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Halloween Memories and Traditions with Special Guests – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #19

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Well it is finally here. It is the week of Halloween, and in this final Halloween episode, I invite several past guests to share their favorite Halloween memories and traditions! Hear contributions from Annie Wilder, Sara Wiseman, Lee Allen Howard, Karen A. Dahlman, Janice Carlson, Rob Gutro, and Jim Harold.

 

 

 

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Halloween Memories and Traditions

 

In this episode:

A Halloween Housewarming in 1911

A special return visit from Meth Hazel

Returning from episode 2 of the Big Séance Podcast, our next guest, Annie Wilder has a cool story from a Halloween night a few years ago. Now you have to remember that she lives in a haunted house, and when she mentions “the sisters” and “Leon”, those are spirits that are known to reside with her in the home.

Sara Wiseman joined us on October 2, 2014. I really enjoyed that conversation. She may have the sweetest and most calming voice ever, but you might want to briefly turn the lights on for this recent memory.

My friend Lee Allen Howard was with us for the September 11, 2014 episode. He is a medium and metaphysician, but he’s also an author, and he writes some horrifying things. And from his memories, it kind of makes you understand just where it all came from.

Next up is Karen A. Dahlman, who has been on the show twice, July 23, and October 16, of 2014. I absolutely love her story, and Karen was nice enough to send in a very special photo for all of us to enjoy.

Karen A. Dahlman and friend, Halloween 1977, The Big Séance Podcast

Karen A. Dahlman (right) and friend, Halloween 1977

Medium and psychic, Janice Carlson, joined us on August 27, 2014. She’s really fun to talk to, and she joins us again now to share this thought-provoking memory of a childhood Halloween. She also wanted to share an article she wrote about Halloween. **Janice’s drawing is coming soon!**

On September 18, 2014, Rob Gutro joined us to talk about Pets and the Afterlife. Here’s a memory from Rob.  

If you’re a regular listener of the Big Séance Podcast, you know just how much respect I have for our final guest tonight, a man who has influenced me greatly! I was so very honored to have Jim Harold, of the Paranormal Podcast, join me back on Sept 25, 2014. I invited him to come back to share his thoughts on a favorite tradition on Halloween. If you’re a parent, you’ll relate to this one.

A special credit and “thank you” goes out to the incredibly talented Tim Prasil, for writing the really funny story for Meth Hazel’s appearance tonight. Thanks for playing along with us, and sharing your time and talent, Tim. You’ll actually be hearing from Tim, who is a writer, in a future episode of the podcast. You can learn more about him at timprasil.wordpress.com.

 

Don’t forget!! Are you a regular listener? Please e-mail (or call, or SpeakPipe) with where you’re listening from, and how you’re listening! I’d appreciate it! Patrick@BigSeance.com

 

Sam Haynes, Spine ChillersSpooky Music featured on this episode is from Sam Haynes. You can find more about Sam and his music at http://www.hauntmusic.co.uk/. Thanks, Sam!

 

The Big Seance Podcast can be found right here, on Apple PodcastsSpotifyTuneIn RadioStitcherGoogle Play Music, and iHeart Radio. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!


Was it a Ghost? A Sliver of a Very Early Memory.

After some investigation, I think I can confirm that I would have been about 3 years old at the time of this memory. I remember making a visit to what I now know was a college campus. I remember the older buildings that just scream “college”. I remember the mature trees. I remember the weather was nice. I’m almost sure I remember music, like from an instrumental ensemble or orchestra. Often when I hear the popular graduation tune, Pomp and Circumstance, I flash back to this memory, though this visit wasn’t for a graduation. I’m not sure why the song stands out. I suppose it could be bleed-through from another memory, or perhaps there really was a group there playing it. My mother and I were apparently taking an uncle of mine to his freshman orientation, and it would have been in the summer of 1981.

 

Now to the important part of this memory…

…or at least the part that stands out and has remained in my head since then. I remember being on the upper floor of a building, in a foyer or hallway next to a set of stairs going down. When I picture it now, I picture the walls being white and everything being very bright. But the highlight of this memory is the kind smile and wave of a woman who was not familiar to me, peaking around the corner in a doorway. I’m sure my mother was engaged in a conversation ahead of us, and this woman was behind us. Clearly I was really cute and drawing attention from the ladies. That’s it. That’s the memory. 

 

Why that moment?

