Well, it’s happened. Another Halloween season has come and gone, and it’ll be 11 long months until our favorite holiday comes back around. Post-Halloween Depression is real. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things we want to do during the month of October. While it’s easy to fall into the trappings of woulda, shoulda, coulda, guilt never brought back Halloween any sooner. If you have a serious issues, get help. Young folks, talk to someone. For reals. Maybe you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is the loneliest time of the year and it doesn’t have to be.
If you think you got a handle on it and you’re just looking for ways to squeeze the spookiness outta the holidays. Here’s a few helpful tips:
Find Your Tribe
Life is simply too short not to hang with people who don’t engage your interest, inspire your creativity or support your vision, even if it’s just turning your front yard into a cemetery every October.
Halloween groups on Pinterest, Reddit and Facebook are great places to find likeminded fans. Commiserating with others helps us not feel so alone, and trust me, you are not the only one who cannot bear to watch Freeform’s sugary programming on repeat for the next two months.
Shop ’til You Drop
Don’t put away that credit card just yet because shopping for Halloween items is even better after Halloween. This is the time when stores are blowing out their stocks and have slashed prices from 50-80% off. Spirit stores, Michaels, Joanns and World Market, just to name a few, all have big sales still going on. Never underestimate the power of retail therapy.
Scare up Your Next Halloween
There’s no time to cry when you’re a notebook deep full of ideas for next Halloween, and next year is gonna be a doozy. Halloween 2020 will be on a Saturday, there’ll be a full moon and that’s also the day we set our clocks back. Sounds auspicious already!
Let Autumn Linger
I don’t understand why people insist on rushing into Christmas when we have the beauty and wonder of the harvest to celebrate. Pumpkins, scarecrows, fall leaves, much of what we love about Autumn is what we love about Halloween, and nothing is better than natural spookiness of fall.
You can always decorate with autumn lights and harvest candles. Hang a fall wreath on the front door or somewhere over the mantle. Instead of the Christmas tree, put up an autumn tree during the month of November. Check out this fantastic autumn home decor from All for Fall & Halloween member Megan Sanders:
Give Thanks to Dark and Moody
Maybe you’re one that needs to feed your gothic soul all twelve months outta the year. Well, Wednesday, keep your striped socks on, because it’s quite easy to flip the holidays to satisfy our love for all things dark and brooding, as seen here in this incredibly beautiful dark holiday photography:
For more photos like these, check out our Dark and Moody Holidays board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/halloweenkristy/dark-and-moody-holidays/
Celebrate Bad Santa
Of all the bad Santa origin stories in the world, Germany’s Krampus is the clear winner. The half-goat, half-demon, schnapps loving, children whipping, horned god of the witches is the most recognizable of all holiday bad boys and has been depicted in numerous way, but the consistency has always been his long twisted horns, a long tail, snake-like tongue, razor-sharp claws, and black hooves for feet. Additionally, he often wears a long heavy coat, wrapped in heavy chains, with some type of big bell attached.
Krampus is bad cop to Santa’s good cop. He carries a bundle of birch branches for whipping naughty children and stuffs the really, really bad ones into a basket or sack that he takes home to torture, drown and eat.
How this devil ended up as Santa’s evil sidekick is a mystery but he’s the only one celebrated internationally, even has his own designated night, Krampusnacht on December 5th
Embrace the Spooky Side of the Holidays
Krampus is more proof that Halloween and Christmas go together like peanut butter and jelly. Artists, creators, and movie makers have been genre-bending and making the holidays scary for decades.
From twisted Santa histories to spooky holiday tales, there are plenty of the dark or supernatural elements to admire or revere during the holiday season.
So, dry your tears and get to planning, cuz the holiday scares are just beginning. Put some fangs on your snowman or hang some bloody reindeer antler bones on your front door and your relatives just might behave on Thanksgiving day.
*revised photo 11/12
Halloween may be officially over but we keep on celebrating here at Halloween Haiku!
This holiday season, I wanna get back to showcasing art from amateur, intermediate, or relatively unknown artists that I come across. Today, I’m sharing the cool digital art of JayGraphixx, titled Silk and Potions
Social Media: www.instagram.com/jaygraphixx/
To view more of his art, please go here:
goodbyes are never easy
Congratulations to Roxanne Rhoads of Bewitching Book Tours, who entered our contest via Instagram with this winning haiku:
pressing on the veil wall
all hallows eve
To see more artwork by Unid Color please go here.
Share an original and scary Halloween or horror-related haiku from October 31st through November 2nd, using the hashtag #Halloweenhaikuchallenge for a chance to win an awesome $25 gift card from Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA.
Here are the details:
There are three ways to share your haiku:
1) Originality. (you must be the sole author of the haiku you post, no exceptions)
2) Scares. The scarier the better! It is Halloween after all.
3) Style. All haiku, senryu, zappai are eligible and fall within the usual standard 17 syllables (5-7-5). Sorry, Tanka or any other style of poetry is not acceptable for purposes of this contest. We’re not hating, just a matter of space and time.
4) Participants may post up to three haiku for consideration.
The winner, chosen by November 4th, will be gifted a $25 gift card only to Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, an amazing specialty bookstore, dedicated to all things horror related, and recently named one of the top ten bookstores in Los Angeles by Travel.com website.
