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Happy October, everyone! 

This is one of my favorite months of the year; not only did I meet my husband on an October Friday the 13th many years ago, but this is also the month for thrills, chills, and candy.  It’s almost Halloween!!

To celebrate my favorite time of year, I’m participating in the SOULS AROUND THE WORLD blog hop.  There are tons of great blogs on offer for the hop, so make sure you visit everyone and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win an eReader!

Now, on to the spooky.

In honor of Halloween chills (and this hop), I’ve decided to post about some of my favorite creepy reads.  Each Saturday in October, join me for SPOOKY SATURDAY.

Saturday, October 5: Christie, Keen, and Doyle (or, why I love mysteries)

Saturday, October 12: The Tell-Tale Heart

Saturday, October 19: Dracula

Saturday, October 26: The Halloween Tree

Why do I love Halloween?

pumkins

There’s just something about this time of year that’s always appealed to me.  Maybe it’s the desire to dress up and become somebody else.  Maybe it’s the urge for candy.  Or maybe it’s a belief in magic and a delicious enjoyment of being scared just enough.

There were times, however, when the fear magnified.  One of my favorite Halloween memories involves being scared out of my mind.

My grandfather made it his life goal to terrify me each Halloween, and each year I both anticipated and dreaded seeing what he would do.  It never failed: no matter how prepared I was, he managed to scare me right out of my costume.  (I wonder if he was keeping his skills sharp in case the opportunity to steal candy from the little kids ever came up, as I’m sure it must have in his own youth.)

The year I turned twelve, I was trick-or-treating with two of my BFFs, and we resolved that together, we would finally best my grandfather.  We made my mom park the car far away from their country house, so he wouldn’t be alerted by the sound of the engine.  (The walk through the dark to my grandparents’ house probably had us on edge, but at the time, it seemed sensible.)

Arm in arm, we strode up the driveway.  Well, I tried to stride, but our human centipede insisted on moving slow.  With Gina clutching my left arm and Colleen holding my right, I finally felt like Grandpa wouldn’t be able to scare me.  

It was a perfect Halloween night, which in Michigan means it wasn’t snowing.  The moon was out, shrouded with fog, and the air was cold enough to make you shiver.  Halfway up the long, gravel drive, I spotted something moving inside the house.

“He’s waiting inside.”  I announced with confidence.  We all relaxed, starting to chatter with anticipation of how we would try scaring him.  We never saw the figure that moved behind the pine tree and sprang out at us with an inhuman scream.

We all shrieked in response, terrified.  If our arms hadn’t been linked, I think Gina might have tried to run down the driveway and escape into the night, but as it was, we were frozen with fear, pulling on each other while my grandfather busted a gut in front of us.

Oh, I was so mad at him!  I loved being scared each year, but we’d worked so hard NOT to be surprised.

That may have been the last year he and I played our annual game of Halloween chicken, and over the years that have passed, that’s the thing I miss most about my childhood Halloweens.  I still love to be scared, but I want to feel remotely safe in the midst of my fear: Grandpa always understood that.

Either that, or he just loved messing with his oldest grandchild.

(Re-posted from https://jennifermcconnel.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/trick-or-tweet-giveaway-and-a-halloween-story/)

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