Thanks so much for the inviting me to join in the Halloween fun!
I've always loved October for so many reasons, not just for the candy. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I guess you'd call it a 'gateway holiday' into the end of the year and all the festivities that follow.
It might not seem weird that I Halloween so much, considering I love to write paranormal stories with a dark edge. But people look at my work and shake their head when I confess I never learned to appreciate horror movies or haunted houses. That is until I got in on the fun of creating them (the haunted houses, not the movies):
I'd been part of a community theater group for about a year when one of the directors (a real character himself) got access to an abandoned house just outside of town. Everyone already wondered if it was haunted and for a fundraiser we made it the scariest place on earth. I can't tell you all our secrets, but it took weeks of planning, labor and our abundance of creativity to pull it together.
When it was done, brave guests entered at the front door, toured two stories of the altered-for-maximum-fright interior and then made their escape out the back. After a maze and rooms filled with plenty of terrifying surprises, guests were led upstairs where the coolest shadowbox effect was waiting for them. A spotlight would flash on and yours truly would scream and flinch away from a Freddy Kruger attack. The guests would jump and try to get out of his reach too. Thanks to the shadowbox illusion when they moved and we switched the lights, the guest were actually closer to our Freddy Kruger. Bwahaha! Theatrical evil genius, I'm telling you. Freddy would lunge out and chase them into the next room.
That's one of my favorite October memories, we had so much fun. And as a bonus I learned all the possible phrases guys would use to impress their girls. Of course even the bravest broke down when they survived the house, only to be chased out of the back yard (converted to a cemetery) with a chainsaw (bladeless for safety, of course) but many a person lost touch with logic at that point. Gotcha!