Now why in the world would that be a memory that I remember and still replay in my head 32 years later? Oh sure, it’s easy to look back now and embellish the memory or make it into something it’s not. It’s easy to picture the woman surrounded by an amazing and beautiful white light, but did it really happen that way? And why that memory? Why that exact moment? I don’t have a ton of memories from that age.

 

 

Was it a ghost?

As you probably know, it is said that young children frequently see spirits, before society gradually teaches them that this is not acceptable. So was it a ghost? A family member who passed before I was born? Or was it just a random stranger who managed to find herself in a starring role in the cloudy memory of a toddler? I may never know… but whenever anyone asks me if I’ve seen a ghost, my memory takes me back to that day.

 

You might also like:

Children who have spirit friends (Big Séance)

Children who have spirit friends (Big Séance)

 


Verna Marie Owen (1895-1986), a Lexington Missouri Teacher

This post includes **Updated Information** below. 

Over my Thanksgiving break, I visited my Grandmother at her home for a while. Very often I get sucked into her many books on the history of Lexington, Missouri (my hometown), or even just the high school yearbooks of both her and my late Grandfather. Naturally, that is precisely what happened during this visit.

I was super excited to find a photo of Ms. Verna Marie Owen in both the 1954 and 1956 Lexington High School yearbooks (the same photo in both, and included below on the right.) You may remember me mentioning and including a photo of her several months back, in a post titled “Collecting Someone Else’s Memories”, where I shared many of the photos and pages from the five 1920s era Lexington High School yearbooks that I have collected. It is just one of my nerdy hobbies, even though I can’t seem to find any other yearbooks from that era. I believe that Verna Owen began teaching in Lexington for the 1927-1928 school year (see updated information below) (see the below left photo). I have the yearbook from that year as well as for the 1928-1929 school year. Both of these yearbooks were originally owned by Verna herself. Obviously, me now owning two of her yearbooks, along with my Lexington roots, and the fact that I am a teacher, has made me feel connected to her in some way. 

 

Verna Marie Owen
(1895 – 1986)

 

**Updated Information as of 12/2/13**

To prepare for this post, I did some genealogy research using FindAGrave and Ancestry. It made me a little sad to find very little information on this woman. Fortunately, Cathy Wallace, who is a great friend and Lexington resident who shares many of the same nerdy interests, went out of her way to fill in several blanks for us, including finding the obituary below. I told her I was going to have to give her the title of “senior reporter for BigSéance.com”. Thank you for the time and effort you put into helping us learn about and remember Miss Owen. Even though we’re unable to find an exact year of when she retired, she clearly had a long career in Lexington and touched many lives. I now have evidence of this, as people have left comments here and on the two Lexington community Facebook pages.  

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Her obituary from the July 30, 1986 issue of The Lexington News:

Verna Marie Owen, 90, of Lexington, died Friday, July 25 in the Urbana, MO Nursing Home. 

She was born September 18, 1895 in Lexington to John Martin Owen and Carolyn Sellman Owen. 

She was a member of the United Methodist Church, the Lafayette-Lexington DAR and past matron of the Eastern Star. She attended school at Missouri University, Central Missouri State College and the University of Boldar [sic], CO. She taught school in Lexington for 47 years. She was a member of the Missouri State Teachers Association and the National Retired Teachers Association. She was a lifelong resident of Lexington. 

Survivors include four nieces and eight nephews.

Services were held Tuesday, July 29 at the Walker-Nadler-Graff Chapel with Rev. Dan Sullivan officiating; burial was in Machpelah Cemetery. 

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Some other information we’ve been able to gather:

Both her and her parents (John Martin Owen and Caroline “Carrie” Whelan Owen) were born and raised in Lexington, and are all buried in Machpela cemetery, a Lexington cemetery that I’ve blogged about.

It blows my mind to learn that as early as the fall of 1915, at the age of 19 or 20, Miss Owen was teaching 34 pupils at the Elm Park country school outside of Lexington. Again, it’s unclear when exactly she retired from the Lexington School District, but in recent days, former students have recalled having her as a teacher as late as 1965. That is simply amazing. I can’t imagine being there to witness all of the growth and change that public education went through during those five decades!

During her long career in Lexington, she taught at least English and Social Studies to probably several junior/senior high grade levels, and for many years sponsored a “pen pals” program. According to the 1940 US census, at age 44 she was making a yearly teacher salary of $855.   

In recent days, former students have described her as being quiet, gentle, soft-spoken, sweet, and “one of my favorite teachers”. Alan talked of being paid to “porch” her newspaper for a few years in the 1970s each time it was delivered.  Lucia sent me the cutest story (I’m adding it to the comments below) of how she would leave Miss Owen flowers on her doorstep on May Day. 

