If you’re like me, you start the countdown to next Halloween once November 1st hits. I absolutely love when fall rolls around, especially when October begins. Both my birthday and favorite holiday happen during this time. Some celebrate All Hallows’ Eve just for the day, some make it a month-long fete. For me, Ministry got it right when they sang “Every Day is Halloween.” For those of you out there that feel the same, here are some of the best ways to keep the Halloween spirit alive throughout the year.
Digging into a scary story is a spooktacular way to get into the Halloween spirit. There is a plethora of bone-chilling reading material out there, plus new ones releasing all the time. When I’m in the mood for a classic, I reach for my Edgar Allan Poe anthology. “The Black Cat” is one of my favorite works by the writer. Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” also doesn’t fail to draw me into a world of darkness and it feeds my obsession for vampires. The novel “The Haunting of Blackwych Grange” by Amy Cross is also quit riveting and, as you can probably tell from the title, features the classic haunted house. Of course, authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice cannot go overlooked. See what’s out there in the horror genre and dive in.
In addition to reading horror, watching it can be just as enjoyable. From Hammer films to slasher movies to horror television shows, how do you choose? A series I recommend is “The Frankenstein Chronicles.” It is set in 19th-century England and Mary Shelley’s famous book has just been published. Investigator John Marlott is set out to examine a string of crimes committed by someone who wants to mimic what Victor Frankenstein achieves in the novel — resurrecting the dead.
In regards to movies, I really enjoy “As Above, So Below”. It takes place in the underground catacombs of Paris where a team of researchers appears to be descending into the depths of Hell. But you don’t have to watch a scary flick to make it feel like Halloween. Almost all of Tim Burton’s works take you into a macabre world.
These are just a few modern-day selections, but the horror film genre has existed for more than a century. Alfred Hitchcock alone deserves an entire post dedicated to his filmography. For other titles, check out the blog Rare Horror. Also see my recommendations of Victorian goth films for more morbid cinema.
One of my favorite things to do when I am really missing Halloween is listening to dark sounds. Those familiar with Pandora know that you can create a station based on a music artist or genre. I have a station called Midnight Syndicate, after the group comprised of composers Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka. The duo has been creating haunting melodies since the 1990s with albums that include “Born of the Night,” “Vampyre,” and “Monsters of Legend.” This Pandora station plays the perfect soundtrack of macabre tunes. I also suggest listening to the music of Nox Arcana, the brainchild of gothic artist Joseph Vargo. The compositions transport you to a realm of darkness, mystery and magic.
Just because October comes to an end doesn’t mean you have to take down the cobwebs and skeletons. Dedicate a space in your abode — or your entire home — to All Hallows’ Eve! To what extent is up to you. Paint your walls in a darker shade, put up a few ghoulish works of art or buy a spooky set of tableware. If you like DIY projects, then I highly recommend you subscribe to Aurelio Voltaire’s YouTube channel The Lair of Voltaire and watch his Gothic Homemaking series. Learn how to make a candelabra out of wine bottles, transform a birdhouse into a black metal church nightlight and even get rid of clutter. Pinterest is another fantastic way to get inspiration for darkening up your place. I have a goth décor board that I like to refer to when I need ideas.
I hope this has given you all some encouragement to keep the Halloween spirit alive throughout the year. I’d also love to hear other suggestions for anything on this list. Let me know in the comments below!