FEAR THE FEAR: Indiana Jones has a thing about snakes. Bruce Wayne gets skeeved out by bats. And Joan Rivers wakes up in a cold sweat when she can’t find her plastic surgeon’s phone number. What is your biggest fear? What scares the beegeezers out of you? Whatever it is – spiders, heights, Joan Rivers – you’ll have an opportunity to overcome what terrifies you on Tuesday, which is “Face Your Fears Day.” So get out there and hug a spider and show the world that the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. And ghosts.
DON’T LEIF ME: Christopher Columbus must have had one heck of a publicist. For a guy who wasn’t even the first European to “discover” the Americas, he’s got a national holiday and dozens of towns named after him. It was about 500 years before Columbus that a Norse fella named Leif Erikson landed on what became the northeast coast of Canada. He was checking out reports of land sighted by another explorer — Bjarni Herjólfsson – a name only trained Norwegians are allowed to pronounce. For his efforts, Leif does have his own holiday – observed on Oct. 9 since 1964. But why does Columbus get all the accolades and Erikson’s day is relegated to the holiday bargain bin? If he were alive today, Erikson would probably have something to say about it. But since he’s Icelandic, we wouldn’t be able to understand him.
OLD HAUNTS: Looking for some scary fun things to do this Halloween season? You could go to one of those “haunted houses” where teens in masks and fake blood jump out and go, “Blarrrrgggh!” Or, you can visit a place with real, live, dead ghosts. Just a short jaunt south, the Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe will be conducting ghosts tours from 6:15 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Tales tell the jail is haunted by the spirits of four Irish coal miners – part of the legendary Molly Maguires – who met their fates at the end of ropes in 1877. Legend has it, one of the men, Alexander Campbell, proclaimed his innocence before his hanging and placed a dirty palm print on the jail cell wall. That print remains visible to this day. Oooooohhhhh! Scary, scary stuff!
EAT LIKE A ZOMBIE: When the special effects guys on “The Walking Dead” wanted to show one of the “living challenged” chowing down, they went out, got themselves some fine Southern barbecue, smothered it in sauce and put it in the shape of the unfortunate victim. That way, TV viewers get the gruesome reality they want, and the cast gets lunch at the same time. This creepy culinary “artistry” will be on display this week, and AMC leads up to the show’s fourth season debut with a week-long “Walking Dead” marathon. It starts Monday at 8 p.m. and culminates on Sunday at 9 p.m. with the new episode.
STARS IN OUR EYES: Romantics look up into the night sky and see beauty in the heavens. Scientists look up and see giant, flaming balls of gas – not unlike Congress. It is for those of us who like our romance mixed with a hint of science that Fall Astronomy Day exists. The day is technically Saturday, but you can find a telescope or a nice patch of sky any night and check out the stars. There’s Pegasus, which, with a little imagination, does look like a flying horse. Or Perseus, who kind of looks like a legendary warrior. Or Pisces, which … well, doesn’t look like a fish at all. It sort of looks like two Cheerios tied together with string. BTW … Keystone College ’s Thomas G. Cupillari Observatory has a nice telescope and has a program scheduled for Friday night. It’s located off of Route 107 in Fleetville if you’re interested.