Make October Scare Again

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Just before the start of fifth grade, my family moved across town to a new neighborhood and subdivision. I only knew a few kids on my street since I stayed at my old school. October and Halloween could have been awkward, so I was thrilled and relieved when some neighbor kids asked me to go trick-or-treating with them. My parents didn’t seem to bat an eye at this (though I think they’d gotten to know the other parents in the neighborhood pretty well), and on Halloween night I set off with three kids I’d known for less than a month, after dark, in a neighborhood I barely knew.

After the jump, welcome to old school Halloween.

If there’s one thing the retro stylings of the Netflix series Stranger Things got exactly right, it’s the now almost unthinkable notion of kids playing outside, unsupervised, after dark in the 1970s and 80s. I was blessed to grow up in a fairly safe suburban environment, and my friends and I played games like hide-and-seek some nights or just sat at the end of someone’s driveway and told scary stories on others. That freedom extended to Halloween, too. No one over the age of ten was out trick or treating until it got dark, until the youngest children with their parents were mostly done. Then bands of us kids would take over, going door to door for candy deep into the evening.

This month Tom Chick and I will try to recapture some of the excitement of that lost era. That’s right, were going to make October scare again! For the next 31 days we’ll try to direct you to the glorious, frightful frisson of Halloweens past by making some more modern recommendations.

Obviously I love this time of year dearly, so much so that a few years ago I convinced Tom to join me in an overview of 30 important years in horror movies. A year after that, a group of us filled the front page with 31 great horror films from the past 15 years. Those were both incredibly fun projects, but allow me to share something in confidence: watching a horror film once a day burned me out on the genre. Lets keep this between us, but for nearly two years I didn’t watch a single horror movie.

What I have done is explore horror in other mediums. That’s what Tom and I will be writing about in the coming month. We’ve got four categories, none of them movies, and we’re going to roll out ten recommendations each week. These aren’t the ten best, or the top ten, or the ten most well known, or even our ten favorites. These are just recommendations. Some you’ll already know. Others you won’t. Suggestions submitted for your approval. We’ll make sure all of them are relevant and, for the most part, readily accessible.

Given the site you’re reading, you can probably guess the first category. Come back Monday and see if you’re right. Join us throughout the coming month and feel free to hop into the comments sections to agree, disagree, or roll out your own recommendations. Making October scare again will ultimately be a collaborative project and we’d like you to join us.

Here, put this on:


Week One: Make Games Scare Again
Ghosts of games past
Hey, that’s not horror!
In the end, it’s the end
Zigging instead of zagging
Friday favorites
Podcast wrap-up

Week Two: Make TV Scare Again
Gimme that old time television
Trick-or-treat eye candy
Where everybody knows your name
Variations on a theme
Friday favorites
Podcast wrap-up

Week Three: Make Fiction Scare Again
And now for something completely different
Beyond Lovecraft
Fun sized
No genre for old men
Friday favorites
Podcast wrap-up

Week Four: Make Everything Else Scare Again
Remote corners of the Internet
What did I just see?
Through an earbud darkly
See you in the funny papers
Friday favorites