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At the time of her death I was eight years old. I wonder if I ever knew her or if our paths ever crossed. Looking into her eyes, I just know she made a huge difference and was loved and respected by many. If anyone has more information, or if you’d like to add your memories of Miss Owen, or if you’re a family member, I’d love for you to contact me, or simply leave a comment.

 

You might also like: 

More from the Old Yearbooks (Big Séance)

More from the Old Yearbooks (Big Séance)

Adopting Graves 2013: My Thoughts and a Look Back on a New Tradition (Big Séance)

Adopting Graves 2013: My Thoughts and a Look Back on a New Tradition (Big Séance)

Images of America: Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance)

Images of America: Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance)

Skin and Bones (Big Séance)

Skin and Bones (Big Séance)

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Halloween Memories and Nostalgia from This Generation X-er

From the moment there was a hint of fall in the air, I have been reminiscing and thinking about Halloweens growing up. Today I decided to type aloud just some of the memories and thoughts that come to mind. I bet those of you who grew up in the 70s and 80s have similar memories. Go ahead. Climb on into my Delorean and let’s travel back… back into time…

 

…to a time where Halloween meant witches with brooms, black cats, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns with basic triangle eyes and jagged teeth. There was nothing more exciting than seeing your classroom teacher get out a big stash of black, white, and orange construction paper for craft time!

Remember scarecrows? You don’t see those guys much anymore. Maybe it was just a country thing. They were fun to make, but it was lots of itchy and scratchy work. I remember making a few with my parents and raiding my dad’s closet and drawers for just the right look.

This was the first set of Halloween cutout decorations that I remember. You can see the witch and the scarecrow centerpiece. Those were my favorites!

This was the first set of Halloween cutout decorations that we had that I remember. You can see the witch and the scarecrow centerpiece. Those were my favorites!

I remember getting so excited to go down to the basement for the box of decorations. Some 1970s cardboard cutouts for the windows were all it took. My favorite was the witch. She was so creepy. I also very much remember the honeycomb scarecrow centerpiece that we’d keep in the middle of the dinner table. I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. Then there was the giant skeleton with movable parts. My sister remembers the black cat that had similar movable appendages. Lately I’ve made several Google searches for vintage Halloween nostalgia, and when you search for decorations, I recognize almost every generation of the more popular cutouts and can tell you where I remember them from. Some of them hung in teacher classrooms.  When I see a lot of popular Halloween decorations now, like the orange and purple strings of lights (that just scream Christmas to me) and the noisy and obnoxious blow up contraptions, I just don’t understand them. But this is probably just another one of those signs of getting older and less hip. I wish they would reproduce some of the more classic decorations like they used to. Many of the popular cutouts from the 1980s were apparently reprints from the 1960s. I will say that there is one trend in the last few years that I’ve been seeing in the stores that I definitely like. Everything is glittery and sparkly now! Yes, please! I would have LOVED a glittery orange pumpkin as a kid! Oh my gosh… memories of Elmer’s glue and glitter… don’t get me started…

Remember these?

Remember these?

Did you have classroom parties thrown by the room mothers? There was always punch, games (including the one where you have to sit on the balloon to pop it… I HATED that one), and treats tied up in those paper treat bags. By the time my younger sister went through school, they were afraid to call them “Halloween parties” and for a time they referred to them as “pumpkin parties”. Silly.

I can also remember the Christian versions of these treat bags that we were given at church. I’m not sure what Bible verse would be appropriate, but they always included one. People were encouraged to use those on Halloween, just in case anyone thought you were a devil worshiper because you were celebrating such a fun holiday. Even as a child and as a good boy, I can remember thinking “yeah, right!” and passing up the opportunity to take the Bible thumper bags. Of course, the Christian treat bags weren’t a big deal, considering a grandmother of mine, who was a strict Jehova’s Witness, lived a few houses down. She would preach about how horrible Halloween (or most holidays, for that matter) was, and I remember feeling pressured by her to not celebrate it. I loved her, but Halloween was one of those awkward times for that part of the family. 

Speaking of treats, I can almost guarantee that at some point in time, all of us were given a Tootsie Roll Pop with a white tissue wrapped over the top and tied with yarn, am I right? Mmmm… candy corn. When you went trick-or-treating, did you love or hate the popcorn ball? I didn’t get too excited about anything that was homemade, and sweet tarts and anything with marshmallow were always what I had left from my loot in February or March before I would decide to offer the rest to someone else.

