And it’s not even Hallowe’en as I write this.
Thea Devine here, waiting on the storm, and feeling that an unbridled hurricane can be every bit as scary as a supernatural Hallowe’en scenario. For one, it comes out of nowhere with its own unearthly sounds. You’re at the mercy of its driving winds, and the full force of its destructive and uncontainable nature. You’re powerless and yet you try to defeat it every time. And when you survive it, you feel as if you’ve gone through some mystical transformation. You feel superhuman. You feel you’ve cheated death.
Maybe that’s why Hallowe’en — and ghosts, ghouls, vampires and zombies — has such a powerful hold on the imagination. Life beyond death, no matter form it takes, is beyond seductive, and perhaps worth the price you might have to pay.
It’s fun to fictionally play with the idea of life beyond eternity. But that’s underscored by the certain knowledge mortality is just around the corner for all of us. That’s why we write about the monsters, the ghosts, the storms. Leaving something tangible behind is a way to conquer the beast. Wading into the storm gives you strength. Manipulating fears with words makes you feel superhuman again. Overcoming the threat gives you the sense that you can surmount anything.
Hallowe’en always reminds me of the times I watched the classic horror movies with a friend who lived several floors above our apartment. She would have to go up two or three flights of steps in a dimly lit stairwell after we watched that week’s movie. Now, remembering those nights, I wonder what would have happened if she’d just disappeared. In the stairwell. That was barely lit. Her footsteps echoing and then suddenly, not. With no witnesses. And no clues. And she was never found. Ever …
Are you a ghosts and ghouls Hallowe’en person? Or a princess and fantasy Hallowe’en person? Your favorite old horror movie? (Me, The Mummy — love 1920’s Egypt ) Any Hallowe’en moment in your life that you could make into fiction?
Thea Devine has been delving into the world of vampires with The Darkest Heart, and its sequel, Beyond the Night (April 2013 Pocket Star eBook). There are no vampires in her just reissued erotic contemporary novel, His Little Black Book, available now.