There you are, traipsing down a flower-lined path, the sort of walkway that attracts butterflies and robins and pure sunshine.
Then you see it: Something spooky is just ahead. Maybe it some plastic vampire fangs, or an old candy wrapper, or one of those wee tissue ghosts that sprout from trees come October.
And you're reminded that, yes, Halloween can unexpectedly pop up in the springtime, at least in Southern California, where the haunted holiday is, if not a year-round enterprise, than a popular occasion that takes up a full fourth of the calendar year.
What to do, where to go and what to see
It's a run that traditionally starts around late July with the major creepy conventions, the ones that cater to home haunters and horror fans, as well as the theme park monster auditions.
But one of the giants of the Halloween conventions, Midsummer Scream, doesn't want to wait for those July jumps and scares.
So the frights-aplenty festival has floated, like some impish ghost, right into our sunny March, with an eek-tastic announcement: Tickets are on sale, with "sale" being the important word.
For admission to the July 29 and 30, 2017 scream scene has been discounted, as in way, way discounted, for a short time only. So if you know you're going to go to see the latest in ghoul make-up, theme park attractions, monster movies, and more, you might as well leap, with all the elegance of a werewolf, in the direction of ticket sales at once.
Midsummer Scream will once again spread out, like a mysterious fog, at the Long Beach Convention Center. (With Halloween, it is almost impossible to not compare non-scary things to scary things, the better to invoke instant eerieness).
There's also a stay-over package with the nearby, said-to-be-haunted Queen Mary, and the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, too, if that tempts. So look into that, much like a person looks down a cobwebby basement stairway.
Are you already plotting how you'll decorate your front yard this autumn? Or your over-the-top, super-detailed costume? Midsummer Scream is an ideal place to find ideas, inspiration, and a few down-the-spine shivers.
But, really: Is Halloween really just under eight months away? Best get going on all of your ghoul-happy projects, fright fans, including tickets to this mondo summertime spectacular.