It just didn’t seem right to write this with the sun in the sky, you know?

So here’s how committed I am, no word of a lie: I’ve got all the lights off and two red tea-lights in front of me. I’m at the kitchen table with the smart-bulb thing turned blood red to give the living room the right ~ambience~. I imagine the moon is in the sky, but this is Vancouver so it’s cloudy out. There is a dusty cat skull on the mantle covered in goopy, ancient wax. The cat skull is definitely older than I am. Or, I mean it would be. You get it. I feel like the Crypt Keeper’s wayward kid, if they’d moved to the city and fell in with a weird crowd.

To be honest, it kind of feels like I’m in the backroom at a haunted house waiting for the guests to file in – which if you’ve been over, you know is what I’m going for at all times. I should get a smoke machine. Should I get bats?

I had mice in the walls for a little bit there, but that’s not fun or festive. I met one once, I called him Marcus. Really, he was more of a roommate than a Hallowe’en decoration. He did not pay rent or clean up after himself. He did yell at me a lot and shit on the floor.

So, he was a roommate. I’m getting off topic.

It’s the first of October Hallowe’en as we all hurtle towards the two-year anniversary of dealing with the endless litany of genuine terrors going on outside. While things are slowly getting better out there (I swear they are, they have to!), we’d be forgiven for wanting some fake, fun scares to distract us from the real ones for a while. Since we’ve all finished Squid Game, I’d say we’ve earned another treat.

Or thirty.   

So welcome to The Long Hallowe’en 2021: my month-long playlist-turned-multimedia-project turned October Advent calendar (and grueling writing retreat). It’s my trick-or-treat to you, as I eagerly turn my website into a Hot Topic for an entire month in the service of seasonal cheer. What began as a series of movie screenings and an iTunes library has become a mess of shows, movies, games and oddities as I usher you through the Spirit Hallowe’en that my life has become. Last year was roughly a novel’s worth of writing on 31-ish bits of creepy nonsense, and 2021 will be no different. Furthermore, if Jeph Loeb wants the name back he can come over and try to take it. His doesn’t even have the apostrophe.

I’ve written before on how much Hallowe’en means to me, and you’re going to hear a lot more about in over the next little while, so I’ll be brief. Hallowe’en is when we say the divide between the Spiritual and Corporeal worlds is thinnest (and who knows, maybe it is!), but there’s other borders that weaken too: between fact and fiction, the known and unknown and, for many of us, between our senses of identity. It’s an opportunity for kids to play at being adults, and for adults to play at being vulnerable, creative, and strange. On Hallowe’en we give ourselves license to transform both ourselves and the world around us – or at least, to play at it. There’s danger there, but wonder too.

Hallowe’en is magic. And it isn’t even a holiday.

So for the next month, pull up a chair every evening and know that somewhere in East Vancouver I am feverishly pounding away at an essay about some spooky whatever and trying to get it published before midnight. Last year I gave you demonic preachers, cursed Disney rides, horny ghosts and Canadians.

Who even knows what we’ll get this time?

Not me. I barely have the attention span to write at all, never mind plan. Anyways, my Gothic tea-lights are burning low. Thanks for reading along and Happy Hallowe’en. It’s going to be fun.

Throw this on shuffle for now. More soon.