Shivers, Phantoms, Goodies, and UFOs!

da-AL and her husband in Halloween costumes: monster and witch
Recognize this pair of creepy characters?

October is a colorful season, literally and emotionally!

Leaves turn from green to orange, to red, to brown, and then cascade to earth. Shadows get longer. Harsher weather makes me more conscious of how I feel, what I wear. My senses at the fore, I see better than ever their limitations, that there are greater forces beyond my mortal self.

Here in the U.S., October 31 is always Halloween, a folk holiday that exponentially gains popularity each year. The month before, costume warehouses pop up like pumpkins at every other strip mall. Pharmacies to clothing stores hang cobwebs, bats, and ghouls in their windows. Step on a neighbor’s welcome mat, and a blood-curdling screech might make you jump!

Here in Los Angeles, Mexican traditions give us the opportunity to celebrate death and phantoms! Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is on November 1. Neon painted calaveras (skulls) glow on home altars, at cemeteries, and most places that decorate for Halloween. In dioramas, the skeletons go about daily activities. In food, crunchy sweet confections, as well as fragrant yeasty buns and cookies, are baked to look like bones.

A Dia de los Muertos student altar at East Los Angeles College's Vincent Price Museum, which features Mexican-American and Mayan art.
Student altar, East Los Angeles College’s Vincent Price Museum. Price, an actor, collected Mexican-American and Mayan art. The museum is his gift to everyone!

U.S. libraries often get in on Halloween and Dia de los Muertos through storytelling. For the past several years, my local library has hosted annual lectures by a UFO specialist.

The years when I dress up, one of my favorite things to do is peruse used clothing stores for costumes with my husband. Out of the Closet, which benefits people with AIDS, features especially fab selections, prices, and excellent window displays.

Dear reader, share your ghost stories — first-hand tales of the supernatural only, please. Do you have personal or cultural traditions for this month, spooky or non-spooky?

Post them in the comments section below.

If your recollections run longer than 50 words, email them to me:

That way I’ll run them as their own separate post on this blog. Got pictures that chill? So much the better!

10 thoughts on “Shivers, Phantoms, Goodies, and UFOs!”

  1. It’s only since a few years Halloween is celebrated in The Netherlands; we got it from you guys in the USA 😉
    I actually don’t know if Germany does it too….hmm, something to look into 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Unfortunately I rarely use recipes, but will keep you in mind. When I make something especially delicious, my husband jokingly says, “This is so good. Too bad it will be the only time I’ll ever eat it,” given that I rarely make the same thing exactly the same as the time before.

                      Liked by 1 person

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