Back when I was living in Germany, Halloween was always a hard sell to me.
First, it's not a native holiday; instead it was a commercial import from the English-speaking world, whose companies wanted to sell stuff: candy, costumes, cluttery decorations. Second, there was zero need for that type of holiday. My region in Germany, and most regions with Catholics all over Europe, already has a fall holiday where children go from house to house to ask for candy that I wrote about earlier in this journal -- St. Martin's Day. St. Martin's Day is light on the spookiness, though; the church transformed the it into a feast of altruism. The feeling of doom and gloom is mostly created by the weather, the rainy nights, by the children's lanterns flickering hopefully in the dark. Costuming is not a big part of it either, because again, Catholic regions all over Europe already have what Germans call their Karneval season in spring: parades through the cities with huge floats, parties, alcohol flowing freely in the streets, and of course everybody running around as a pirate, ninja, cowboy, princess.
But here in the United States, most strongly influenced by the British Isles and Ireland, there is no other holiday designated for costumes or children knocking on doors around the neighborhood. And while in California it's still far from dark and rainy most of the time, the nights are getting longer, and the weather has turned a little crisp, especially at night. We've even had the first solid rainfall here in the Bay Area.
So clearly it's time for for my second-largest fandom: the paranormal. vervealemania and I spent hours and hours in our childhood pouring over books of unexplained phenomena; for two scientist parents they really indulged their impressionable kids. We read books by Erich von Däniken. We held our breath when we went over pages and pages of huge, glossy tomes of strangeness in our world. Some are pretty well-known, from the Bermuda or Devil's Triangle over Bigfoot to UFOs; others, less so. Can you acronymize Spontaneous Human Combustion? I can! Do you know about coffins moving about wildly in sealed family tombs? Read many an account of that. I don't believe any of it is true; I'm as ever with Dana Scully: Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it.
But how I love the little shudders running down my neck...
So of course when The X-Files (and later Fringe) came along, my sister and I were completely hooked; to this day I re-watch old episodes and smile...and I never re-watch television or movies in general; it's too boring and repetitive for me. That said, because my nerves can only take so much traditionally, I'm not a huge fan of outright horror like American Horror Story or any tale particularly gory. But now, now we have spooky television of the right calibre for me again, like Stranger Things and, to some degree, Channel Zero.
( Channel Zero: Candle Cove on SyfyCollapse )
That said, I'm mostly intrigued by the origin of CZ:CC -- it's a remix of a creepypasta of the same name, Candle Cove. I'm sure most of you in the meta-fandom that's paranormal mystery are familiar with creepypasta: an internet retelling of horror stories...often copy/pasted from other places, thus the mangled moniker. I don't often find the "pure" stories impressive, because it's hard for me to deal with bad grammar and spelling. But some of these are meta-narratives, and some are well-written; a lot play very skillfully on ancient fears.
I've read a few these last darkening days, so without further ado...
[ETA: Fixed link!]( Creepypasta recommendationsCollapse )
Let me know your own recommendations, and of course feel free to discuss horror and mystery with me!
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