Halloween creeps me out. From the cobwebs hanging on neighbors’ porches to the white fringed shawl someone hung from a tree at the end of my street. I jump at loud sounds and hate walking into dark rooms. I’ve never been a fan of horror and gore.
About the closest I ever came to enjoying the macabre was a three year stint watching every episode of CSI Las Vegas I could lay my hands on. Probably because I had a crush on Gil Grissom. His geeky intelligence flipped my switch so hard I didn’t even care that he had a love affair with bugs. And bugs on corpses. Lust, apparently, can do a lot to dim the creep factor.
I can remember 6 Halloween costumes I sported as a kid. A witch, a cat, my grandmother (I wore her robe and old glasses), a robot, Laura Ingalls, and Princess Leia. Yeah. I was a pretty lame kid. I hated the dark and the cold. Only the candy compelled me to go out.
Last week at work someone asked me why I was making a face when the Halloween decorations were being put out. I quickly squelched the sour expression I hadn’t realized I was making and went back to work. It got me thinking though, why do I dislike Halloween so much?
Here’s the the thing. I’m an author. I have the ability to visualize things. Suggest a ham sandwich to me and I’ll picture the toasted goodness complete with cheese and tomato right down to the sourdough bread. Salty, crunchy, and tangy with mustard. Yum.
Problem is, if you send someone in an chainsaw massacre costume to my doorstep the same thing happens. I picture the screams and blood and guts down to the last intestine. Right to the stench of excrement and hot sprays of fluid. Yeah. I’m going to puke now.
I think I prefer thrillers to horror movies because unless we’re talking a real blood bath of a movie a thriller is more cerebral. Less likely to include bits of blood and bone and body parts flying across the screen. October to me is a month of horror. I spend 31 days looking over my shoulder, jumping at the moans of the ghosts in the supermarket candy aisle, and wondering what new horror my co-workers will plant on the reception desk the next day.
I hope if you are a fan of the holiday you’ll forgive my squeamishness and enjoy the parties and costumes. Romance. I write it for a reason. I like the dark stuff–vampires and a ghost here and there–but only when it’s combined with a dose of love and lust that distracts me from the less desirable kind of “bump” in the night. The sex I imagine for my books is just as graphic as the gore I picture at Halloween, so I guess my abilities are both a blessing and a curse.
Give me love and lust any old day. As long as it’s not with zombies…