Plus, the ads on the websites usually turn out better than the actual hayride.
I guess the good thing about my favorite things to do around Halloween is that they aren't really weather dependent. Sure, I had to miss the annual haunted hayride trip, and I'm not allowed to go trick or treating since no one seems to buy that I'm just wearing my "27-year-old with a beard" costume. But at least during Halloween I can watching horror movies until 2 am and not feel the same sense of shame as when I do it during New Year's Eve.