A Halloween clown. I was a clown for a few years since the costume was so big. My Grandma, a master seamstress, did a great job at keeping me in costumes!

A Halloween clown. I was a clown for a few years since the costume was so big. My Grandma, a master seamstress, did a great job at keeping me in costumes!

Actually, trick-or-treating wasn’t something that I took part in for very long, and my sister actually hated it. For a few years, my parents would take me and my little sister (once she was in the picture) to the homes of family members and close friends. We’d show off our costumes, hop back in the car, and head off to the next destination before going back home to catch remaining trick-or-treaters at our own house. And actually, handing out the treats to the few visitors we did have was way more fun, in my opinion. When I was six we moved away from town and out into the country, so for me the traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating wasn’t a big thing. I remember always hearing my friends at school talk about it though, and we’d see ghosts and goblins lurking all over town when we were in the car driving from one place to the next. I’m not sure I would have ever walked up to a stranger’s house for candy. I’m sure this is due in part to the warnings of things like razors in apples and poison in candy. Those things never happened, of course, but I remember the warnings that were popular in those days.

I can't believe I found a photo of the same pattern I used to obsess over at my grandma's fabric shop!

I can’t believe I found a photo of the same pattern kit I used to obsess over at my grandma’s fabric shop!

And costumes were different in those days. Another grandmother of mine owned a fabric shop when I was young and I would “help” her clean and organize. I loved it! I remember being very interested in the McCall’s costume patterns, specifically the one pictured on the right! (I can’t believe I found a photo!) Do you remember how cool it was to pick out a make-up kit with just three basic colors? Just put some plastic vampire teeth in your mouth and it will make up for how cheap the make-up looked. No vampire teeth? That’s okay. Just stick some black wax on a few of your teeth and go as a “hobo”. Remember when dressing up as a hobo for Halloween was popular? Why did we do that? Weird. Speaking of weird, there are certain smells–like duct tape, for example–that instantly transport me back to the smell of a Halloween mask. I’ve heard others agree with me on this one, so I can’t be THAT weird.   

I’m not sure when it started or even if it was meant to be a tradition, but we usually had either chili or potato soup for dinner on Halloween. There was a year where my father somehow ended up with orange potato soup because of something weird that happened with the carrots that he added to the mix. I remember convincing my parents to let me add food coloring to the soup years later to truly make it orange. We’d listen to Monster Mash or even my favorite spooky sound effects “tape” (still have it) while setting the table for dinner. Now as an adult, I usually try to carry out the Halloween chili tradition. 

Now we live in a large suburban neighborhood, and I can’t even get home from work before they’re knocking on the door in daylight, so I make my chili the night before. We sit out front with a few decorations, candles, tiki torches, a big bowl of treats, and plenty of hot apple cider for anyone who wants it. 

I love this photo. My sister was Casper and this was her first (and probably last) Halloween trick-or-treat experience. As my mom explained on the back of this photo, "Patrick is a Mexican." Don't ask...

I love this photo. My sister was Casper and this was her first (and probably last) Halloween trick-or-treat experience. As my mom explained on the back of this photo, “Patrick is a Mexican.” Don’t ask…

 

I’m sure as soon as I publish this I’m going to think of about 50 things I forgot to include, but then again only four of you probably made it this far into my reminiscing… and thank you for that! 

Please feel free to comment and share your nostalgia or Halloween memories and traditions!

 

You might also like:

HALLOWEEN: An American Holiday, an American Tradition (Big Séance)

Skin and Bones (Big Séance)

A New Spin On Your Halloween Altar and Decorations (Big Séance)

Planning a Halloween Party (in 1911) (Big Séance)

 


Old School Locker…

 

I just wanted to show you the early Christmas present I bought myself. This is an old locker from a middle school near my hometown. It probably dates back to the 1950s, but I can’t say that for sure. Although memories are fuzzy, it looks just like the lockers I used when I was in middle school. And actually, at first I thought maybe that’s where it came from since that’s where I found it. But I fell in love with it, anyway. The beautiful old building where I made five years of awkward tween memories no longer exists, but its history has been kind of a fascination of mine for several years now. The upper floor of the building still had the original lockers from the 1920s. I actually wish this locker were older, but apparently antique lockers are pretty hard to find.

