Halloween in July

I started keeping track of it three years ago when it happened on August 2nd.

Two years ago, it was July 28th.

This year, the record goes to July 15th!

These are summer dates in which the temperatures get as high as 100 degrees in Colorado, and they also happen to be when Spirit Halloween stores open in neighborhood shopping plazas.

Now, mind you, the stores do not actually “open,” but the spooky, neon-green sign goes up, along with a “now hiring” sign, and there’s a preliminary reminder that cooler weather, horror movies, and Halloween are just around the corner (almost 4 months ahead of schedule).

I find nothing wrong with this. I think it’s fascinating, actually. It reminds me of the early 90s when indoor mall shoppers would get upset when Christmas décor went up before Thanksgiving! It was a sin!

Today, as a 43-year-old new (and old) dad, I embrace the early anticipation of the holidays, especially Halloween. As it’s supposed to hit 101 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver today, the stupid Spirit Halloween sign gives me hope for the near-future briskness in the air, the radiant reds and oranges that flood the trees, and cozy hoodies that are worn on the couch in front of the best comfort entertainment out there — horror movies.

As I’ve stated many times before, the chills and shadows of Halloween creak open the door to horror flick escapism for me. Probably because my dad let my middle brother and I watch horror movies when we were young, I possess an internal need for manufactured fear, and believe it or not, it is a fear that actually calms me.

Writer/Mom hybrid, Ashley Abramson, writes: “Unlike real life, when your worst fears could come to fruition at just about any given moment, holding a remote in your hand while watching something scary comes with a sense of control.”

Horror aficionados like me get it. The rest of you—including my wife—prefer Disney+, and more power to them. I can still enjoy watching Frozen, but I also think it would be cool if hell froze over, and Olaf had to deal with Satan.

With a few exceptions, I normally save all my horror films—both old and new—for the month of October. This year, because my wife and I are expecting another daughter in late October, and my life will become yet another whirlwind of wonder and anxiety, I’m going to open that door to Halloween and horror movies early this year.

I’m starting with Jordan Peele’s Nope tonight, and I can’t wait.

I dunno—maybe it’s the eight and half months that have gone by without a horror movie. Maybe it’s the darn Spirit Halloween sign that I saw a few days ago under the blistering sun.

Something is tempting me to open that door…

Thanks for reading,

Reely Bernie

What are your horror movie traditions? How are you managing the extremely hot weather? Anyone seeing Nope this weekend?

17 thoughts on “Halloween in July

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  1. Can’t wait to see Nope! Maybe in theaters. Haven’t seen a film in theaters since 2019 I think? Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse. Not my favorite of his works, but it was due to personal opinion I’ll readily admit.

    That said, as far as traditions….as soon as Halloween spooky stuff goes up in stores, I’m THERE. TJ Maxx/Homegoods? Marshalls? It is my time to shine, and I am keeping my house updated and spooky for year round!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love it. And, yes, the places you mentioned – TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and Marshall’s – are right next to the 2 Spirit Halloween stores I spotted in Colorado.

      Loved The Lighthouse! Super weird!

      Thank you for reading, RB


  2. I really want to see Nope. I guess I’ll wait for it to arrive on streaming platforms. Horror novels give me a sense of control. I find horror movies, on the other hand, a little difficult to watch. I still watch them though (especially the psychological horror ones). I don’t mind playing horror video games at all though. I’m currently playing The Quarry, a game in which your decisions decide who survives and who doesn’t. Check it out if you’re interested. It’s gotten good reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Quarry is on my list of things to do next week when my wife is out of town! Can’t wait. I got a PS5 a few months ago. I love those choose-your-own-adventure horror games. It’s just like being in the horror movie! Thanks for the rec! Best, RB

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Gore really isn’t my thing either. I like supernatural, subtle and realistic scares. Yes, psychological thrillers can end up haunting me more than jump-scares, makeup, and masks. Thanks for reading! Happy Halloween in July!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love horror movies but I haven’t gone to see one in a long long time at a theater. My favorite one was going to see the Exorcist in 2000 I believe on the re-release.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did the same thing in 2000, Max! I think we talked about this. They added some superfluous extra scenes and effects, which weren’t necessary, but seeing it in the theatre with other horror fans made it a fun and creepy experience. Really, any place that is not home makes the horror movie even scarier 🙂 Good to hear from you. Just saw a doc on the making of Dark Side of the Moon. I loved it, but it’s still so sad that Waters and Gilmour couldn’t be in the same room to talk about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know about Waters and Gilmour…that sucks. Oh btw I’ll be posting something on Sunday that I’m taking a month long break…I’m getting a little crispy around the edges. I haven’t missed a day since 2019 and I need to recharge the batteries.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dude, you are a god. Since I started my little hobby blog, you’ve always been the consistent, daily go-to. Yes, take a healthy break. Travel, read a book, plant a tree, do something that has nothing to do with “Badfinger” 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Bernie, tickets bought for Nope…Saturday in the IMAX, and the wife and I can’t wait. High hopes for it, and just reading the headlines/first couple of paragraphs from reviews it should be a great ride. I too am fascinated with the Holiday creep. When autumn hardy mums get put out for sale in August, when Christmas candy shows up in September, etc. Definitely included is waiting for the first Spirit Halloween or Halloween Adventure store to throw up a banner and start looking for personnel. You have us beat this year! It makes sense for you to bump up the horror viewing with the baby on the way. I gotta go Olaf > Satan in that face-off. I am a big John Carpenter fan and always make sure to watch the original Halloween and Halloween II in October. We’re going to have seven straight days of 95 or so in SE PA, but not complaining because ours came late this year and we’ve had enough rain earlier to keep everything green. Enjoy Nope!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and your response! SE PA: I visited Scranton and Philly ten years ago and absolutely loved both experiences. I know Scranton is dying, but it had its charm, and Philly had its food. Yum! Yeah, I’m down with air conditioned darkness and a scary movie any day but especially today. I’ve got high hopes for Nope too and need the escape. Love that you’re a John Carpenter fan. I still think The Thing is the most polished and horrifying horror movie out there, and Halloween is a close second.

      Best to you and hopefully more rain!

      Olaf for the win,

      Liked by 1 person

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