Oh Snarklings, this year has been weird, chaotic, and stressful, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. Because of that, the Lady of the Manners was second-guessing herself about writing this post; fretting about Halloween this year seemed frivolous. But we need frivolous right now. Anything that brings even a speck of joy to someone right now is valuable and badly needed. Halloween is NECESSARY, DAMMIT. So, what is going on for Halloween? What spooky things can you join in on?
- Did you know there’s a Halloween international film festival? This year it’s a ticketed online event through Eventive, and runs October 1st – 3rd.
- Shudder started its Halloween movie schedule at the beginning of September, and runs through October 31.
- The AMC FearFest is offering 91 titles, with a whole bunch of horror movie franchises represented.
- The cast of Hocus Pocus are gathering Friday Oct. 30th for a virtual cast reunion, with all proceeds going to the New York Restoration Project. Tickets are $10, and oooh, there’s a merchandise shop, too.
- The Lady of the Manners has always vaguely wanted to go to Salem and see the Halloween festivities, but still hasn’t achieved the magic combination of budget + free time + not distracted by the possibility of going to Disneyland. But this year she’s planning on attending at least a few of the online Salem Haunted Happenings events!
Perhaps you’d prefer some spooky things to watch or listen to from the depths of YouTube:
- Betty Boop “Minnie the Moocher” – the classic Max Fleisher cartoon featuring Cab Calloway singing, skeletons, creepy cats, devils, and ghosts!
- An animated movie of the classic Ray Bradbury story “The Homecoming”, by Ben Wickey for his 2016 CalArts project. (If you want to understand why the Lady of the Manners is the way she is, just know that her dad first read this story to her when she was around four.)
- Vintage Halloween music! From the 1910s, 20s. and 30s.
- Halloween jazz from the 40s and 50s!
- If you need relaxing spooky background noise, Disney Dan created a ten-hour loop of the rain, thunderstorm, and noises from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
While the works of Edgar Allan Poe are appropriate year-round, there’s something very satisfying about hearing them read aloud.
“The Raven” read by:
- Halloween carols are needed in these trying times, and Kristen Lawrence is here to help with that. Traditional spooky folklore ballads and her own work, with delightful accompaniment on piano and pipe organ.
- The Lady of the Manners adores Romancing the Gothic, and as she hasn’t gotten a sufficient grasp on linear time to attend the online classes, she’s been gleefully watching the recorded versions.(Seriously, Dr. Sam Hirst is a darling, and Romancing the Gothic is one of the Lady of the Manners’ favorite things on the internet.)
- Everyone (and the Lady of the Manners includes herself in this) needs to read more classic horror fiction. Which means going to Project Gutenberg and browsing all of the free titles!
- If you have access to a printer (stop snickering, it’s a thing many people still have in their homes), there are all sorts of Halloween and spooky coloring pages you can download and print. The Lady of the Manners collected a few as a starting point on this Pinterest board. Several of those pins link to the Etsy stores of the artists; the Lady of the Manners cheerfully and vehemently encourages you to support small artists and buy their digital downloads!
Do any of you lovely people have suggestions for activities or online events for this very strange 2020 Halloween season? Please leave a comment!
May the 2021 Halloween season be a return to the usual sort of spooky and creepy for all of us, and not this socially-distanced limbo we’re stuck in.
Halloween is happening, dammit. I have picked up materials to create a candy delivery shoot, my mother is willing to sit on the porch with me and her black cat and quote MacBeth at anyone who dares to come close, I will have signs up the week before to inform people we will have candy here!
And my son has a great costume that only requires a suitable mask (WW1 officer uniform, so gas mask.)
Speaking of classic horror fiction, there are some free & PWYW sites that take Project Gutenberg texts and format them for accessibility–covers, working indexes, excised licensing info, sorted by genre, etc. I love Gutenberg but their epubs tend to break on my ereader, so I get a lot out of these alternatives. Global Grey Ebooks is my go-to; also check for Duke Classics which your local library may have as always-available DRM-free ebooks (in the United States, unsure about elsewhere).
Romancing the Gothic is entirely up my alley, thank you for the link!
Oh man, my very favorite part of the holiday season is almost here.
Your reference to The Haunted Mansion reminds me that that was our very first destination when we visited Walt Disney World in the very early ’70s.
I actually bought my first tarot deck (Rider-Waite) in the General Store on Main Street U.S.A.
It was a very different time.
Thank you for the links. That seems to be how I’m living my life now, by following links.
My Neo-Victorian grandmother could recite Annabel Lee from memory.