By Lisa Talley
It’s October… Finally. If you’re like me, this is the time where you finally get to breathe and let out your inner little goblin-kid. It’s a skip down the hallway and through the garage door to bring down the boxes and dust off your foam gravestones, maniacally laughing doorbells and the all too real giant fuzzy spider. And while everyone else is thinking football Sundays, sweaters and pumpkin flavored everything, we’re thinking about how we can make those cotton spider webs stretch as far across the front of the house as possible.
There’s so much to think about, what to be for Halloween? Should I throw a party, or just go to one? When is it appropriate to schedule my first Horror-Movie-A-Thon? And even though Halloween falls on one day of the year, we all know that the entire month October is dedicated to everything spooky, strange and fun. For people like us, Fresno (and even the entire Central Valley) can be a playground of haunted houses and attractions. But where to start? Where to look? It’s a good thing you have an issue of The Fresno Flyer in your hands.
For some, October has a completely different meaning away from jump scares and monsters. Historically speaking, the time of year associated with Halloween is often tied to remembering our ancestors (see ‘Honoring The Dead‘). On October 29th from 5pm – 9pm, Arte Americas is hosting a Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration with their 29th Annual CALAGALA, held at the Eaton Plaza. The event will have live music, face painters, food trucks, Folklorico Dancers and more. It’s family friendly and admission is only $3. More info can be found at www.ArteAmericas.org.
Now, if a good ole fashioned scare is your thing, sometimes the classics really are the best. And there is no better staple of haunted attractions in the Central Valley than Hobb’s Grove. Practice makes perfect and these guys have certainly had the time to hone their craft into an amazing feat of terrorizing wonder. Hobb’s Grove is a place that has something for everyone, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, jumping in line for the gnarliest, freakiest scare, or if you’d rather leave that up to everyone else while you quietly eat your candy corn. The level of scare ranges from the mild Hayride to the creepy Haunted House, all the way to the terrifying Haunted Forest. I highly recommend everyone taking advantage of all 3, however, I should warn you, I once had a friend tear off the path and run plumb into the dark while in the Haunted Forest and another friend fell into a petrified ball on the floor inside the Haunted House… so, you know, be ready for some serious fun. Visit their website, www.HobbsGrove.com.
Maybe having random strangers in weird costumes jumping out at you isn’t your thing. No worries, there’s something for everyone this year. Fox Theatre in Visalia is pulling out the stops and going way back in cinema history with a silent classic, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. If you’re unfamiliar with the film, you’re in for a treat. It’s the vampire story that began all vampire legends in Hollywood, but it’s a far cry from glitter and gothic romance. Nosferatu is terrible, cold, and barely resembling a human form, desperate for living blood. On October 28th at 8pm, the film will be accompanied by the performance of a live soundtrack, performed by acclaimed Sacramento-based musician, Dean Mora. Beer, wine, and other concessions will be made available for purchase. Costumes are encouraged. More information can be found at www.FoxVisalia.org
Of course, I cannot forget my introverts, those of you who cringe at the idea of having to be around anyone but a select few. Don’t worry, I’ve got a great list of movies to add to your roster of Horror-Movie-A-Thon potentials to watch with a small audience (if any at all). While all the usuals are tempting to indulge i.e. “Halloween”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Friday the 13th”, “Nightmare on Elm St.” etc. I challenge you to try something a little different and really go for the gold in the horror genre. Here are some I think everyone should try at least once: “Evil Dead” (either the 2013 reboot or the original, both are outstanding), “The Witch“, “It Follows“, “28 Days Later” and “Goodnight Mommy“. Some of the most original scary stories come from overseas and these are great ones to try if you’re not already watching foreign films: “Audition“, “A Tale of Two Sisters“, “[Rec]“, “The Devil’s Backbone“. And lastly, here are some that fit the theme of Halloween, but take the edge off and lend some comic relief: “Shaun of the Dead“, “Zombieland“, “Ginger Snaps“, “Cabin in the Woods“, “An American Werewolf in London” and “Dead Snow“.
No matter how you decide to enjoy your Halloween themed month, be safe out there, and don’t be afraid of a good scare. (no pun intended)