Autodidact: self-taught


The American Scream

by V. L. Craven

The American Scream

Each year in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, three houses are turned into Haunts, where average people make their own haunted attractions that draw in hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors. The American Scream is about those three households.

There’s the father of two who loves spooky DYI, but who didn’t get to celebrate Halloween growing up and who has, perhaps, overcompensated by going overboard every year in October. His decorations are incredible, his spirit contagious, his family supportive even when the stress of trying to make everything perfect begins to wear on him.

Then there’s the everyday Joe who just likes to have fun with it. If it looks good and it’s scary it works. He adds things each year, but doesn’t go crazy and doesn’t get too stressed out.

Then there’s…the third one. Which really has to be seen to be appreciated. There’s a ‘specialness’ about the third family that’s difficult to describe. It’s a man and his dad. And they have their own peculiar take on what’s frightening. And they are not wrong–their decorations are unsettling, but more in a, ‘Have I just stumbled into the backyard of a deranged individual,’ than, ‘Clearly, this is a haunted house made for my amusement,’ sort of way.

All three people do what they do because they love it. They look forward to October the way some people look forward to Christmas, a sentiment I can absolutely identify with.

The documentary itself is well done enough. It’s really about the people–there are some excellent, human moments. I highly recommend this one–it’s on Netflix, if that’s available to you. And if any of you have been to any of the houses I would love to hear your stories.

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