Choosing Not to Be Scared
I have never quite understood the attraction of scary movies or haunted houses. Granted, when I was in my formative years, I did see my share of horror flicks, in large part thanks to Creature Features. For those of us growing up in the 70s, Creature Features was our version of “must see TV.” Each Saturday night at 10:30, we’d flip on good old Channel 9 to watch a quirky yet somehow still captivating presentation of classic horror films like Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy. Most of the movies were in black and white and few were truly scary, but back then there were only four main TV channels, and we were more easily entertained than today’s kids.
By contrast, most of today’s horror films live up to only the first part of their name — they are horr . . . iffic. The new genre of “slashers”are not so much about scaring viewers as they are about shocking them with graphic violence and Technicolor gore. The truly scary aspect of these movies is that there are so many people who apparently enjoy watching the often disturbing actions played out on the screen. Halloween haunted houses have followed a similar evolution, from innocent to borderline evil. The haunted houses of my youth often generated more laughs than gasps. But these days, the themes and extensive props and costuming have made some haunted houses a little bit too realistic — and often sadistic — in their portrayals of violence. I suppose due in large part to video games, today’s generation of kids have probably become seemingly immune to violence, so to them, Halloween haunted houses are literally child’s play.
With that in mind, for those who for whatever reason enjoy a good scare — and because part of the mission of this magazine is to be THE source for information on “what to do and where to go” in the western suburbs — we have provided a list of area haunted houses on page 29.
One thing that I have never thought were the least bit scary are cemeteries. Quite the contrary, I find them to be both fascinating and calming. Many of them are on beautiful parcels of land and virtually all resonate with a profound sense of history. Indeed, you might be surprised when reading writer Jay Copp’s “Final Resting Places” feature on page 44 at the virtual who’s who of historic figures buried in west suburban cemeteries.
Finally, with the month of October formally ushering in the fall season, we thought you also might be interested in the best places in the Midwest to fully soak in autumn’s special beauty. If so, be sure to check out “Fall Color Roadtrips” on page 36. We hope you enjoy these and the many other articles in this issue and, as always, thanks for being a reader!Edit Module