There are so many things that I love about autumn, beyond the falling leaves and the back-to-school feeling. There is a sort of wildness in the air, not as stark as winter, but more grounded than the summer. In the autumn, I feel more tied to the soil and the trees I grew up with as a child. And the idea of witches flying through naked trees, or of skeletons dancing in midnight graveyards, doesn’t seem so fantastic.
I am normally a careful driver, but in the fall, I find myself racing the wind with my car. I love the scuttle of dead leaves over black asphalt.
I remember having my very first (and last) taste of Southern Comfort in a tiny country cemetery surrounded by cornfields. It was a grey afternoon in autumn, and it was the wild feeling in the air that made me take a swig, rather than any sort of peer pressure, or any desire to taste illicit liquor. The cemetery didn’t feel macabre or elegant; it felt sort of thrilling, but also cozy, nestled as it was in the countryside. Still, it wasn’t a great stretch of the imagination to picture dead things reanimated, rising from their country graves. And that was part of the excitement.
My favorite sorts of horror movies to watch in the fall are the ones that prominently feature the woods. I find the woods at night scarier than urban or suburban horror settings, but I also want to be there, running wild. It’s the yearning combined with the fear that exhilarates me the most.