Mirth and Musings Part 3

Went to my local pumpkin patch yesterday to procure pumpkins for the big day.  Got four fine examples of pumpkin flesh.  Just love it when I spy a pumpkin sitting out on someones porch or sill or fence post or driveway.  All that potential of carving artistry just waiting on the knife.  These fleeting expressions of Halloween glee come and go so quickly, just a day in the sun, a night under the stars and then gone to a fate that may include a prank or a slow degradation on the stoop or even a quick trip to the garbage.  It’s like Halloween itself, there and gone so quickly – its the slow build up that we can savor, contemplating the all too brief interlude of “Malevolent Mirth”.



Standing on the step to receive them was an old woman, neatly dressed in black silk, with a white cap and apron. This was Mrs. Umney, the housekeeper, whom Mrs. Otis, at Lady Canterville’s earnest request, had consented to keep on in her former position. She made them each a low curtsey as they alighted, and said in a quaint, old-fashioned manner, “I bid you welcome to Canterville Chase.” Following her, they passed through the fine Tudor hall into the library, a long, low room, panelled in black oak, at the end of which was a large stained-glass window. Here they found tea laid out for them, and, after taking off their wraps, they sat down and began to look round, while Mrs. Umney waited on them.

Suddenly Mrs. Otis caught sight of a dull red stain on the floor just by the fireplace and, quite unconscious of what it really signified, said to Mrs. Umney, “I am afraid something has been spilt there.”
“Yes, madam,” replied the old housekeeper in a low voice, “blood has been spilt on that spot.”
“How horrid,” cried Mrs. Otis; “I don’t at all care for bloodstains in a sitting-room. It must be removed at once.”

The old woman smiled, and answered in the same low, mysterious voice, “It is the blood of Lady Eleanore de Canterville, who was murdered on that very spot by her own husband, Sir Simon de Canterville, in 1575. Sir Simon survived her nine years, and disappeared suddenly under very mysterious circumstances. His body has never been discovered, but his guilty spirit still haunts the Chase. The bloodstain has been much admired by tourists and others, and cannot be removed.

Oscar Wilde
The Canterville Ghost, 1887


What’s in your local cornfield?

This is what’s hovering over mine, seemed appropriate with the previous post ala Grovers Mill, N.J. This was taken from a distance of about quarter mile away, at 9:30pm I would estimate the span of the light source at 100 ft. and those extensions are supporting it all the way to the ground. Hmmm.
I’m certain there is no cause for alarm.  Though on the 30th it will be the 75th anniversary of a certain radio broadcast.  Coincidence?


Not just for radio…

Hundreds of observers saw the flame that night and the night after about midnight, and again the night after; and so for ten nights, a flame each night. Why the shots ceased after the tenth no one on earth has attempted to explain. It may be the gases of the firing caused the Martians inconvenience. Dense clouds of smoke or dust, visible through a powerful telescope on earth as little grey, fluctuating patches, spread through the clearness of the planet’s atmosphere and obscured its more familiar features.
Even the daily papers woke up to the disturbances at last, and popular notes appeared, here, there, and everywhere concerning the volcanoes upon Mars.  The serio-comic periodical Punch, I remember, made a happy use of it in the political cartoon. And, all unsuspected, those missiles the Martians had fired at us drew earthward, rushing now at a pace of many miles a second through the empty gulf of space, hour by hour and day by day, nearer and nearer. It seems to me now almost incredibly wonderful that, with that swift fate hanging over us, men could go about their petty concerns as they did…
…Then came the night of the first falling-star…

H.G. Wells
The War of the Worlds, 1898



Trader Joe’s does it again. Quickly rising to the top of retail establishments offering pumpkin flavored delights, their Super Premium Pumpkin Ice Cream is a home run.  In fact, you should stop reading this post and go out and buy some, no kidding.  I found this ice cream to be richly flavored, abundantly spiced and smoother than any pie filling or cream cheese version of any traditional pumpkin desert that I’ve ever had.  If I have a criticism, I miss a little crunch to play off the creaminess.  Some nice additions would be crumbled graham crackers, or chopped walnuts. True decadence can be found with chocolate syrup. Gotta go, mine’s melting…


Something to sink your teeth into

This is the tale of the strange adventures of young Allan Gray, who immersed himself in the study of devil worship and vampires. Preoccupied with superstitions of centuries past, he became a dreamer for whom the line between the real and the supernatural became blurred. His aimless wanderings led him late one evening to a secluded inn by the river in a village called Courtempierre.
It was an eerie moonlit night. Lights and shadows, voices and faces seem to take on hidden meaning. Allan Gray felt a sinister force descend upon him. In vain he fought the terror that seized him, and fear of things he could not name haunted his restless sleep.
What was going on? What terrifying secret was unfolding? Allan Gray felt certain of one thing: A soul in mortal distress was crying out for help, and a voice within urged him to heed that call…

Excerpt (scroll text) from the 1932 movie Vampyr
directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
Based on the short stories In A Glass Darkly, 1872
by Sheridan Le Fanu

darkglass vampyr

LoneSomeVille Pottery

This pottery studio produces some really amazing pieces and I appreciate the way they embrace Halloween in some of their work. Take a little time to visit their site, and if tempted to procure remember that Wayne is a treat and will do his best to assist you. I love the skeleton masks I ordered and the luminaries too. They are having an annual sale coming up on the 26th of October so if you find yourself in the Portland, Oregon area it would definitely be worth a stop.