Haunted Holidays are Here!

Welcome, December!


After giving it some thought, I changed this month’s theme to Haunted Holidays. I realized I was creating two different themed plans in December and I wanted to take a little bit more time to plan out my approach to writing haiku next year, so…Blood and Ice will be next month’s theme.

This December is all about the haunted holidays! Back in the day, people told ghost stories during Christmastime and I would love to bring that tradition back. I encourage everyone to create, write, or find a short ghost tale to tell on Christmas eve, and if you’re having trouble, might I recommend simply retelling the classic timeless tale from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is the hero we need right now!

Scrooge art by Carter Goodwich

December Fun

Here’s a look at some of the shenanigans I have planned this month:

  • Haunted holidays haiku every Monday
  • Brand new gift-giving guides for Halloween and horror fans
  • New recipes for christmassy cocktails
  • Haunted Holidays Photo Challenge
  • 12 days of Christmas gift-giving countdown (Details TBA)

I’m kicking off the celebrations with a daily photo challenge. You may post both traditional or haunted photos or artwork. Jump in any time, even if you skip a day, or 5, but, if you can post all 25 days in December, I’ll enter your name into the cauldron for a drawing to win a haunted holidays prize pack.

No purchase is necessary for any of the upcoming contests, but you must be following my blog and be friends with me on at least one of my social media pages (listed below) for a chance to win! Please see official contest rules for more details.

To join in on the fun, follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter or r/Halloweenhaiku on Reddit.

I wish you a season filled with amusement, inspiration, love, and joy. Please be safe and stay healthy. Remember to take some time for yourself, relax and recharge, so you don’t burn out or lose your damn mind by January.

Krampus postcard, circa pre-1920

Culinary Cannibals Marathon

On this last day in November, I serve up a fresh list of intriguing or scary movies featuring cannibals. Holidays are all about eating. Thanksgiving just passed and I still have leftovers coming out my ears. Pretty sure, cannibals don’t have this problem. Anyways, if you’re feeling stressed, why not chill for a day, or the weekend, and have scary movie marathon.

These are my faves, but there are certainly other good cannibal films out there. This year, I shy away from Cannibal Holocaust exploitation type movies cuz horror movies should be fake, lest they become something else. The real killing of animals and the rape of women is just sickening and I want to do my part to hold people accountable. Fuck those movies.

Personally, I’m excited to see the recently released Bones and All starring Timothee Chalamet, Taylor Russell, and Mark Rylance. I might even add it to the list for next year.

Poe Sundays – The Masque of the Red Death

Every Sunday in October is Poe Sunday, the day we celebrate the Master of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. This year, I’ll suggest the best movie adaptations of Poe’s work.

In the lingering post-pandemic era of Covid-19 and trump presidency, Roger Corman’s 1964 gothic horror triumph, The Masque of the Red Death has never seemed more relevant. Vincent Price’s sadistic portrayal of Prospero, the greedy devil-worshipping medieval ruler who tortured his peasant villagers and gave shelter to his wealthy courtiers from a plague, only to learn you can’t hide from death, is a chilling sublime performance that cemented his legacy as a horror legend.

Corman weaved two tales from Edgar Allan Poe, Masque of the Red Death and Hop-Frog to create this cult-classic and it’s one of his best. While he and screenwriters Charles Beaumont and R. Wright Campbell took several liberties with the stories, I find this adaption is the closest to any of Poe’s works.

Tuesday Terror – Trick ‘r Treat

Trick ‘r Treat

When Michael Doughtery’s horror anthology, Trick ‘r Treat, was released in 2007, it seemed like Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros didn’t quite know what to do with the picture. After a round of festivals, the movie ended up direct-to-video, destined to die a quiet death. Well, horror fans who had seen the film, raved about it. They said it was best Halloween movie since, well, Halloween, and the good word that Trick ‘Treat was an amazing movie spread quickly. No one loves the dead coming back to life quite like the horror community.

Despite not getting a proper theatrical release, Trick ‘Treat amassed a cult following on par with the big franchise films like Halloween and Friday the 13th. In fact, Trick ‘r Treat’s Sam, the cute little mascot with a killer attitude, enforcing the rules of Halloween, is now an official horror icon with best -selling merchandise and hot collectibles of his own, after just one movie.

No one really knows why Trick ‘r Treat got the cold shoulder, some say it was bad early reviews, some say it was the violence towards children, which was still pretty taboo in 2007, yet, others blame the fact that it was an anthology, which historically don’t perform well at box office. It no longer matters. Many fans, including yours truly, consider this mandatory annual viewing every Halloween.

Poe Sundays – House of Usher

Every Sunday in October is Poe Sunday, the day we celebrate the Master of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. This year, I’ll suggest the best movie adaptations of Poe’s work.

