In my most fevered dreams I'm a kid again. I'm 10-years-old and I'm trick or treating even if it wasn't the done thing back in Britain when we never answered the door to such ruffians.
I climb the steep steps of a Georgian house. Neat pumpkins filled with candles line the way. Their faces smile at me. Even the ghosts are limp, neat and benign. There's an expensive SUV in the drive and the owner chairs the local PTA and is on the Civic League. She wears floral dresses.
"Sandy will give you lots of candy," says Mom. Sandy is a model citizen. Sure enough she opens the door with a wide smile on her face. "My don't you look cute in your vampire outfit."
She reaches down to give me a big generous mitt (Romney) full of candy and then a strange thing happens. Sandy punches me hard in the face and I lose consciousness.
When I come round I'm on a beach and a wind is howling and the lunatic white breakers are stampeding over each other to reach me. I am pinned to the beach, unable to move, the sand cutting into my fingers. Then I turn to the channels and the social networks and I realize this nightmare equates to reality. People are posting pictures of homes falling into the sea in Rodanthe and the hurricane hasn't even arrived yet.
By the minute my picture postcard is being ripped to shreds. The Gothic nature of the time is being mixed up outside in a ghastly witches' cauldron of rain. I see the storm now through the tatted remnants of the faux spiders webs I placed on the house; every so often a crazy voice from the bodiless plastic head in the window looks out at Frankenstorm and cackles a soliloquy about the ruination of her party dress.
I had been preoccupied with the Gothic nature of things of late. Classic novels are free on my Kindle leading me to start reading Bram Stoker's Dracula, something I have been meaning to do since being enthralled by the 1992 film, and not just because it starred Winona Rider and Sadie Frost as well as Sir Anthony and Gary Oldman in a single move (OK we can gloss over Keanu Reeves).
Dracula is strangely encapsulating because it made vampires dangerously sexy many years before Twilight came along. I'm probably late to the genre having only read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein a few years ago. Shelley is the superior writer but Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula is surely superior to Branagh's version of Frankenstein a couple of years later.
"I busied myself to think of a story, which would speak to the myserious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror. One to make the reader dread to look around, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart," wrote Shelley.
As I write this the full force of nature is stirring in darkness of the back garden. Trees are straining and Frankenstorm is booming across the roof tops. There are devilish things happening in far away places and the storm is already wrecking lives and shaking loose minds.
Still we are in denial that we can curb the powers of the supernatural. In Dracula the ship the Demeter, runs aground during a terrible tempest off Whitby. By the time she hits the storm her crew has been driven to madness, death and drowning by a dark presence. Only her captain is on board, dead and lashed to the wheel.
As Lucy Westerna wastes away and becomes pale and ill from loss of blood, they place garlic around her bed. But her mother removes the foul smelling flowers. We don't want to believe the worst; we rationalise the power of the supernatural. But it's out there in the howling night.
I hope all my east coast friends stay safe tonight.