I make no bones about it; Hocus Pocus is my favorite Halloween flick. Come October, I always watch for the first sighting of it on satellite channels and try to catch it at least once, or it’s recorded on the DVR for future viewing. I get such a kick out of those crazy witches and their desperate antics and can’t help cheering for those kids as they race to save themselves.
As a kid, I use to watch those old horror flicks; the Wolfman, Frankenstein, Dracula (which really was quite creepy), and my favorite of those, Bride of Frankenstein. They provided just the right amount of scariness, but I don’t recall them giving me nightmares. Later, I watched the movies based on Edgar Allen Poe stories; the Pit and the Pendulum and the Premature Burial. The one that truly did traumatize me was The Fall of the House of Usher. I think some nightmares might have followed it. Strangely, I was never much for slasher movies and have seen the first Halloween maybe once. When my kids were young, slasher movies were the big thing and every visit to the video store (when you still rented movies to watch) involved begging me to get one. I stood fast and refused. Perhaps, having children, I had grown past that kind of scary movie.
Enter Hocus Pocus, the perfect blend of PG-rated humor and frightful fun for a woman who has always loved Halloween but no longer wants to be scared. When I set out to write my own Halloween story, I wanted that sort of feel, a fun read but with just a hint of what’s-out-there, because while I still enjoy the chills and thrills, I don’t like the screams. I think October Spell (a short story included in my Autumn’s Gold anthology) offers just that. Jilly MacPherson lives in a big old house she inherited from her great-aunt, and even though she’s been there a while, the town folk, especially the neighborhood kids, are just a teeny bit fearful of who else lives in the house. Here is the opening to October Spell:
For as long as she could remember, Jilly MacPherson had always loved October. She loved the vibrant colors, the smoky scent in the air, and the feeling of things being just on the brink of change. Jilly lived at the end of a street on the edge of town, in a big Victorian house that had more rooms than she would ever need, a huge garden out back and an apple orchard on the hill. She shared the house’s thirteen rooms with three cats she’d rescued from the county shelter and their nemesis, Jinx. It was a peaceful life that was just right for Jilly, in spite of what the townspeople often said about her. But after almost a year of living here alone, she was use to their talk, and she seldom felt lonely. It was infinitely better than the life she’d left behind.
Like Jilly, the month of October has always been one of my favorites on the calendar. I love the colors, the scents, the fall harvest, and the changing sky. No doubt how I could relate to a woman like Jilly. But her solitary life soon changes when Adam Spencer and his two young children enter the picture, because who doesn’t love a little romance mixed with a little what’s- out-there?
So, what is your favorite Halloween/scary movie? Do you like to be scared out of your wits? Or is a little chill enough for you?
Four romance stories that take place in the golden season known as autumn. In Patchwork Autumn, Marty Cutter finds herself drawn to Dr. Patrick Brady, the new man in town, but who is the lady he is hoping will move to Montana? In October Spell, Jilly MacPherson still lives in the shadow of her great aunt's reputation. As Halloween approaches, will it keep Adam Spencer at arm's length? Bus Ride to Love finds Ellen Curtis taking the long way home, only to meet Douglas Maddock, a man who may make her think about changing her life. Lauren Patterson finds that her grandfather's Legacy of Love may lead to a building a new legacy with Matthew Brenner.
More About Lucy
Lucy Naylor Kubash is an author of romance stories and nonfiction, an animal lover, avid reader, loves history, traveling, chocolate, wild horses, and the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. A longtime member of Romance Writers of American and Mid-Michigan RWA.