You might ask, why in the world would you want an old beaten up locker? Well… a few reasons. I’m a middle school teacher and so “going to school” has been my life from that first day of kindergarten. I’m considering taking it with me to find some creative use for it there. I’m sure my kids will love it. They’ll also be jealous since their lockers now are less than half of this size. You might also recall that I have a cool but nerdy collection of school yearbooks from my hometown. If I find just a few more I’ll have the 1920s pretty much covered, but one of them dates back to 1910.  Anyway, my first thought was that this locker would be a cool place to store those yearbooks. It doesn’t exactly go with any of our decor here, so I suppose I’ll have to think about it. I don’t actually have it in my possession yet. A big thanks goes to my Dad for picking it up today since I’m three hours away. And thanks to the nice people at Missouri River Antique Company in Lexington, Missouri. 

This locker definitely has a story. How many students since the 50s called this metal box home? Talk about major energy. I wonder if anyone will come looking for locker 130? Oh dear… that’ll be a whole other blog post. 🙂 


More from the Old Yearbooks…

 

If you liked my last post, Collecting Someone Else’s Memories, then here are some more interesting photos from my collection of old yearbooks from Lexington, Missouri. 

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

Home Economics classes. From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

The “L Club”. From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

French Club. From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1925-1926 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1926-1927 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1926-1927 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1928-1929 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

 


Collecting Someone Else’s Memories…

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook

 

One of my many incredibly nerdy hobbies is collecting old school yearbooks from my hometown of Lexington, Missouri. It’s a sleepy small town now, but at one time around the turn of the 20th century, Lexington was booming and was the home of several colleges as well as several public school buildings. The oldest yearbook I own is from the  Lexington College for Young Women from 1910. Most of my other yearbooks are Lexington High School yearbooks from the 1920s that used to be named “The Final Hatch.” 

I love looking through them and dreaming about what my hometown was like then. And I try to imagine what life was like for the students. Did they go through some of the same drama and problems that my students experience? Was there bullying? What were the expectations? As a teacher, it is also very cool to see course descriptions and curriculum printed for several of the departments. That fascinates me. History! It’s also neat to see the advertisement pages in the back. Some of the businesses had 2-digit phone numbers, if they had a phone at all.

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook

 

And, of course, I wonder what it was like to be a teacher in those days. Several of my yearbooks were originally owned by Verna Owen (pictured below). The only thing I know about Verna is that she taught in Lexington for many years. The inside cover of one of them is even signed. And, from the writing on this page, we see that someone knew her as Aunt Verna. This tells me that I’m probably at least the third owner of this particular yearbook. Sometimes when going through them I thank Ms. Owen out loud for taking good care of her yearbooks so that I could enjoy them now. 

 

My 1928 yearbook belonged to and was signed by Verna M. Owen… She was a member of the faculty.

 

Many of the photos below are from one of the old high school buildings that no longer stands. I never got to see it in my lifetime. I sure wish I could go back in time and take a tour!

 

Part of the Freshman Class from 1921-1922.

 

From 1921-1922.

 

Teacher Training (for students) at Lexington High School 1922.

 

From 1926-1927.

 

Part of the Senior Class of 1925-1926.

 

From the 1922 yearbook. This building is no longer standing and was located where the Lexington Post Office is today.

 

The next building to serve as Lexington High School would later be where I attended middle school from the fourth through the eighth grade. It was a pretty large building that opened its doors to students in 1927. I have a lot of memories from this old building. I still dream about it often. Unfortunately, it no longer stands. A sad and strangely small-looking empty lot sits in its place.

 

Artist Conception of the “new” Jr./Sr. High School that opens the next year. This is from the 1926-1927 yearbook.

 

One of the very first pictures of the main corridor of the “new” building. From the 1927-1928 yearbook.

 

From the 1928-1929 yearbook. This was the second year in the “new” building. This would have been what I knew as the choir room when I was in middle school.

 

From 1924-1925.

 

From 1924-1925.

 

I was very sad when the building was torn down. I was away at college at the time, but my best friend took the picture below and sent it to me. Thanks to a group of high school students, I was able to purchase a brick from this building. It sits here on my desk. 

 

 

 


My TOP 10 Spooky Movies For Fall…

Yes. I said “fall”. This list is coming out now for several reasons. First of all, fall is my absolute favorite time of the year.  Also, as a teacher I go back to work today, making it officially fall in my book. And finally, a friend of mine works in a flower shop. Apparently they just started changing the window display for FALL! That’s all the excuse I need, so light a few candles (another fall favorite) and here we go.  

