Halloween spooky times thread 2021

In the past couple of days, the weather here in Yokohama has transformed, werewolf-style, from sunny and warm to drizzly, cold and grey. There are more leaves on the ground than there are left clinging to the desperate-looking trees.

This is the best time of year. The time when pumpkins grin maniacally and all the demons you've refused to face throughout the summer demand your attention.

In this thread, please share your thoughts about and favourite media selections for Halloween.

I've been trying my dangedest to get into a spooky mood, so I've been reading Ghost Story by Peter Straub (legitimately scary and brilliantly written) and Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman (not far enough in yet for a verdict). At some point I will play a few hours of Luigi's Mansion 3, for the third consecutive Halloween (might even finish it this year, but that game is (too) long, so who knows!). I will think wistfully of the Garfield Halloween TV special and perhaps watch the version that exists on YouTube. I will not intentionally listen to Monster Mash, but it will be playing on a loop in the back of my mind. I will stifle laughter every time my six-year-old daughter refers to an activity she only knows about third-hand as "trickle treat."

What about you?

I watched night of the living dead at midnight on halloween in my grandparents creepy attic spare room when I was 10 or 11 and it almost killed me

The most frightened I've been by any film or book since then has definitely been some of the Robert Aickman stories. Off the top of my head: "The Hospice", "The Swords", "Meeting Mr. Miller", "Your Tiny Hand Is Frozen", "That Same Dog", "The Inner Room". Such weird pacing and atmospheres that you never get a handle on what's going to happen, and, importantly, everything is embedded in real deep sources of fear like aging, loneliness, sickness etc

Here in the southern hemisphere it is Spring rather than Autumn, and the days are getting longer rather than shorter. Even as a child, I was never really able to find myself interested in Halloween in any way. We don‘t have the “spookiness” of it getting darker, the weather is warming up, and even as said child I always tended to think of Halloween as some sort of fake, imported artefact of American culture. (I’m not sure why I singled out Halloween like this though - I had no problem with Christmas, or Easter, or any other similarly imported (stolen?) rituals of cultural imperialism.)

The genuinely most spooky and horrifying thing of the times for me is all of the pollen that is floating about around this time of year, which I am quite allergic to.

Also, I have never known what "pumpkin spice" is or why I would ever want it in my coffee. (Or, seemingly, _everything_)

<insert whatever the Halloween version of "bah humbug" is here>

I‘ve always been a big chicken, so typically my experience with horror games is just watching one of my other friends play… But the Resident Evil Remake has been sitting in my Steam library for about a year now, and I’m thinking of finally giving it a go! The slower pace of the gameplay would be easier for me to acclimate to, I think, and from what little I know the puzzle-piece narrative design seems pretty intriguing. Alternatively, might just have one of my friends play one of the Silent Hills again…!!

I suppose I should add that, regardless of my unwillingness to celebrate(?) Halloween, I genuinely love thriller and horror art.

I'll have to think for a while to come up with whatever the most frightening to me has been. Off the top of my head, _Oculus_ comes to mind at least for building a real sense of tension and dread. I think I recall it only received mostly middling reviews, but it worked on me at least.

I'll have to give this a bit of thought!

probably not able to start ahead of halloween but i do plan to play SOMA this year. may follow it up with Pathologic 2 and if my courage is still intact after that, the Gamecube Resident Evil remake.

in general i am afraid of halloween though so will not be participating in this thread any further

I saw the Kevin Bacon film STIR OF ECHOES on Halloween as a very young kid and it made me think I was going to see ghosts for an entire year. Really bad year of sleep for me!

This Halloween I'm going to a party dressed as Cooking Mama.

Always been a Halloween fan. :jack_o_lantern:. Here's something for the Canadians.




@“tapevulture”#p45908 may follow it up with Pathologic 2

Oh so that's why the klaxxon in my and @yeso's secret _Pathologic 2_ fan club lounge is blaring

This past week me and some friends (who have a weekly habit of watching weird/questionable/terrible/videogame adaptation/etc. cartoons) watched the first couple of episodes of the USA-produced, 1995 Darkstalkers cartoon, what with the season… and wouldn‘t you know it, it’s a mess! It‘s great fun to watch with friends though, of course, especially in extra crunchy 240p! It has an audience surrogate character who doesn’t exist in the games and looks troublingly like me.


