Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloweek: Wednesday

As we drag ourselves over the hump of this Halloweek, I will share yet another thing I love about this wonderful pagan holiday.

While there are plenty of horror films waiting to crawl out of the TV or be released from a Redbox or Netflix queue, there are only so many I can watch before my eyes glaze over—usually because I've scraped the bottom of the barrel. Case in point: The Gingerdead Man, which I couldn't wait to watch last year because of the awesome title and Gary Busey's presence, but then it just ended up being beyond lame.

More than these fake fright fests, I really enjoy the documentary-style shows on the History Channel, Travel Channel, and the like. I love hearing about real ghost stories and learning about the origins of our Halloween traditions. It doesn't matter how many times I hear about the proper way to use a Ouija board or that Vlad Dracul is considered a hero in Romania (NOT a bloodthirsty monster), or that the first jack o'lanterns were carved from turnips, or that said jack o' turnips were made to scare off evil spirits; I can watch these shows over and over in a state of rapt enjoyment.

Tune in (or set your DVRs) for these upcoming Halloween programs:

History Channel

  • Modern Marvels: Halloween Tech - A behind the scenes look at Knott's Berry Farm's annual Halloween Haunt. (Friday @ 7:00 pm)
  • Ancient Aliens: Mysterious Places - Discovering the connection between UFOs and Earth's "hot spots," like the Bermuda Triangle and Markawasi's plateau. (Saturday @ 11:00 pm)
  • Monster Quest: American Werewolf - In search of a so-called "dogman" in Wisconsin and Michigan. (Sunday @ 8:00 am)
  • The Real Story of Halloween (Sunday @ 10:00 am, 11:00 pm)
Discovery Channel
  • A Haunting Mini-Marathon - "The Wheatsheaf Horror" (haunted English pub), "The Calling" (spooky family secrets) and "Spirits of the Dead" (New Hampshire farm). (Friday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm)
  • A Haunting Marathon - "Dark Forest" (creepy New York woods), "The Forgotten" (a ghost who doesn't like home renovation), "Echoes from the Grave" (possible poltergeist), "Hidden Terror" (evil spirits cause depression), "A Haunting in Florida" (new homeowner pisses off his ghosts) and "Casa de los Muertos" (tortured soul tries to kill a man's son). (Sunday from 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm)
Travel Channel
  • Ghost Stories: USS Hornet (San Francisco, CA) - People say that this WWII ship, now a museum, is haunted by Admiral J.J. Clark. (Friday @ 10:00 pm)
  • Ghost Stories: Fort Mifflin (Philadelphia, PA) - It's said that the ghost of an 18th century woman, who lost her children and her own life to yellow fever, haunts this "island fortress." (Friday @ 10:30 pm)
There is also a Travel Channel spook-a-thon all Halloween day long. Highlights include:
  • World's Creepiest Destinations - Visit the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Gettysburg, the Tower of London and other scary places. (Sunday @ 8:00 am)
  • America's Scariest Halloween Attractions - A look at the best haunted houses and other horror attractions around the U.S. (Sunday @ 9:00 am)
  • Most Haunted in America - Visit the Whaley House, one of the country's most haunted houses, and other spooky sites. (Sunday @ 12:00 pm)
  • Most Terrifying Places in America: Volumes 1-7 - A spine-tingling tour of haunted locations, including the Stanley Hotel (the inspiration for The Shining's Overlook Hotel), The Devil's Tree, the Cincinnati Music Hall, Hull House and Clinton Road in West Milford, NJ. (Sunday from 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm)
  • Most Terrifying Places in America: Top 13 - This new special ranks the scariest places visited in the series' past volumes. (Sunday @ 11:00 pm)
Don't confuse Most Terrifying Places in America with Scariest Places on Earth. The latter is one of those horrible "ghost hunter" shows, where a bunch of idiots stand around in night vision goggles, declaring nearly every speck of dust that floats by a "mysterious orb." And, for the same reason, don't confuse Ghost Stories with Ghost Adventures.

Each channel's website also has some great Halloween-themed features, so you should start clicking. Start with the Mythbusters Fact or Fiction Halloween quiz! I got all of the questions right because I am an urban legend MACHINE.


Ed said...

I can't do the scary shit.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I love Halloween!

My house looks like Halloween threw up in it!!

whoo hoo!!!

MJenks said...

If you ever get a chance to watch the show about the true story behind the Amityville Horror house, I highly recommend it. It's one of the few things I've watched in the genre that legitimately made my hair stand on end.

Scope said...

Vlad's my lad. I love me some History channel!

And my wordver is getting into the spirit of the season: flaystic

Heff said...

Gary Busey ? Hell, that movie had "lame" written all over it just because of HIM !

I don't remember what channel it comes on, but check out "Celebrity Ghost Story". Nothin' like seeing Sammy Hagar get the "talent" scared out of him. Yeah....

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I went to see Paranormal Activity 2 last night, so does that make me almost topical? Also my movie Halloween viewing schedule, because you care:

30 Days of Night

Sleeping with the lights on. That's not a movie title that's the result of the above three movies, particularly the first one. You are WELCOME!

Jay Amabile said...

coooool. thanks! Now I'll be watching Travel Channel on Sunday!

words...words...words... said...

I've been to Fort Mifflin. At night. It's the creepiest place I've ever been. Eeek.

cube said...

I love scary movies. The scarier the better. I can handle gore (I do have a biology degree), but only if it's scary. Gore, just for gore's sake, is like al gore just for global warming... not believable and not interesting.

You are totally right about the ghosthunter shows where a floating mote of dust is cause for alarm. I'd rather watch forensics.

J.J. in L.A. said...

Thanks for this list! I'll definitely check some of these out. Not 'A Haunting' though. That show scares the crap out of me! lol!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's truly the most wonderful time of the year!

I didn't buy any decent candy this year, so I am going to need some extra good tv viewing this Hallowe'en to keep me from racing out to the drugstore to buy up some leftovers.

Penny said...

Yay!! Thanks for all of these wonderful ideas :) I'm going to be watching a few of these :)

Mnmom said...

Drat, you make me really wish I had expanded cable!
I watched "Scariest Places" at my sister's house and the only scary thing about it is that those stooges got a TV show. The rest of the day we shouted "WHAT WAS THAT!?!?" at every noise, and every word someone said was a "disembodied voice".

Gifted Typist said...

Yes, good scary flix but nothing will compare to the fright you will get watching the election returns

dmarks said...

"It doesn't matter how many times I hear about the proper way to use a Ouija board or that Vlad Dracul is considered a hero in Romania (NOT a bloodthirsty monster), "

I know a guy who lives a few miles from Dracula's castle. He doesn't care a white about Dracula or the real Vlad Tepis, but it does bring in tourist dollars to the area.

Zed said...

I have a love-hate relationship with scary movies, so I'm going to have to be on a "love" day to watch some of this stuff and have a big pillow handy to put over my face for the r-e-a-l-l-t scary scenes. Yes, I know, what a baby!


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