Stories For Ghosts

Horror Through a Literary Lens

Category: TV Horror

My Favorite Halloween TV Specials

One of my favorite parts of the Halloween season are the TV specials.

As I’ve written about before, Halloween allows us to pretend to be someone you’re not for a little while. And Halloween allows our culture to engage in some some macabre activity that we don’t usually acknowledge. Death and violence are part of life, but Halloween helps us confront those unpleasant topics in a safe and fun way.

The Halloween TV special is part of that. Every show from The Simpsons to Mad Men has had Halloween episodes. For a short time, we get to watch our favorite characters explore secret sides of themselves, become monsters, run from zombies, and attend some of the craziest parties you’ve seen. It’s fun, it’s a little scary, and it’s an integral part of Halloween.

I’ve listed my favorite Halloween TV specials here. They range from silly to heartwarming to straight gross (looking at you, Community), but they’re all tons of fun, infusing Halloween scares into your favorite weekly shows.

Enjoy!

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10 X-Files Episodes That Still Scare Me, Part 2

The premiere of Season 10 of The X-Files has come and gone, and so far, I’ve been pleased.

While the first episode may not have been the strongest episode ever, it gave us a solid dose of those mythological in scope, all-encompassing conspiracy theories we’ve come to know and love. Episode 2 was way more solid, truth be told, and pulled no punches when it came to violence and gore, which was a pleasant surprise.

It is good to have the old X-Files back. Conspiracy theories are all well and good, yes, but I have to say that I prefer the monster-of-the-week episodes with lots of scares and gore. They affect me more, they arrest my imagination and my heart and genuinely terrify. Those episodes make me question so much as they confront me with truly horrifying stories.

It’s why I keep coming back to The X-Files. I love how The X-Files forces me to think even as it entertains me, even as it scares me.

So, to continue from this post, here is Part 2 of my list of X-Files episodes that continue to scare me. Again, these episodes are presented in the order they aired.

Enjoy!

(Also, spoiler alert, though, for real, these episodes aired at least ten years ago, if not longer. At this point, it’s your fault if you haven’t seen them. But at any rate, if you haven’t seen The X-Files, watch the whole show and then come back.)

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10 The X-Files Episodes That Still Scare Me, Part 1

My first love was The X-Files.

As a child, I loved the show because it was smart and scary and grown-up. It had everything–monsters, aliens, unsolvable mysteries, government conspiracies, the quest for “The Truth,” and of course, Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. I didn’t always understand the implications of what happened in each episode, but I was transfixed. I couldn’t get enough of those weird, shocking, and eerie stories.

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Hannibal Season 3 Premiere–What Culinary Delights Await Us?

Sharpen your knives and fire up the stove—Season 3 of Hannibal premieres tomorrow, June 4th!

Season Three promises to be stellar. The locale has changed—the story picks up in Florence, Italy, a few months after the bloodbath of the Season 2 finale. You may remember that at the end of Season 2, Hannibal escapes to Italy with Bedelia Du Maurier, played by goddess Gillian Anderson. Word is that the first half of Season 3 follows the pair as they live a fabulous life under assumed identities. Everything is going swimmingly. Hannibal has “Hardly killed anyone” since they arrived. They might be able to live “happily” ever after.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the teaser here.

I’m so excited, since Hannibal is one of my favorite shows currently airing. It checks off a lot of boxes—serial killers, a crime procedural set-up, terrific acting, impeccable production value, and imaginative gore (that somehow makes it past NBC’s Standard and Practices department). The cast is wonderful. Mads Mikkelsen kills it (har har) as Hannibal, while Hugh Dancy wrestles with the human struggle against darkness as Hannibal’s maybe friend/nemesis.

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Fashion and Horror: Iconic Films

I love watching horror movies with visual style, particularly when it comes to the costuming. There’s something magical about a horrible, scary film where the characters are immaculately dressed in Yves St. Laurent or impeccable Victorian fashions. Of course, smart costuming isn’t just for show, as it’s another way for the film to communicate the themes of the film and give depth to the narrative.

Fashion and horror influence each other–as fashion draws inspiration from stories and film and as horror uses fashion and style to deliver its message. Designers such as Alexander McQueen, Jason Wu, and the Blondes have all been inspired by the macabre and the horrific. Tom Ford and Lanvin designs recently showed up in wonderful horror-inspired fashion film Tokyo Lost & Found starring model Jun. The Mulleavy sisters, working under their label Rodarte, contributed to the costume design in the film Black Swan.

I’ve never studied costuming and would count myself as a fashion novice, but I love to pay attention to particularly stylish movies and try to unpack the costume choices. Below I’ve picked some of my favorite “fashionable horror” movies and explained what I have taken away from each. Enjoy!

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Ho-Ho-Horror – Christmas Episodes of Scary TV Shows

 

The last installment of my Ho-Ho-Horror series! I’ve talked about Christmas-themed horror novels and movies, so here’s a list of Christmas specials from some of my favorite spooky shows. These are all available on Netflix or Amazon streaming.

Without further adieu…

Netflix:

1. The X-Files: How The Ghosts Stole Christmas,  Season 6, Ep. 6

On christmas eve, Mulder and Scully find themselves in a haunted house with two ghosts who are determined to prove just how lonely yuletide can be. Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin star.

My personal favorite!

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American Horror Story: Freakshow, Episode 1

The season premiere of American Horror Story: Freakshow aired last week and I watched it, despite myself. Even though the first three to four episodes of a season are amazing and entertaining, with inventive treatments of basic horror tropes and characters, but then things start to fall apart in the middle of the season. I’ve been hurt before—AHS: Coven had an awesome concept, a solid cast, and there was a lot of potential, but the execution was bad and the storytelling was a train wreck. In vain, I watched the whole thing, hoping they’d pull it together with some transcendent plot twist and I would feel better about the thousands of abandoned storylines, the underutilized Angela Bassett, the inconsistent character treatment, and the most incompetent witch hunters ever. Also, Hank. Hank was the woooorrrrssst.

Go away Hank! No one likes you!

But there I was, ready for the fourth season.

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