Linked titles take you to IMDb. Photos take you to Amazon.com

 

Hocus Pocus (1993)

As a young teenager I loved this movie because it had all of the elements a spooky movie needed to have… witches, spells, Halloween theme, graveyard, a black cat, and a cute main character. But of course, what makes this movie fabulous is the hilarious trio of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Bette Midler. It used to be on cable a lot more, but I try to catch it every time it’s offered. Most of these movies are on my list because of the nostalgia that they bring, and this one brings back feelings of the excitement I’d get as a kid around Halloween. 

 

What Lies Beneath (2000)

This (along with several others on this list) is college nostalgia for me. I was lucky enough to have HBO in my apartment back then, and this was shown a LOT for a year or two. It’s just a creepy movie with some pretty intense spirit communication, including a funny scene with a Ouija board. Right up my alley. Plus, who could forget the amazing bath tub scene? I’ve never personally had one of those “lounge in a tub” kind of bath tubs, but when I see one I immediately think of this scene. 

 

Halloween H20 (1998)

This is another college movie for me. I used to be into these old slasher movies a lot more than I am now. Don’t get me wrong, if a Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, or a Michael Myers (Halloween) marathon catches me on the right day in October, I just might get sucked in. But even though this is probably on many lists for being a really horrible movie, it is my favorite of the Michael Myers films, with the possible exception of the original Halloween, which I haven’t seen in a long time. It is the Halloween movies that has forever changed the meaning of  The Chordettes’ Mr. Sandman for me. And of course, there is the unforgettable classic Halloween theme

 

The Birds (1963)

What can I say about this classic from Alfred Hitchcock? I actually haven’t seen it many times. I remember watching it in high school with my parents. I don’t see it on cable very often so it might be worth a DVD purchase. The scene that sticks out in my mind is the tense schoolhouse evacuation scene.

 

 

Psycho (1960)

Another Hitchcock classic. When I was a kid, I knew this to be the movie about “The Bates Motel”. This movie is probably most known for the bloody shower scene. According to Wikipedia, “it is often ranked among the greatest films of all time and is famous for bringing in a new level of acceptable violence and sexuality in films.” Psycho has its own unforgettable classic theme written by Bernard Herrmann. The theme written specifically for the shower scene is titled The Murder, and in my opinion, forever changed film music.

 

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

People often make fun of me for loving this movie. It is a movie I have often watched late on Halloween night by myself after the trick-or-treaters fizzle out. I’m not sure why, because this movie doesn’t exactly scream “HALLOWEEN”, but ah well. I think the improvised faux reality style in which it was made was ground breaking and shocking. If you’re not familiar with this movie or the way it was filmed, it might be worth checking out its wikipedia page. Then again, that might ruin it for you. Watch it first and then check out the page. Though a lot of people complained about getting nauseous in the theaters due to the amateur shaky film footage, I think they’re whiners! 

 

Carrie (1976)

This movie first played at screens just two years before I was born, but it was actually only like 5 years ago that I saw it. I’ve seen it many times since. The wonderful Sissy Spacek hasn’t aged a day since filming it. Also, I had no idea that Betty Buckley (a Broadway star to me) was in the film. Carrie has an amazing film score that I think is really beautiful, but unfortunately it isn’t really accessible or recognized. The final scene is amazing and is embedded below. The music is great! And guess what? It’s even a musical now! 

 

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Speaking of spirit communication. This one is more of an autumn movie for me than “Halloween”. Not only is it one of the brilliant M. Night Shyamalan films, but the scenes, with their rustling leaves and the vibrant fall colors, make me want to visit Philadelphia. In my opinion, the best scene isn’t spooky at all. It is the heart-wrenching scene with Toni Collette (one of my favorite actors) and Haley Joel Osment. Toni is brilliant and the scene still makes me cry. 

 

The Others (2001)

This movie tries to give us a glimpse into what happens when we die and what it might be like. That, of course, is probably not how Hollywood describes it, but that’s the question that is pondered and brought up so many times in this blog and in other paranormal circles. This film has all of the spooky elements to it. Creepy old house, creepy children giggling, lots of darkness, and a séance scene that includes some automatic writing. 

 

Roseanne 2nd Season Halloween Episode “Boo” (1989)

So I guess this is an exception. It’s definitely not a movie, but it is definitely fall tradition in my house. I’ll probably watch this two or three times before Halloween… and I’ll say all the lines as it plays (while texting my friend Amy, who has the same obsession). All of the early Roseanne episodes are amazing, but “Boo”, from season two, is the first and greatest Halloween episode of them all! It wouldn’t be fall without it!

 

 

What would your top spooky fall movie list look like?

 

 


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