The Best Day of the Year

H A P P Y  H A L L O W E E N!!!!!

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Painting by C. Wysocki.

Here it is: October 31st. The final day of weeks–months!–of celebration. And sadly, it all went by so fast. So much remains unposted! Thus, for today, the Big Day, I’ve compiled a mixed collection of the very best things I still have left to tell you about this year.

Best Bakery

I stopped by my favorite Austin bakery, Quack’s, for a slice of pumpkin bread (because all the Starbucks pumpkin scones are SOLD OUT!) and saw this lovely monstrosity.


Unfortunately (as I discovered when I exclaimed “I’ll have a slice of THAT!” to the cashier), this one is not edible, though it was made by an in-house baker. So I assume they can easily re-create it for my October 2020 party. 😀

Best Opening Credits

The movie itself wasn’t great (even despite its high “boob count,” haha), but the thoroughly-80s flick Night of the Demons has an animated opening sequence I could watch on repeat for hours.

Best Halloween Perfume That Doesn’t Know It’s a Halloween Perfume

This year I discovered Estee Lauder’s elegant 30-year old fragrance Knowing. True to its mystical name (which I’ve decided refers to clairvoyance), this scent has an otherworldly, abstract, extremely mysterious depth to it. To me, it smells like bright, white pepper, crushed autumn leaves, and oak moss. The mental image that comes to mind when this chypre hits my nose is that of ghosts in a dark forest.


Best Rewatch

What happens to the imaginary things we feared as children? Do we get braver as we grow up, or do we just become afraid of new things?

Hill House.

Last year’s gorgeous series Haunting of Hill House is less about a haunted house and more about the tragedies that haunt us all as we become adults: addiction, loss of a loved one, breakups, etc. At its core, the show is a poetic lament for the loss of childhood innocence and the dissolution of the family unit. But it’s also very scary by traditional horror terms.

If you haven’t seen the show, just go watch episode 5, “The Bent-Neck Lady.” (Each episode stands alone, so you won’t be lost.) You’ll thank me later.

Best Home Decorating Skills

No, not mine. Christine McConnell’s wizardry with power tools and stencils will have your jaw hitting the floor.

Best Space in Mi Casa

Once the Texas heat finally died down, I started spending time upstairs in my AC-unit-less attic. I even bought a digital projector so I can watch horror films up there. With its peaked ceiling, the space looks like a chapel, so I decorated it accordingly. This includes displaying my most prized possession: the original votive stand from Pumpkinrot’s 2018 haunt!

The attic is now officially my happy place (is “woman cave” a term yet?) and will remain creepy long after October is over.

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Here’s wishing all of you the best Halloween yet. And thanks for stopping by the Skeleton Key! It’s truly an honor to be one of your seasonal haunts.

Sincerely grateful,



11 thoughts on “The Best Day of the Year

  1. Just watched The Haunting of Hill House this week and LOVED it. Also loved that while it dealt with life and drama, the ghosts were also REAL ghosts and not some “only in their minds” ghosts. I prefer it that way. Happy Halloween!

  2. The thanks is mine and obliged for the macbre ministrations. October is another country and you helped guide me there. Sona Oiche Samnha and Happy New Year!

  3. Oh, you really need to watch all of the Haunting of Hill House. There are some really beautiful continuous camera shots with not cuts! Watched it again this year and noticed more details.

    Happy Halloween!

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