This is it.
After this weekend, no more long days and short nights.
The leaf peepers are coming through a lot less, and there is a distinct crackle in your step as you head to that athletic event, trick-or-treat stop or dentist appointment.
You bet - winter's chill is slowly seeping in and taking over.
With that in mind, let's cozy up next to one last campfire, and get one last dose of creeps, ghouls and goblins out of our system for the year.
Sort of like the post-New-Year's-Day day, when you clean up from the over a month-long Tha(c)hanumas Day party.
Only this one is slightly more Jack Skellington and less Father Christmas.
I'll start with what is probably my favorite hoax of all time.
Of course I am talking of "The Amityville Horror." I know, your screaming "get out!" Right?
I think everyone is familiar with that story by now, but it's a total hoax.
The people who couldn't live in the house for 30 days knew beforehand that a drugged up and mentally unstable man had killed his entire family in the house.
Well, what better place for a haunted house story?
Give me a break. I'm certainly more Fox Mulder and less Dana Scully, but even I could see that one from a mile away. The real monster in this whole story is Ron DeFeo Jr. Google that for a good scare.
Real monsters, in my opinion, are much more terrifying and interesting than the fake ones.
They exist. For how long, no one really knows. Most often they appear and disappear, and no one knows the difference.
A dormant monster, Jack the Ripper, still inspires feelings of dread on the London city streets.
Sometimes we are able to catch those monsters - Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Gary Heidnik - but others must have slipped away.
The subject and inspiration for most modern-day horror antagonists went undetected for years.
Ed Gein might never have been caught, and by all accounts was living alone in the Wisconsin wilderness for nearly eight years before he was caught. Or Dennis Rader, the BTK. He was hiding in plain sight.
Who needs hell spawn and zombified ghouls, when you have this cast of characters?
One thing years of reading Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft has taught me is that the monsters are often right under your nose, waiting for you to slip up, make a mistake - so they can strike.
I am old enough to remember when the mass hysteria began with child abductions. I remember "Adam." Heck, I even auditioned for a movie like that at Princeton University back in the day.
My mom said, "Don't trust anyone." I remember code words and memorizing emergency phone numbers.
Times certainly have changed.
Skulking around looking suspicious gets you noticed these days.
Creating a screen name, probably not. I don't know what my parents would have done about the Internet if it was around when I was younger. It was hard enough finding time on our one landline.
If you want to talk real horror, let's talk the dial-up connection tone, that was a nightmare if you were trying to sign on to AOL chat, especially if it was way past your bedtime.