Yes, here’s Jimmy shining a light on Halloween and spooktacular high points I’ve enjoyed and which have been recommended.
Full disclosure first… horror films wouldn’t be my first genre of choice and there are many iconic scary Hollywood films I’ve yet to see.
Between my fingers, of course.
And seeing that Stephen King has written all of them then he’s a good place to start.
Who’s at the door?
The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite: This was the inspiration for The Overlook hotel in The Shining – right down
to the red lifts.
Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood’s 1920s Californian hotel hosted presidents, royalty and a few ghosts.
While the Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King’s bestselling book the recognisable
interior sets of the movie hotel, The Overlook, were heavily influenced by Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel.
Inside the lobby, visitors will find the cavernous ceilings, Native American-inspired patterns,
and even the frightening red-doored elevators from the movie.
In a right old flap
My easy charm and friendliness had got the better of me on the plane over when I got talking to a Californian on her way home.
And listen to her story of eating an airport egg sandwich and then handle her sick bag.
But my 24-hour sickness bug came after I’d enjoyed the delights of West Hollywood.
Can’t say though that I saw too many flapper girls, more flapper boy in this out, out, out, joyful town (and yes, my captain’s hat drew some smiles from the queens getting ready for Pride).
Back to more scary things and the art-deco Sunset Tower has become synonymous with the ghost of a beautiful flapper girl, known to ride in the lift with unsuspecting guests.
The Wailed West
Colorado: And if you imagine a spur a-clicking or a horse a-whinnying in Colorado it’s probably because the Wild West heroes are still keeping an eye on us all from beyond the grave.
Whether that’s Buffalo Bill at Lookout Mountain or the regular cowboy, prospector and dreamer in the Red State’s ghost towns, the Wild West is all around you.
St. Elmo, located west of Buena Vista, is one of Colorado’s best-preserved ghost towns. With wooden storefronts and a dusty main street, it looks straight out of a John Wayne movie.
After exploring St Elmo, visitors should make their way to the nearby infamous town of Tin Cup. One of the more rowdy towns, sheriffs didn’t last very long here, and you can see echoes of their sorry fates lingering at the town cemetery.
Slovenia trumps them all
Slovenia though is a magical land with rich history and superstition which lends itself to ghostie stories.
Built within a cave in the middle of a towering cliff, Predjama, which dates back to 1274, is imposing by most standards.
Add in local legend and you’ll be hard pressed not to get spooked:
Once the residence of knight Erazem Lueger, Predjama has hidden passageways and was reputedly a site of torture and treachery. Lueger was betrayed by his servants and killed in the castle, and is said to still haunt it today.
Dragons and ghouls
Yes, and back on this island and in an old stomping ground, Wales, where they defer to an old dragon (make up your own punchline) Halloween is all the rage.
Throughout October, Fonmon Castle and Gardens are offering several spooky experiences for visitors, including Halloween Haunted Gardens through to 31 October between 5-9pm inviting brave souls to test their nerves through an interactive garden of horror.
There’s also ghost tours on offer through the castle grounds from 6-13 October from 7pm. Walk and explore the grounds with an experienced guide and participation in paranormal activities is encouraged.
For the wee ones, there will be games fancy dress and entertainment from 10am. Entry from £14.50 for adults and £9.50 over 3’s.
Now if you’re back out on the road, and more and more of us are, then watch your ghoulies.
Because around the corner the souls of the dead are rising up.
I, of course, put my faith in the locals in such circumstances such as the Galacians who invited me to join them in the Quiemada fiery brew ceremony.
And I swear I saw an image of my mother-in-law emerge from the flames.
Me? Watch out when you’re opening the door.
Here’s Jimmy, shining a light on Halloween.