Friday, October 28, 2016

Traditional and Gothic Halloween

There are two Halloween styles that exude horror atmosphere without screaming it. Some folks might enjoy their zombies and severed bodies, but a bigger audience of people enjoy the traditional Halloween and autumn elements and the Gothic ones. Let's have a look at these styles - 

One of the basic tenants of these styles is to create a place no one wants to visit, such as a dark cemetery, a scary castle, a cluttered attic, a vampire lair, a haunted hall, or a nighttime cornfield. 

Elements that would be utilized include: Aged items, musty/dusty items, tattered lace, black velvet, corn stalks, hay bales, pumpkins and gourds, scarecrows, candelabras, tea stains, candles, statues, fog, headstones, wrought iron, Ouija board, goblets, moth-eaten cloth, chains, ghosts, mirrors.

Themes that work are: Farm/cornfield, cemetery, haunting, vampires, werewolves, mausoleums, castles, pumpkin farms, haunted houses.

Movies to set the mood

Sleepy Hollow
An investigator is sent to a quiet little town where they are being terrorized by a headless horseman.

Seance on a Rainy Afternoon
A psychic convinces her husband to kidnap the child of a wealthy couple so she can psychically find the child and gain fame.

The Woman in Black
A lawyer is sent to a remote village where the occupants are being terrorized by an angry ghost.

The Haunting
A group is assembled to stay in a horribly haunted mansion and report their findings. 

The Legend of Hell House
A group is assembled to stay in a horribly haunted mansion to study the origin of the evil.

Bram Stoker's Dracula
A vampire goes to England to seduce a man's fiancee and cause trouble.

The Wolfman 
A man goes to visit his homeland only to be bitten by a werewolf. 

The Others
A woman hiding in her home with her two light-sensitive children, feels something is haunting them.

Traditional and Gothic style Halloween themes are really about romanticism and longing for a time that was more atmospheric with elements of traditional autumn and Halloween, harvests, witches, full moons, black cats, scarecrows, vampires, mansions, velvet, hauntings, and darkness. They are enhanced by candlelight and carved pumpkins, moody string instruments, moonlight and fog.

Where some Halloween lovers get into characters like Leatherface, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger, traditional and Gothic lovers are into atmosphere and mood, to actually be on a full set of another time, another place, a magical realm. They wish to be the players in that set instead of idolizing those who come from that realm. It is a sign of a keen mind to want to become the play instead of watching it.

When you set up your romantic-themed Halloween, consider utilizing the smells, drinks and foods of the theme. You might use wine, brandy, dark ale, autumn favorite foods, canapes, caviar, brittle, chili, pumpkin, spice cake, and ploughman's platter (a platter with items like pickles, grainy mustard, dark break, ham, cheeses, apple slices, walnuts and such). 

Whether you decorate your porch with hay bales, scarecrow and a row of pumpkins or you place candelabras in your bedroom with black fabric draping the bed and red pillows with moody music, you are diving full force into the holiday in a way that utilizes all five senses. Be thankful you are a romantic at heart and enjoy the playacting of Samhain. It is the time to get your mood on!

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