I‘m also one of those weird freaks who generally does not get Horrorified. I get Squicked fairly easily, the sight of blood does not bother me but if you can get images of gore or mutilation past or in some horrible enough depth in the Uncanny Valley, I can’t handle it. But I don‘t consider being Squicked to being horrified. Don’t get me wrong, I don‘t necessarily feel that splatter or gore is some kind of False Horror, I’m really not quite as invested in horror enough to even have a stance that should be considered in any way meaningful, but like, if you ask me, saying gore induces terror is like saying a triggering of the gag reflex is nausea. You know what I mean? I think partially it‘s because I am a strict materialist/atheist, so threat or the idea of threats from supernatural/metaphysical reality doesn’t tend to unsettle me. I‘m definitely not bragging or positioning that outlook as superior, it’s just one way of looking at the world and it‘s what works and makes sense for me. So any horror to do with supernatural forces doesn’t land. When something goes bump in the night in my house it's never not going to be skunk or a racoon or something.

However, the facet of horror that can _really_ get me is body horror. That reminds me, I was going to download _Tetsuo: The Iron Man._ Anyway. I think in terms of games that I have been consistently terrified while playing, _Resident Evil 4_ is probably the game I was most scared of while getting through it, and not because of the zombies if you know what I mean (I mean, they don't help, but, you know). Actually, _RESIDENT EVII__: BIOHAZARD_ was up there too even with less the 1st person perspective really contributes a lot to it. Another example that comes to mind is... well, this is adjacent to Constituting Spoilers, but... let's just say some sections of _Lisa: The Painful,_ despite it being pixel art, were too much for me! Actually, perhaps it's specifically _because_ it's pixel art, even. There's something about it that makes it more sinister, inhuman, vague, life-null...

Hmm, you know what, I'm now suddenly quite interested in how pixel art can be used to great effect in producing unsettling imagery. Makes me really think about how much the influence of _Yume Nikki_ has spread out, and really, it's kind of tough to say that anything in _Yume Nikki_ is strictly Horrorifying, and I tell myself that I couldn't get through it because the gameplay was anemic and tedious (and it _is_, no offense to it and hopefully none taken(talk about a _walking simulator,_ am I right??)), but also part of me just feels unsettled from embodying someone within those places and needing to navigate them myself. Weird thing too, I don't know if I feel all that much from watching it being played, either! It's something about exercising agency within there, perhaps, that makes me feel unsettled. Shit, even _Undertale_ and __Deltarune_ comes to mind, the Gaster sprite creeps me out, Jevil's weird little dead eyes creep me out, and it's just weird to think of something like that being in games like _Undertale_ and _Deltarune._ I know that's the point, too! It's just an impressive testament to _Yume Nikki's_ influence.

If I were to make a thesis statement on how pixel art has a lot of horror value, it's perhaps how pixel art is thought of and executed on as a stylized representation of something, rather than the thing itself. In other words, it already does depend on the idea that your imagination will fill in the gaps of what you're seeing, and so the portrayal of disturbing imagery can be really good if it's done in just such a way that will chokeslam the viewer's imagination into an unsettling direction. Maybe the horror potential in a scary monster face can be high if graphical fidelity gets to the point of photorealism (I remember _Bloodborne_ being scary a while ago, but I don't think I feel that way anymore! Interesting thought), _or,_ we can all recognize that the angry sun in _Super Mario Bros. 3_ or the mask that chases you in _Super Mario Bros. 2_ are also still a little bit unsettling in 2021. This is simple bargain bin takes on horror I suppose but I suppose the best creators of horror know that they are often going to be playing second fiddle to the imaginations and psyches of their audience. Ito Junji's work comes to mind too because it's so psychologically grounded in like "shower thoughts" level human understanding and interaction with the world. _Uzumaki_ is about a _shape??_ But a lot of it is so creepy! That's really impressive.

Literature: One of the very few novels I've read that legitimately disturbed me was _American Psycho,_ I think probably because I bought in really hard on it for whatever reason, and I appreciate its narrative devices, namely the use of >!unreliable narrator, or, perhaps even, unreliable unreliable narrator.!< Which is overall funny if you ask me, not because the book isn't funny, because it _is_ funny, but I think as a novel it works really well in the way it whiplashes back and forth, it's funny but it feels more disturbing that it is genuinely funny. It's also in its own way social commentary I can get behind which doesn't hurt, like, it's hard to decide what is more horrifying in the end, >!the events of the novel being Real as in it's a story about a serial killer with a tenuous connection to reality, or if it's just your average financier losing touch with reality, and Patrick Bateman's averageness is the real terrifying thing, the terrifying thing is that all of those financier types are Patrick Batemans. They're tasteless, they're shallow, they're morons, they spend all day sitting around waving their dicks at each other in between sitting with their thumbs up their asses, they're all serial killers in their own internal worlds, yet they're also the Gods that created the world in their image, and they can do anything they want with impunity!<. Stop me if you've heard all of this from a male philosophy major in freshman year of college but it's class consciousness horror, and while the movie is... "Fun," I guess, I think it does a bit of a disservice to the book, it's _too_ fun in that movie spectacle, show the action kinda way, and the movie doesn't make you root for the Protagonist I don't think, but I guess there is some kind of charisma to the character in the movie whereas in the book the character is so immensely anti-likeable (not unlikeable, or loathsome, something indescribably repulsive) that it has a different effect on me. It's terrifying to think of a psychology that is beyond human comprehension while still being implanted within a human.

