October’s barely begun, and it’s already shaping up to be a busy month.
I’ve talked at length about my fondness for October before. In addition to the encroaching fall weather (however difficult that might be to imagine when it’s 70 and sunny, as it is now), the world turns its attention once more to the gloomy and macabre. With Christmas slowly devouring the calendar, I’m glad that people get into the Halloween mood the moment September ends. Maybe the Yuletide encroachment will stop with Thanksgiving.
This particular Halloween is a momentous one; it marks the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, and universities and libraries across the world are participating in “Frankenreads,” a marathon reading of Shelley’s novel on October 31st. One of my local libraries is participating, and I’ve signed up to join in the fun (how could I not, given the material?). As of yet I have no idea which section of the novel I’ll be reading, but from 12:50-1:00pm I’ll be contributing, and I’m very much looking forward to the experience.
Several weeks prior to that, however, I’ll be talking about horror stories more generally. My alma mater has once again invited me back, and on October 18th I’ll be a guest speaker at Huntingdon’s October Art Walk, where I’ll be talking about scary stories and fear and what makes for good horror. Those of you that plan on attending, prepare yourselves for some fangirling over M. R. James, Robert W. Chambers, and H. P. Lovecraft.
Other than these formal academic observations, my own less formalized celebrations are well underway. Two years ago, I published a list of “spooky reads” on Goodreads, and included a link to the horror curriculum I made for a friend back in college. I'll be pulling from both of those throughout the month to get myself in the mood. I’ve also begun my annual attempt to watch 31 horror films during the 31 days of October (it’s the 3rd and I’ve done three, so I’m right on track so far), and increasingly during the next few weeks I’ll break out my ever-growing Spotify playlist of Halloween-themed songs (link here; any suggestions obviously welcome).
In short, I’m very much looking forward to my favorite month of the year. Feel free to offer any suggested reads, watches, or listens in the comments. I’m always looking for new additions to my repertoire.