WWhat did you do on Halloween?
This is a question best avoided if your answer is: I stayed in bed, under the covers, fearing that zombies might scramble toward my window at any moment. What better night than All Hallow’s Eve for them to freely roam? I’m not sure when my ambulothanatophobia took root, but it maintains a stronghold on me. I watch zombie movies alone, I write about it, I do anything conceivable to confront my irrational feelings, but these efforts merely result in an entrenchment of the fear. Maybe I should do as others do, and avoid zombies.
This year, I did not stay in on Halloween. At the behest of my piano teacher, I attended Ralph Lee’s Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of the Ghouls. (Mr. Lee is famous for creating the West Village Halloween Parade). This year’s Extravaganza featured a screening of the 1925 Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney, accompanied by Cathedral Organist Timothy Brumfield. There’s something perfect about watching a creepy silent film in the world’s second-largest Cathedral (not that anyone’s counting), a perfect joy matched only by that of witnessing demon hordes sauntering down the aisle of said Cathedral. It reminded me of a recurring motif from my childhood, the wicked movie Legend.