The summer is rolling to an end in this hemisphere. Kids are going back to school. Beaches are closing. Hurricanes are brewing in the Atlantic. Business people are setting up auto responses to emails that say, “I’ll be out of the office until Tuesday, September 4.” Shops are poised to fill shelves with Halloween merchandise. And travelers are on their way home.
In other words — It’s Labor Day Weekend, summer’s last hurrah!
This, of course, started me thinking about seasonal monsters and how certain kinds of monsters seem to thrive in fiction set at certain times of the year. Yes, I know there are year-round vampires and plenty of paranormal goings-on during every season. But there are some combinations that simply work well together.
Maybe it’s a Dickensian thing, but Christmastime seems filled with ghosts. The Winter Solstice — with its short days, long nights and both the promise and regrets of a year’s ending/beginning — is simply a haunted and haunting time of the year.
The last few stories and novels I’ve read that featured Pagans dancing in moonlit rituals all took place in summer. Let’s face it; dancing naked in the woods IS a summer thing — like skinny-dipping and catching fireflies — none of that works when there’s a chill in the air.
You’d think that vampires would be at their best in winter (those long nights) but a vampire with an overcoat? No way. A cape? Maybe. But a parka and snow-boots in a vampire’s wardrobe? Never. It’s impossible to hunt inconspicuously for dinner on a winter’s day dressed in a summer suit.
Werewolves are always sneaking home as the sun rises. This is absolutely NO FUN on a sub-zero morning in January. But I think wizards and other practitioners of Magik would like winter. I’m not sure why, but the transition of fall into winter, the gradual increase in darkness, the crisp almost electric feeling of a chill in the air, just seems right for magical spells.
It’s Labor Day Weekend! Happy end-of-summer. I’d better grab a few minutes of those slow late summer sunsets before it’s time to make costumes for Halloween.