Atmospheric and spooky, House of Usher may be the best most faithful Poe story adaption that director Roger Corman ever created. Vincent Price, Mark Damon, and Myrna Fahey, earnestly chew through Richard Matheson’s screenplay so well, gothic drama oozing out of their pores in every scene, until that thrilling legendary cinematic end.

Tuesday Terror – Stakeland

Every Tuesday in October 2022, we celebrate scary movies!

“Cults spread like wildfire across the southern states. Waitin’ for the messiah, but… he never came. Death came in its stead. And it came with teeth.”

2010’s Stakeland, directed by Jim Mickle is one of the best post-apocalyptic horror movies I’ve ever seen. Set in the near future, society collapses into religious zealotry and militia-run feudal terroritories when monsterous vampires take over the world.

Gossip Girl star Connor Paolo stars as a young man who finds a mentor in writer-producer Nick Damici’s mysterious drifter and expert vampire hunter, simply named Mister. Mister isn’t exactly a charming anti-hero, but he is totally badass and we’ll be so lucky if we find a teacher like him during our own dystopian journeys.

Poe Sundays – The Tell-Tale Heart, 1953

In 1953, United Production Artists produced an 8-minute animation based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. This surreal psychological horror short film, narrated by James Mason and distributed by Columbia Pictures, became the first animated film to earn an X rating in the UK. The reason? Well, that’s just what old stuffy white dudes do when someone makes a film about killing old stuffy white dudes for no reason.

Click here for more information on The Tell-Tale Heart from 1953.

Friday Fright Nightcaps – Ode to the Mummy

Every Halloween season I make it a point to revisit the classic Universal monster films. These are the films that cemented American’s love affair with horror. Watching my favorite old classic horror films is one of my biggest Halloween traditions. This week, I created spooky cocktail to honor Karl Freund’s classic The Mummy, starring the legendary Boris Karloff, with a drink I call Ode to the Mummy.

INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. Coffee
1.5 oz Cutwater Bali Hai Tiki Monkey Liquer
1.5 oz. Vodka
1 oz. French Vanilla Creamer or Cream
Splash of Cream of Coconut

Tuesday Terror – Dark Night of the Scarecrow

Every Tuesday in October 2022, we celebrate scary movies!

“There’s other justice in the world besides the law!”

Kicking off the Halloween season with Dark Night of the Scarecrow, starring the late Charles Durning, Lane Smith, and Jocelyn Brando, about a mysterious being seeking vengeance on a group of murdering bigots.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow, 1981, Amazon

This supernatural thriller first aired on Halloween night in 1981 and is scarier than any Made-For-TV movie has any right to be. Despite having zero blood and no gruesomeness, this chilling film still holds up today with timely themes such as bigotry, bullying, and injustice.

31 Days of Halloween 2022

Happy October! After starting late this Halloween season, I’m now ready to post the schedule of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween Celebration. The theme this October is dystopian Halloween. With the doomsday clock ticking down, due to savages like Russian dictator Vladamir Putin and gun-crazed trump-loving jesus-freaks, it’s probably way past time to think about how humankind plans to survive the apocalypse, in particular, how we’ll preserve our traditions and holidays, like Halloween.

Part of the month, we’ll have some fun with the dystopian Halloween-horror theme, but I have decided to mix in some good old-fashion Halloween traditional themes as well, cuz, I just love talking about those Halloween memories.

Have a safe and happy Halloween season!

31 Days of Halloween Schedule

Monday Macabre
Mondays are always dedicated to Haiku, but every Monday in October we’ll explore a dystopian Halloween.

Tuesday Terror
Every Tuesday, I’ll share my favorite scary movies that I believe make great Halloween season viewing.

Wicked Art Wednesdays
Every Wednesday, I’ll share some spooktacular Halloween art with an apocalyptic twist. I might even post some my own original Halloween pencil stencil art.

Throwback Thursdays
Preservation of Halloween traditions is important for several reasons. Every Thursday, let’s explore the origins of some Halloween traditions and muse over whether these traditions might survive the apocalypse.

Friday Fright Nightcaps
Ghosts aren’t the only ones who like to get sheet-faced on Halloween. Check back every Friday for Halloween season-inspired cocktails.

Sinister Saturdays
In the past few years, Sinister Saturdays have always been dedicated to food and Halloween recipes.  The problem was, besides my being the worst cook in America, people are simply reluctant to let you share their recipes online, even if you give them complete credit and link back to their website. So, in the true spirit of Sinister Saturdays, we’re just going to let the demons loose that day and see what they come up with.

Poe Sundays
This year’s tribute to the master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, will feature my thoughts on the best Poe adaptations on film.

4th Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022
#Halloweenhaikuchallenge

Share your most original or scariest visual Halloween Haiku photos during October for a chance to win some prizes.

More details about the haiku contest will be announced on October 18th.

Join in the fun, and follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter