Am I the Only Horror Writer Who Hates Halloween?
By: Brett Williams
Yes, I hate Halloween. It's nothing personal - I hate most holidays. It's not my fault. Really. At least I'd like to believe that. I liked holidays, especially Halloween, as best I can remember, when I was a kid. Then my folks became Jehovah's Witnesses and I was taught that God didn't want me to celebrate holidays, especially Halloween, because it's evil. Evil I say!
Fast forward to today. I'm much older and haven't been in that religion since I was 15 years old. So what's my fucking problem, huh? I don't know, really. I mean, I can recall wearing out an Amazing Spider-Man costume as a kid. I also recall the best Halloween ever. It was my last. We lived in Sikeston, Missouri. I dressed as a ghost. It was cold outside, but my white-trash costume of white sheet with eye holes concealed my coat. I roamed the neighborhood with my older cousins. And despite the threat of razor blades and poison, it was FUN. Why? Because candy! My parents, despite the threat of imminent death, opted not to have our candy X-rayed for free at the local hospital. My dad, bless his heart, ate all the candy whose wrappers had been compromised. Thank you, Dad. So what gives, why don't I like Halloween now?
I don't know. I mean, I like the idea of holidays in general. And given holidays, when confined to a single day or, say, twenty-four hour period, is fine. I can hype myself up for most events. Yeah, I'm fairly anti-social now. That may or may not have to do with having been ostracized or made to feel building during every holiday, birthday celebration, and Pledge of Allegiance during my formative years. Yes, I'm old enough to have been forced to endure the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each school day. I stood still, arms by my side, and didn't participate. Yeah, I received stares and questions about that. I wasn't allowed to be a Boy Scout, either. I really wanted to be a Boy Scout. My uncle was a Boy Scout and he got to go hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains all the time. That seemed like a ton of fun to me. I worshipped my Uncle Richie probably more than Jehovah. However, I did buy into what He wanted me to do (after all, that's what my parents wanted me to do, too). Who wouldn't want to live in paradise on earth?
What a bunch of phooey. I don't buy that crap anymore. However, one thing I'm proud of that being raised a religious fanatic taught me: think for yourself and don't do anything out of obligation. I do and I don't, respectively. I'm also fairly anti-social and a loner. I have a dog. He's freakin' cool. And cute. What else could I ask for?
I know! A world that isn't obsessed with one holiday after another.
Like I said, I'm cool with a celebratory event now and again. I'm an introvert. A little goes a long way with me. I enjoy Thanksgiving. People meet, have a good time, eat good stuff. A few phone calls a week or so before lines everything up. That's it. The same thing goes for my birthday. Thankfulness and then I move on with my life...
Meanwhile everyone else in America wants to plan each holiday, dragging it out for months at a time. I was surprised the first time I heard the term "birthday week." It wasn't long before I heard "birthday month."
What. The. Fuck?
Okay, it's your life, not mine. Enjoy.
You're crazy, but fine. Whatever.
Except it drives me crazy.
Not really, but almost.
I don't attend church, don't have kids, and don't watch much television. It's easy to avoid Christmas, for the most part. Devout Christians and parents can do that holiday up as much as they want. Good for them. I have the ability to minimize or avoid it as much as possible.
Not so with Halloween. I'm a horror writer, after all. I should live and breathe this shit, right? I should celebrate with a month-long horror movie festival, courtesy of Netflix and an extensive DVD/Blu-Ray collection. I should write blog posts and post status updates about what I read/watched/planned for Halloween, right? I should plan my costume months in advance and I should count the days until Halloween, beginning November 1st, or so I'm led to believe. I should attend multiple Halloween parties, go to a Danzig concert, and, perhaps, sacrifice a virgin, all in the name of All Hallow's Eve. Or Samhain, if you're Wiccan, or whatever. I don't think so.
What I really do is post a few comments on Facebook/Twitter/message boards about my annual trek to bust Billy Corgan's jack o' lantern. I also turn out my lights and eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on October 31st. I almost went to a Halloween party last year. Seriously.
If anything, one thing I'm proud of is the fact that I think for myself and don't bow to social conventions. I mentioned that already, didn't I?
So, am I the only horror writer who hates Halloween? I don't even know if I'm a horror writer. Sure, I write horror novels. I also write other stuff. I like to read dark fiction. Much of it comes in the form of crime fiction, although there is plenty of dark horror fiction, too. I'd like to celebrate more stuff, but not at the expense of my free time. I like to read and think and do whatever I feel like. Seems to me attending a birthday party every other weekend, celebrating Halloween for a month and Christmas even longer would cut into my reading/writing/dog park/goofing off time.
Yeah, I'll pass. And perhaps you should too, or at least cut back. Why? Well, the general public loves Halloween. Horror movies too. But...
How many of you other horror writers bemoan the lack of readers nowadays? Cut them some slack. Perhaps they are too busy celebrating shit on a daily basis to read your book.
About the author:
Brett Williams is the author of Family Business, Lucifer's Children, and High Octane Damnation, among other novels and novellas. He writes about religious fanatics, abused puppies, and mind-fucked kids. He loves to read anything dark and twisted. His upcoming novel, Lucifer's Whore, will be available November 16th from Comet Press. He is currently writing Family Business: Live Bait.
About the books:
Publisher: Comet Press
Publication date: 9.22.2013
Unable to convince her husband they are ready to become parents, Erika decides to buy a puppy. She heads into rural Missouri on a day trip, following up on a lead in the classifieds, and gets more than she bargained for.
After the death of her mother, Bobbi Jean finds herself living with her aunt and uncle in the backwoods of Missouri. But her relatives have a dark secret. The family business.
Publisher: Comet Press
Publication date: 6.15.2015
A family tragedy thrusts Amanda into the foster care of the Henning family at the start of her senior year of high school. Amanda soon learns that the prestigious private school isn't what it seems. Monarch Preparatory School for Girls is a place plagued by rampant teen pregnancy, promiscuity, and violence.
Amanda is confused when Kat, who rules the school, befriends her. Perhaps more confusing, though, are her momentary lapses in memory, misplaced or moved objects, and instances of depravity taking place within the Henning household.
Unbeknownst to Amanda, Ceremonial Father conducts ritual sacrifices and blood orgies with a group of Satanists.
What is truly happening at Monarch Prep? Can Amanda make it to graduation? Most of all, what role will she play?
High Octane Damnation
Publisher: Comet Press
Publication date: 12.6.2013
James McGuire is drowning his sorrows at the bar when a stranger offers him the unimaginable. The keys to his dream car and the opportunity to redirect his anger at the man who killed his family. But revenge is only the first stop on the highway to hell. A mob of women as mad as James are set on destruction. And they will do whatever it takes to get what they want. James McGuire, though, remains determined to stay behind the wheel on his trip to high octane damnation.