Leadership in Horror

Halloween. I know I should be posting about Halloween but…anyway, it is October.

Last night I helped Clara create a trivia game for her high school Horror Club. She wanted to feature old movies. To here “old movies” are movies made from 1975 to 1995. I asked about Boris Karloff.

She said, “WHO?”

I said, “Exactly. He was Frankenstein and the Grinch.”

“Mom. Nobody will get that.”

“How about the Body Snatchers. That is one of my favorite movies.”

“What?”

For those who don’t know it, the Horror Club is a real thing. They have shirts. They are in the year book. They have a teacher advisor. It is a club for kids who are fans of horror movies and books. Pretty cool. All of the kids are pretty “normal” too. About 2/3 of the club members are girls. The reason I was told is that “boys don’t join clubs.”

I was having too much fun coming up with weird and random wild card answers to the trivia questions.

For example:

Q: What 1991 movie features a character who likes to have his friends for dinner.

Answer choices.

  • The Hunger
  • Carrie
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • The Sound of Music

Oh come on, you have to admit that Sound of Music is funny.

The X files questions were fun too. One of the answers was Mike Wazowski. Yes, that was my idea. Hey the names sort of sound alike. You know what I’m talking about. HA HA HA.

Along with the questions were fun and gory video clips and theme music.

As a triumph of motherhood I talked her into adding a final question – Who was buried in Grant’s tomb? 

  • Dracula
  • U.S. Grant
  • Dr. Frankenstein
  • Jimi Hendrix

Naturally the kids are tech savvy. They’re all 15-17 years old. It is in their genetic makeup. I mention that because the trivia game is an app on their phone. They will show the game on a computer based projector and the kids play along on their phones. The first one to buzz the right answer wins. Kids can share phones too with friends who don’t have the free app. Pretty cool huh?

But what is old is new and cool. ALL of the teens know about and love the original Twilight Zone. It is one of the few things they’ll watch in black and white. Rod we still love you. The questions about Twilight Zone were paired with the iconic theme music.

The Horror Club has become one of the most fun and successful clubs at the High School. They meet every other week to play trivia games, eat lunch and talk about the genre they love.

But no Vampire movies or books. Of course not. And Garrett (who you all know is the college kid in this blog) is more likely to see movies like Blade Runner or Enchanted April than horror.

The one thing my child and the other founder of the Horror Club are saying is that Horror Club will look great on a college application. Leadership in Horror. Happy Halloween Baby!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Thoughts on Halloween

The night and morning air is beginning to get cooler. In the mornings dew is on the back window of my car. I noticed kids wearing sweat shirts and sweaters this morning. I love fall. It comes all too soon.

I love October the most. Sorry September, I’ll blog through you with love, but October has my heart.

This is why:

  • The weather starts to cool down.
  • It usually starts to rain the week before Halloween.
  • My birthday is in the week before Halloween.
  • Halloween is in October.

I found my brother Val had come by while I was dropping Clara off at school. He was in the kitchen having coffee with Garrett (who goes back to school next month.)

They were talking about Halloween.

I figured Clara and her friends in the Horror Club would have a movie night. Last year she and one of her best friends founded the Horror Club with a lot of support from teachers at her high school. The club is dedicated to kids who like horror books, graphic novels, movies, TV and all things related to the Horror genre. Next week the posters will go up and new members will join the fun.

Last year one of the “religion” clubs ripped down all of the horror club posters. All I could think was “how unchristian and rude.” Most horror novels I love have a strong sense of good and evil. Read classics from Stephen King or Robert McCammon. Read the original Dracula. Yes, in horror movies one person always gets away…leaving something for a future story. But hey, it is just for fun. Yes, fun. People like to be scared and then laugh about it. Think about it.

But the most scary creature of all are those who would censor the ideas and thought of our teens. Those are the ones who are bordering on evil due to their own ignorance. OK they are evil. So sad that some teens are buying into the misguided and evil culture of censorship.

So back to Halloween.

  • Halloween is not evil.
  • Halloween is fun.
  • Halloween brings neighbors together.
  • Halloween is a day to celebrate everything creative.
  • Halloween is a cultural day to celebrate the dead.
  • Halloween is my favorite holiday. I think everyone should have the day off.

So my brother Val was here. I smiled and so did he, with a bit of fang. Aside from being eight inches taller than I am, when I look at my brother I see my male counterpart. It is obvious we’re related.

“What are you doing for Halloween?” He asked, as he always does anytime before October 31.

“I don’t know. Maybe a dinner party with my regular friends.”

He smiled. By “regular” I mean those who aren’t Vampires.

“Or,” I continued, “I might have a party with my Vampire friends. Or maybe both. But you know everyone comes over here on Halloween night.”

My house is Halloween Central. Everyone is here for Halloween.

A couple of fancy pumpkins from last Halloween still sit on my front porch. Both are orange with stripes. They might be really some sort of winter squash but I call them pumpkins. They stay there reminding me that one day it will be cool again and that one day it will be Halloween again.

“We could say that Halloween is almost every day for us,” said Garrett.

“Yes, you could say that,” said Val, “but not really because we’re the ones who go bump in the dark. Well, only the key is not to go bump, but to be quiet.”

Then they laughed because that is what Val and Garrett do.

Anyway, Halloween is coming. Maybe this year I’ll make some real sugar skulls.

In the meantime, we’ll just keep being the best Vampires we can be and plan for the best holiday ever.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

High School Horror Club

Seriously, in this day of banned books and other nonsense my daughter and her friends started the Horror Club in their high school. They even found a teacher to be their sponsoring advisor.

The thing I like about Stephen King novels is the strong sense of good and evil. I also like the fact that his books make the banned book list almost every year. Banned books are good for the reading business. Who doesn’t want to read a banned book?

Most banned books have a strong sense of wrong and right. Most are entertaining. Most are fun to read. So today make it a goal to read a banned book. Seriously – do it. You’ll be glad you did.

Below is a list of banned books my kids have read. In many cases I’ve encouraged them to read the books. This list is taken from the top 10 banned books from the past 10 years.

  • Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  • Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  • The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism
  • Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence
  • The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
    Reason: religious viewpoint
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: racism
  • In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, violence
  • Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
    Reasons: occult/Satanism
  • Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
    Reason: drugs
  • Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    Reason: occult/Satanism, offensive language

If you’ve read ANY of these books you’ll see how absolutely ridiculous the list is.

By the way, my husband offered to buy a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird for every kid in my daughter’s English class. 38 copies. Money well spent if you ask me.

I have to admit that my goal as a writer is to one day have a book on the banned book list. Oh my goodness – can you imagine how sales would spike! Please ban my book!

But seriously, back to school…

Posters are being designed for the Horror Club. Everything looks good to me. I think they’ll have a good turn out.

What was your favorite club or banned book?

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Lost Boys