All works are copyright of their respective owners. By participating in this contest, you agree that Halloween Kristy can use your haiku to further promote this contest and www.halloween-haiku.com on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) Unauthorized use, modification, reproduction or distribution of copyright poems entered into 2019 Halloween Haiku Challenge without express written permission from the copyright owner is strictly prohibited.
Halloween Kristy reserves the right to remove and discredit any haiku and/or images posted here or on social media containing plagiarized or copyrighted material, pornography, vulgarity, racist, sexist or bigoted views.
Author, illustrator, storyteller, and filmmaker Steven Soenksen a.k.a. Gris Grimly grew up inspired by classic horror films, comics, art, and all the great horror writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Edward Gorey, and H.P. Lovecraft. After college, he moved to Los Angeles and fell into illustrating children’s books and built a successful reputation for his dark yet whimsical characters. Grimly was hired to draw illustrations for retellings of classic stories, such as, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Halloween Tree, Wicked Nursery Rhymes, Pinocchio and Frankenstein, a story which holds personal meaning to him.
In 2005, Grimly wrote, produced and directed a horror short called Cannibal Flesh Riot! with his good friends, which received good reviews and toured the festival circuit that year. The film’s success led to other opportunities, making other short films and music videos, including a video for Texas psychobilly fiends, Ghoultown, starring the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira.
Artist: Gris Grimly
Where to Purchase Goods: horror conventions, specialty stores, special events, and online store (although temporarily closed as of October 2019, while it’s being revamped, check back later)
Website: http://www.madcreator.com/ or http://grisgrimly.com/
Social Media: Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/grisgrimly/
Why we love them: Handsome, rock-a-billy, tattoed and super talented, what’s not to love? I’ve met Gris Grimly a couple of times at horror conventions and he’s incredibly nice. He recently moved his family back to the home state of Nebraska and looks like, he’s already working on a new book. I can’t wait to read it.
The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
No one shall ever enter this room again.
Pit and the Pendulum was a film of many seconds for director Roger Corman. It was the second film adapted from an Edgar Allan Poe story, written by author and screenwriter Richard Matheson, who penned such successful novels such as I am Legend and the Incredible Shrinking Man. It was second big hit for distributor American International Pictures, grossing over $2 million USD from a measly $300,000 budget. It was also the second time that Corman would work with Vincent Price and Barbara Steele, each of whom would go on to become horror icons based on their work in numerous horror films.
Loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe of the same name, the story revolves around a tenacious Englishman Francis Barnard who goes to foreboding castle in Spain, after hearing word that his sister Elizabeth has died. He confronts his brother-in-law Don Nicholas Medina, demanding to know how she died. While there, Barnard finds the grieving don is slowly losing his mind, convinced that his late wife is haunting the castle, a site once used in the Spanish Inquisition. The don’s sister and personal physician try to sooth Barnard’s suspicions that Nicholas had anything to do with the sister’s death by revealing the tragic childhood trauma (shown in color-tinted vignette style flashbacks) that inflicts the don, but as the dark night drags by, it becomes apparent that a more sinister plot is afoot.
Richard Matheson creates magic here by fleshing out the Poe’s torture chamber story bringing in the doomed Don Nicholas Medina, who already believes he’s cursed with same madness that drove his father to inflict unspeakable horror on the Spanish population, as well as his own family. In some ways, Matheson’s story is better than Poe’s gothic tale, giving audiences a backstory into understanding the horror the Poe wrote about.
The Merchant of Menace, Vincent Price, is at his best here, playing both a grieving man losing his sanity and his sinister father in flashbacks. His acting is somewhat melodramatic but entirely encouraged by dark dreamy orchestral score by Les Baxter. The always beautiful and haunting bright eyes of Barbara Steele turn in another wicked performance, cementing her legacy as a horror vixen, and John Kerr, Luana Anders and Antony Carbone also give strong memorable performances.
Despite the low-budget, Corman’s gothic adaption looked like million dollar film, with its vibrant color, gorgeous costuming, intricate set design, and carefully planned wide-angle shots by Floyd Crosby, the lusciously filmed Pit and the Pendulum only took 15 days to film. Shot entirely on a sound stages in California, Corman’s meticulous pre-production with his team, in particular, set designer, Daniel Haller, who created a real pendulum for the movie’s nightmarish ending sequence. The imposing pendulum was 18-feet long, weighed over 2,000 lbs and hoisted thirty-five feet in the air at the top of the sound stage above the actors. The blade was made of rubber, but a real metal blade covered in steel paint was switched out for the close shots, giving John Kerr some serious anxiety, which shows in his perspiring face during the final scenes.
This is my favorite Roger Corman and Vincent Price collaboration. It’s the scariest and best overall production, an absolute epitome of gothic horror, inspiring dozens of other filmmakers, from Hollywood to the Italian gallo films of the 60s. Horror at that time was changing in a way that the scares were no longer implied. Horror master Stephen King remembers the Pit and the Pendulum scene which Price’s don Medina finds the decayed corpse of his dead wife, as having changed the horror landscape, King says “the most important moment in the post-1960 horror film, signaling a return to an all-out effort to terrify the audience…and a willingness to sue any means at hand to do it.”