At the writing of this blog, Halloween is a little less than a month away. Unless you are a hermit, you know what it is all about, and even if you are a hermit, I’m guessing you are still familiar with the holiday. Most of its imagery and themes are lined up with the Horror genre. However, witches, ghosts, and demons all find their place in Fantasy as well.
In my last blog post, I stated that there is a clear boundary between Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. I still stand by that statement and defend it, but that isn’t to say that I cannot appreciate the overlaps as well. Often things such as ghosts are presented in a much different way in Fantasy than in Horror. In Horror, ghosts are generally horrific and killers. In fantasy, spiritual beings may not necessarily be villainous, and they sometimes offer guidance or serve as a metaphor. They also appear in the form of The Army of the Dead that helps to deliver the people of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings films.
Horror may not be the genre I write, but that does not mean I cannot appreciate the imagination at Halloween. Witches and sorcerers, main Halloween staples, appear in fantasy stories such as Harry Potter or The Once and Future King.
Halloween reminds me of the power of imagination and can be very inspiring for me. What people choose to dress up as, what characters inspire them, and how people carve their jack-o-lanterns are all things that show the creativity of the human spirit. It is that creativity mixed with reality that forges Fantasy, and brings with it the question, “How much of this is really fantasy?”