This is the week that ends with Halloween. Ghosts and goblins, princesses and ninjas, and a good assortment of other pop culture-based costumes will appear on doorsteps everywhere and cry the words that strike delight in most adults' hearts: "Trick or treat."
Of course, if we're talking real fear, let's look to what Arthur Conan Doyle said: "Where there is no imagination there is no horror."
Horror writers everywhere depend on readers having an imagination. Of course, what Arthur Conan Doyle said is why I don't watch horror movies or read very many horror novels: my imagination is simply too vivid and all-encompassing.
Recently, I wrote about Horror on my other blog. I should have included this quote by J. M. Barrie: "A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night."
In this country, Halloween, as most of us know it, is for kids to dress up and get candy. Lots of candy. No bump in the night for the little ones. At least I hope not. It's not nice to scare little kids.
I think we all agree with Steve Almond, "Nothing on Earth is so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night."