Dang for someone who opened this post by saying:


I'm also one of those weird freaks who generally does not get Horrorified…

...I sure had a lot to say! This post is brought to you by Vyvanse.

We‘re already past the halfway point of October and I’m mad about it. Only watched the new Candyman, Malignant (which was only ok), and the 1988 Child‘s Play. Castlevania Advance collection has been doing a lot of heavy lifting, and I got some decorations out and a pumpkin candle, but I keep thinking it’ still the last two weeks of September rather than full blown Halloween month. The happenings of last year and this year basically being 2020 part 2 hasn't helped much.

One thing that's nice, though, is Dinosaur Dracula's youtube, podcast, and also the X-Entertainment carry-over of the halloween jukebox: https://dinosaurdracula.com/halloween-jukebox/
Also been rewatching some of Patrick Macnee's Ghost Stories episodes which I think is free to watch on IMDB tv? Cheesy 1997 short series that goes over haunted places with on-site reporters. It's fun.

Outside of that, some warm bowls of soup I like to revisit around this time that make me feel right at home in the holiday are:

  • - Ghostwatch (1992)
  • - Fright Night (1985)
  • - Beavis & Butthead - Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest
  • - Doug's Halloween Adventure
  • - The SatAM Sonic - Fed Up With Antoine/Ghost Busted
  • Additionally, I try to find some creepy stories to read. One in particular that I rediscovered after feeling like it was lost since my days in college was, The Dionaea House, which has thankfully been preserved via wayback machine:

    Halloween means one thing and one thing only: Lucio Fulci watchin time

    Here's a thread I did last year about under the radar-ish movies:


    I don't think I have it in me to do another this year! But night before last I watched Parents which I think is real good (some eating sounds in there though), and I can definitely recommend that. I'm partway through watching The Brain which has fun practical effects and stuff but is one of those movies where you're just supposed to like the protagonist because they're the protagonist. he totally sucks, is mean to everyone, and we're supposed to sympathize with him somehow. I haven't finished it but I bring it up because it's one of those fun "canada as america" movies where there's this sort of exchange:

    teacher: "what do you think this is, america?"
    protag: "last time I checked"
    teacher: "well it isn't, it's highschool."

    and then right after that the teacher proceeds to say "you just blew up the washroom" and it's like... they found an all new way other than saying aboat instead of about for me to tell it's canada. I love that stuff.

    I saw a sci-fi movie this year where they were like "oh noh, they're gohna blow up the ole world trade center there. whale, that's just hoew it is here in new york city"

    The first movie I can remember be scared by, when I was very young, was Ernest Scared Stupid. So that movie has a special place in my heart.

    I rewatched it a couple of years ago and still contend that it goes pretty hard for a kid's movie.

    hall of what?

    i've never disliked halloween, just never gotten that into it. it's a fun idea, i guess, but being a wimp, i'm always hesitant to read/watch horror stuff

    Tonight I started watching Kwaidan and turned it off after 15 minutes because I realized I was not awake enough. Heck of a credits sequence, though

    Then I started The Evil Within, couldn't figure out what to do in the first room, died six times, and quit.


    @“hellomrkearns”#p45923 YET AGAIN you come through with the media I consumed as a child and then forgot existed. I don't know how you do it, but I sure am glad that you do.

    Woo-hoo spooky time!

    Love this holiday. Unfortunately I didn't watch or play much spooky stuff this year... I guess there's still time.

    I watched Midnight Mass on Netflix and it was pretty cool. I wasn't a fan of any of the other stuff that director has done (Bly Manor, Haunting of Hill House) or any kind of made-for-streaming horror specials, but this one was cool. I don't wanna say much about the plot cause figuring it out is the fun of it.

    I did start playing Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins and I consider that series a Halloween treat.

    One thing I do always get super into is Halloween decorations. Here's a graveyard I built in the backyard.

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/H9KGv1C.jpeg]

    And we always liked to go out and hit the town on Halloween so we'd deck the front porch out and leave a bowl of candy for the kiddos. I put this dummy figure together and before we left I watched a few kids come up for candy who thought it was a real dude about to jump out and get em.

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/Ht3Jo4V.jpeg]

    that looks great!

    In my neighborhood we had a guy who did in fact put on a full body costume and sit on his front steps to mimmic a dummy, then scare the shit out of kids when they got close lol