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Halloween! | Sam Debatin | Sun 31 Oct 2021 10:17:28 PM EDT You click on permalinks? How cool of you!!

It's Halloween in Ohio, in my opinion one of the best kind of spook there is. There's something just extra special about the way that the spooky season feelings manifest in Ohio, and really the midwest overall. And we're lucky here in Athens too -- we get a cool combination of Appalachian spooky hills and also that all-American what-could-go-wrong-in-suburbia feel. The trees feel deathly, the wire fences bring out a certain industrial charm, and the way the light filters through those humid, overcast skies creates such a compelling ambiance. I often think about the way that the "holiday season" feels timeless, and winter/colder months more broadly feel the same. It seems fitting that Halloween kicks that off. It's not usually thought of as being a particularly communal holiday, but it feels that way to me. As I was sitting on my mom's front steps earlier this evening, handing out candy to little kids, I kept thinking about how trick or treat is really a family affair. The neighbors invited us for squash soup and chili, which my mom unfortunately declined, but I thought that was the nicest gesture. I wish I had gotten some, but I guess that means I will just have to make some squash soup and chili of my own. (is it chili or chilli??) I appreciate that the real entry to the cold and harsh winter months is essentially a societally condoned practice of going crazy for a night or two, dressing up as something horrifying and letting the world believe you're something you're not. I don't really believe in ghosts, but I believe in the spirit of ghosts, if that makes any sense at all.

Related: I've seen Over the Garden Wall nearly twice through now, and it is still incredible. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend to take a look before fall fades away into winter. It captures that timeless sense of wonder that accompanies Halloween incredibly well. I know that is at most an incredibly lukewarm take, but I can't emphasize enough how well that show constructs a world. It's a world that I feel I used to live in as a kid, and watching that show brought a lot back to me from those feelings. I have the overwhelming urge to sit in the middle of a forest and just absorb the magic of the forest. Like I said before, there's something extra special about the Appalachian hills -- knowing they are ancient, and might carry with them hidden powers or something. And the way it feels like you're always a step away from getting irreversibly lost makes my stomach drop in the best way. I miss when I used to have a moped and could just ride around in the cool fall air, taking in the changing leaves and slowly dying plants. Perhaps tomorrow I will take a moment to just lie somewhere and let the creep creep up. Happy Halloween, S