It’s fitting that my favorite holiday brought me back to posting on the blog again. I’ve always loved spoopy season.
This Halloween is uniquely terrifying in ways none of us anticipated. Everything is different now [insert a “2020 sucks” platitude here], and it feels weird to focus on fear for fun these days. I guess I just feel compelled to document this strange moment, filled with anxiety and uncertainty because winter is coming and the plague is worsening and it’s not clear when it all might end.
I’ve still been writing, just never got up to the point of sharing. I started countless drafts and revistited dozens of pieces I’d begun before lockdown, but especially once BLM came to the forefront, it didn’t feel like my place to interject about TV shows. I kept waiting for the time to feel right. But it was me that never felt right.
Even when I was too morose for murder, I couldn’t resist leaning into scary stories once the weather turned gloomy. At least one thing has stayed the same in this crazy time: I still seek out scares to escape and entertain.
I loved Lovecraft Country, but it was creepy AF so I preferred to watch it during daylight hours. I started The Autopsy of Jane Doe but was too freaked out to finish. Watching Hush by myself felt like an accomplishment, though.
The new seasons of Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix sent me down a rabbit hole of the old seasons available on Hulu. I found a few laughs and shed some tears and took breaks from horror with The Good Place and The Queen’s Gambit. I got back into my favorite cult NXIVM with The Vow and it’s superior companion documentary, Seduced. Watching I May Destroy You and The Family Next Door gutted me. Teenage Bounty Hunters and Get Even gave me girl power vibes and cheered me up.
I watched the new adaptation of Rebecca, mostly for Armie Hammer but also for the Gothic sad girl vibes. I’ve found distraction in lush and extravagant period pieces set in France or Victorian England, elegant spooky romances and nostalgia for a life of luxury that doesn’t exist anymore but still seemed possible a year ago, even if it was never within reach. While I’m counting my blessings from my apartment where I’ve been comfortably working from home, I feel like a hysterical Victorian spinster wasting away in my lonely mansion, pacing back in forth in my finery with nowhere to go and muttering to myself about how I was beautiful once, you know.
I watched The Haunting of Bly Manor with great anticipation because I love Turn of the Screw and I frequently name The Haunting of Hill House as the scariest show I’ve seen in ages. I finished the season in one sitting, but Bly Manor wasn’t scary so much as heartbreaking and I just cried instead. When I realized after that I wouldn’t be sleeping that night, I started Emily in Paris and finished it in one long bender. Watching Emily made me fantasize about sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Paris. I bet the people of Paris feel the same way. It’s weird to imagine a way of life that may never come back. I’m leaning hard into that nostalgia, even my would-be party playlist this year is full of throwback retro rock hits, a reminder of better Halloweens past:
This Halloween has it all: a full moon, an impending election, a pall of death hanging over the world at large. I’m not sure what the rest of this awful year has in store for us, but hopefully tonight we can reclaim what makes us feel alive before we plunge into the dark.