Samhain 2014 (Part 2)
October 31, 2016
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Our Samhain 2014 holiday weekend went very well for the most part. On Friday – All Hallows’ Eve – an extremely nasty cold front came in, and we even got a bit of snow towards midnight. I was pleasantly surprised that we got as many trick-or-treaters as we did, and for dinner, I made the very best batch of vegetarian potato stew I’ve ever made in my life. (I even made enough of it to last through the weekend.) Then, at 7:00, we lit our candles for our Gods and ancestors. I said some prayers, inviting our ancestors to spend the weekend with us and thanking Seth and Ishtar for making the weekend possible. (We even offered a can of tuna to the cat.) My intention was to keep the candles burning until sunrise, but I only made it to 6:30 a.m. before I has to close my eyes and go to sleep. That’s almost 12 hours, and we lit them again on Saturday and Sunday evening, which I figure must count for something. At any rate, our kitchen (which was really the most logical place for us to set up our ancestor shrine) felt overwhelmingly holy for the remainder of the weekend.
My wife, my brother Patrick and I watched all of our obligatory Samhain movies that evening, including Halloween (1978), Halloween III (1982), Trick ‘r Treat (2007, not to be confused with the Trick or Treat from 1986) and Pumpkinhead (1988). Even though Halloween doesn’t really scare me that much anymore, there’s just something about watching it on All Hallows’ Eve that still gives me the creeps after all these years. (The weather certainly didn’t help, what with all the eerie wind and the loud whispering of the trees.) At one point, I thought I saw someone sitting at a table in our neighbor’s yard across the street. It looked like the person was just sitting there perfectly still and staring right at our house. My brother and I then used a pair of binoculars to get a better look at our would-be Michael Myers, who turned out to be just a potted plant and some gardening tools. (They were arranged on the table in such a way as to resemble a human head and shoulders in the dark, no doubt by sheer coincidence.) To our credit, these are the same neighbors who were being stalked by some weirdo with a shotgun one night last summer, so the idea that someone might be lurking around their yard on a freezing Halloween night was not entirely unrealistic. But I’ll admit that seeing Halloween shortly before this happened only made my imagination run wilder.
On Saturday – All Saints’ Day – we slept for most of the day and didn’t get up until after the Sun went down. After re-lighting the candles for our ancestors, we spent the evening watching informercials from the 1990s. I forgot all about the time change; I thought it was supposed to happen the following weekend instead. I used to love it when daylight savings time ended (especially when I was a kid, since it meant I could stay up an extra hour and fit in an extra movie on the Saturday night when it happens). But I’ve discovered that I really hate it as an adult. I think we should just keep daylight savings time on all year round, because I hate when it gets dark at 5 p.m. And our original plan for Sunday – All Souls’ Day, which is also our wedding anniversary – was for us to go out of town somewhere and stay at a hotel for the night. Well, this idea was unfortunately scrapped because my wife got sick, and we stayed home and watched some cheesy direct-to-video sci-fi movies from the 1980s. (Specifically, we watched 1987’s Hell Comes to Frogtown and 1989’s Robot Jox.) This isn’t necessarily as bad as it sounds; we have a mad love for films of this sort.
The theatrical poster for Hell Comes To Frogtown (1987)