Horror pumpkins? What are horror pumpkins?
Horror pumpkins is the essence of the fall. It’s removing the ‘and’ between horror and pumpkin, and making something that sounds wonderfully awful: HORROR PUMPKINS.
Halloween and the fall have been my favorite season since I was a very little girl. Sure, you can find evidence to the contrary, but that was a gorilla mask! What the hell do they even have to do with Halloween? Ask Walt Disney, who includes Donald Duck and The Gorilla in their Halloween special that used to air every year (it’s now Disney’s House of Villains and the wonderful narration track is lost.) Unfortunately, they played it Halloween night, almost always, and you had better get your Trick or Treating in, because you’d miss it starting at 8PM EST. Yes, I remember! This holiday left a huge impression on me.
Of course watching these specials graduated into full blown horror films like The Exorcist (1973), Ghost Story (1981)(which my brother was an extra in), and the classic Universal Studios Monster Movies. I never cared much for A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) or the Friday the 13th (1980) series. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) along with Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) are family staples I watch every year with my mother. I was giggling once at the antics of Hellraiser (1987), and my mom said I was a sick girl. Mind you, this is the woman who adored Universal’s monster classics as a teen. Neither of us can help but feel utter joy at these films. For me, it manifests as laughter.
Other traditions my family enjoy are apple picking, pumpkin carving, decorating and cookie making. Looking back, I am still charmed by these homey memories of the season as much as the horror fest. I still recall the party my parents had when I was little, and the parties my God Parents had at their home. Aunt Jerry even cast me as a vampire in the firehouse haunted house. It was a hoot! I had the prosthetic fangs for years. They glued in with denture cream. Very cool! (Thanks, Aunt Jerry.) Fondly, I recall going on a haunted hayride with friends at college. By then, not much disturbed me—not even a running chainsaw in the face.
When I was all grown, it became my turn to pass out candy and scares. I love to dress up and see all the children in their costumes, too. Trick or treating was such a special event for me that I can’t help but want to share the joy of it with the next generations. They should have these epic memories, too. While working at JC Penney, I dressed up as the black cat to my coworker’s witch (and I wonder if anyone reading this now was one of the kids or parents—it was 1998). What a pair we made! We went all out. I felt like a Disney character, because I was so popular with the children, as they felt more comfortable greeting the kitty than the green-faced witch. We each played our parts to the hilt. While working at F.Y.E., I was a Pirate the year they allowed us to dress up (in the aughts). Again, I went all out. It was good times, and something I miss about working retail. Maybe I’ll be the one walking the child from store to store in the coming years?
I know for certain, there will be pumpkin patches, apple picking and lots of fun in my future, regardless.