BOO! Trek episodes & Earthly creepies for Hallowe'en

It was a dark and stormy night . . . when all through the house not a creature was stirring but ghostlies and gobblies and things that go SCREAM! in the night . . .
Hallowe’en is one time of year when adults get to join the adventure of dressing the part they’d like to play in life . . . from starship captain to alien lifeform to Earthlings famous, fearsome, fabulous, or just fun.  We expect (and accept) the unexpected even at work in what’s become North America’s kind-of Carnival.   If there are “spirits” abroad at Hallowe’en, for me they’re the spirits of play and acceptance – not scary at all.
But for some reason, Hallowe’en seems to need screams – from kids to elders, we’re allowed to be scared and scream and get goosebumps and no one thinks we’re wimpy.  It’s Hallowe’en – we’re supposed to get scared out of our wits, maybe even out of our world.
So for your Hallowe’en viewing, here’s a selection of Star Trek episodes to match the mood:                      (key:  S1 E25 means Season 1, Episode 25)
TOS – The Original Series
The Man Trap (S1 E05) – for vampire fans; this alien vamp seeks salt
Catspaw (S2 E01) – gothic horror in a castle, complete with black cat; aired for Hallowe’en 1967
Wolf in the Fold (S2 E07) – purest evil stalks a world that lives by the pleasure principle
And the Children Shall Lead (S3 E05) – kids take over the crew; shades of Children of the Damned.
TNG – The Next Generation
Conspiracy (S1 E25) – invasion of the body snatchers, complete with splatter scenes
Q Who? (S2 E16) – introducing the Borg at their original terrifying best
Night Terrors (S4 E17) – sleepless on the Enterprise
Schisms (S6 E05) – alien abduction with the chill factor scaled waaay up to the 24th century
Frame of Mind (S6 E21) – Riker trapped an insane asylum, under torture
Sub Rosa (S7 E14) – the ghost and Dr. Beverly Crusher
Genesis (S7 E19)  -- lethal infection, violence and death, as the crew devolves into creatures
DS9 – Deep Space Nine
Whispers (S2 E 14) – psychological mystery:  who is Miles O’Brien?
Empok Nor (S5 E24) – dark empty house (er, space station) with Cardassians lurking
VOY – Voyager
The Thaw (S2 E23) – bedlam in the kingdom of the mind, ruled by a mad clown
Darkling (S3 E18) – The Doctor and / as Mr. Hyde; cliffs, dark night, etc.
Scorpion (S3 E26) --  introducing Species 8472, so scary they scare the Borg
The Haunting of Deck 12 (S6 E25) – in the dark, Neelix tells a ghost story . . .  or is it?
ENT – Enteprise
Vanishing Point (S2 E10) – the ghostliness of Hoshi Sato
Impulse (S3 E05) – Vulcans gone mad aboard a derelict ship (especially for zoms n’ mums fans)  
Earthly hobs n’ goblins . . . for real
Life as we know it, Jim, is stranger than fiction (ah, the literary horror of clichés).  From zombie ants to spiders the size of dinner plates, to goblin sharks, komodo dragons and vampire bats – we share our planet with some truly amazing creatures that would look right at home on the worlds of fantasy and science fiction, or a Hallowe’en scream screen. 
Some super-specialized fungus species grow inside ants and wasps, taking control of their brains and behaviour – turning them into zombies.  Arachnophobe alert!  Goliath spiders catch and consume birds; some are big enough to end as human dinner themselves.   The deep-ocean goblin shark can snap its entire mouth structure forward very much like the H R Geiger-designed alien in the “Alien” movies.  Komodo dragons are Earth’s largest land lizard at some 3 meters, yet we’ve only known about them for a little over a century.  Their venomous bite contains an anti-coagulant to keep wounds bleeding . . . and bleeding.  The spit of vampire bats has a similar effect.
Corpse plants imitate the reek of rotting flesh to attract animal scavengers to their deaths. There are pitcher plants big enough to consume rats, titanic lilies, plants with 4-meter leaves that live two millennia.  Alien invaders?  Be scared, very scared of giant hogweed – its sap causes human flesh to blister in the sun for seven years.  Japanese knotweed can pierce 10 cm of concrete.  Our shields are failing here!
Earth is home to us humans.  It’s also home to some critters and plants that seem pretty un-Earthly . . . and Hallowe’en can be a fun time to learn more about them.
On October 31 the costumed wee ghoulies will boldly go trick-or-treating.  Treat yourself too.  Costume?  Make it sew.  Fear factor?  Creepy Trek episode in a darkened room.  Scary, scary night?  Look at life on Earth, but not as we (usually) know it. 
Happy Hallowe’en.
[Gillian Shearwater is a  member of Alberni Deep Space Star Trek Fan Association.  The group offers monthly meetings, Trek games nights, video nights and more.  Interested in what we do?  Comm channels:  albernideepspace at gmail dot com or phone 250-724-7293]
Top 10 scary Trek episodes
Memory Alpha:  Complete episode guides for all Trek series:
Weird and scary animals and plants
Goblin sharks
Creatures of the deep
Komodo dragons
Zombie ants
Goliath spider
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