Halloween stories may be based on ancient legends or come from a contemporary writer’s imagination. Several basic premises are the favorite of moviemakers since movies were made, and first and foremost is things that go bump in the night. This can be ghosts, aliens, haunted houses, witches or demons knocking on the door — anything that starts out as unknown and often, scary. Edgar Allan Poe was the avowed master of the scary horror story. Alfred Hitchcock was the master moviemaker using dark psychology to scare us.
Black and white movies were popular for horror in the 1950s but then came the chance to scare people even more with lots of blood and gore in full color. And boy, did moviemakers start to get into all of the blood and gore of Halloween and other sub-genre films. Every year filmmakers think up additional ways to scare people, whether it’s scarecrows that come to life and then kill everyone who visits the creepy, old farmhouse stuck in a lonely field — to people who enter a haunted house at their own risk and end up in the morning scared to death. You’d think they’d get a clue when the dark and discordant music was cued up.
Vampire movies are still a favorite and the old silent film , Nosferatu, is still around. Storytellers are constantly coming up with new ways to figure our who’s a vampire or not, and various ways to kill them. Usually the undead win in the end and isn’t it always the case that the beautiful young woman, perhaps a boyfriend or two, and the old sheriff are the only ones to survive? Sometimes a virus causes everyone to turn into vampires, or zombies. They’re another favorite for Halloween movies and also costumes.
Reanimated people are scary and that’s why zombies and vampires always do well on Halloween. Wizards and witches are associated with Halloween because of all of the spells and magic and both good and evil happening then. People can be even more scared when the horror of it all is created within their own imaginations, as in reading a book. Humans are capable of making everything seem real, or indeed, become real, within themselves and as seeded by a great storyteller. Stephen King excels at this, As does Dean Koontz and others. If someone wishes to read a Halloween story, then there are many in local libraries, on the Internet for download, or even borrowed from a friend.
An old tradition with stories is passed on in a circle around campfires or when a parent reads to a child. This is how the history of ancient peoples came down through the generations, both before writing was invented, as well as to our modern day. Campfires (or fire pits in a contemporary backyard) are wonderful places to tell scary stories about Halloween on a cool autumn night, round about October 31st. Kids may be listening as they lay down in a pup tent, shadows dancing on the walls of the canvas or nylon, and making the story even scarier.
Halloween stories may be told to and be suitable for even young children, along with any age including older kids, adults, teenagers and even grandpa and grandma. The latter may have a few good stories to tell the grandkids themselves, and these could have been in the family for generations. If you are outside telling Halloween stories or inside watching Halloween movies, then don’t forget those snacks. Popcorn is always good, and marshmallow/graham cracker/chocolate combos melted over the flames are even better. Watch out for marshmallows, as they can get very hot inside.