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

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.

Haiku of the Week

Monday Macabre is all about the scares during October, but this year, we’re tapping into the psychological fear of dystopian Halloween horror.

Imagine living in a dark world where you absolutely cannot go out on Halloween night. A world filled with violence, run by evil dictators and religious autocrats who shut down society and ban Halloween traditions because they’re trying stamp out all pagan beliefs. This new frightening world is a lot closer than you think.

neon pumpkins
devils night curfew in effect
Halloween lockdown

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.

Wicked Art Wednesdays – Kellen Carranza

The theme this month is Dystopian Halloween. What Halloween traditions survive a post-apocalyptic landscape will be up to the survivors. For some of us, Halloween is instilled in our soul. We’ll easily find a way to celebrate the dead. That’s what comes to mind when I found this awesome spooky art from Kellen Carranza.

Halloween Dias De Los Muertos Sci Fi Chica Tattoos Pumpkin Skulls and Sneakers

Artist: Kellen Carranza
Company/Studio/Website:
https://www.artstation.com/artofkellencarranza
Where to Purchase Goods:
https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/KellenC/

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

Wicked Art Wednesdays – Jeffrey Smith

The theme for October is dystopian Halloween. This piece entitled The Guardian by Jeffrey Smith, creator of “Light Of Conscience” and “Persona Theater” series, captures the mood of the month.

The Guardian by Jeffrey Smith

Artist: Jeffrey Smith
Website/Studio: https://www.deviantart.com/ascending-storm
Social Media: https://instagram.com/ascendingstorm?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Where to Purchase Goods:
https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/ascendingstorm/