October Law

Under A Blood Red SkyI’m sleeping in my home office tonight. My ‘home office’ is really a former bedroom that has housed three former flatmates. When it was vacated I added a treacherous Ikea desk, a cork bulletin board, and a reading lamp. There is also a wooden book-case with glass doors and a single bed. This room serves as my primary spot for writing…or reading, eating, dancing, watching porn and perfecting dog barks. And I am sleeping in here at the moment.

That’s fine, since it’s October.

Weird things happen in this office. There is the occasional soundtrack of distant laughter, footsteps scurrying past the door, and a series of taps, clanks, chinks and knocks that gives it the aural quality of a construction site. This room has had a dozen visitors, some of whom claim that someone knocked on the door in the middle of the night, most of whom claim hearing someone giggle on the balcony and all of whom report strange, vivid dreams. It’s not uncommon to find a visitor sleeping on the couch after the second night of their visit.

Yet at the moment, I come to this room willingly, rejecting the comfort of my king-sized bed and lay down to sleep. Because it is October.

As I see it, every month has a law. December demands that you drink creamy alcoholic beverages, ogle underage Mall Ass and bitch about how kitschy Christmas is and how much earlier the decorations are going up. July is for treating life as though you are twenty years old again. The days are long and languorous, and the summer heat just begs you to be less responsible. The short days and post-revelry atmosphere of January sets the mood for morbid depression.

October is for scaring yourself.

This is a month that sets the stage for creepy. October weather is cool, damp and quiet, the changing leaves create a canopy of eerie interest. Winter darkness looms on the horizon, leaves are dying everywhere and I have a birthday.

October is the month for allowing your spooky imagination to run away with you. And so I celebrate this month by acting like a seven-year-old, which doesn’t separate it much from the other months except that my October shenanigans don’t make others angry. I unlock my building under the frantic and purposeful pretense that I am being chased by a werewolf. I go out of my way to walk by the cemetery or the eerie spider bridge near my house. I have just finished Lunar Park, a tense ghost story by Bret Easton Ellis that makes my life seem comparably sane, yet the night sleep in my office more fitful.

And I am not the only freak who does this. Ray Bradbury, king of spooky tales, used October in the titles of two books of eerie stories (October Country and October Sky) and one short story (The October Game). Neil Gaiman and several other authors contribute to a website called All Hallows Read (http://www.allhallowsread.com/) whose purpose is to get everyone to share and read a scary book in October.

So celebrate October by doing something that spooks you out. Eat something that doesn’t have an expiration date, go dancing with me, go on a date with a Russian woman or just read a scary book at night…

or just spend the night in my home office.

The link above has a page of recommendations from various horror authors, libraries and publishers for readers of all ages. Please add to the list below! I am always interested in eerie books and movies.

Damien’s Spook Yourself Out list: (ominous laughter…)


20th Century Ghosts – Joe Hill

It, The Shining – Stephen King

Lunar Park, Bret Easton Ellis

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury


The Ring

The Exorcist

American Werewolf in London

Anything by Michael Bay (horror based on poor quality of movie)


English lessons

Drinking with a girl named Maria at a place called The Dirty Dog

Eating spores


  1. #1 by PJ Katz on October 22, 2012 - 5:55 pm

    Joe Hills’ book is fantastic and I wholeheartedly agree with your movie selections. You should add the original Halloween to the list, the theme music alone gives me the willies. You should try watching American Horror Story (tv series), it’s very creepy and taking a shower by candle light is not for the fainthearted.

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