Perils Night

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For one Night only amid the Pall

Of fleeting days that come with Fall

Into that time of lengthy nights

Come Harvest Moon and candy Rites

For this night only Perils walk

And Nightmares wake as mortals gawk

Upon odd Folk on festooned streets

Marauders bent on taking Treats

For one night only alive They seem

To Whimsic frolic as if a dream

To Caper and Croon til Cock will Crow

With fierce abandon They bestow

For one night only We join the Fest

And add our glee to glamour’s Best

To mix Within and earn Their pass

To hide ourselves amid the Mass

For this night only too soon will end

Sun will rise and Barrier mend

They’ll draw away as if a wand

Had swept them off to Their Beyond

For this night only You too will pine

To be among those few Sublime

Who in Their turn will watch and wait

For warmer Seasons to abate

For this night only They will Return

As surely as the candles Burn

And once more will They dance on scene

With all who welcome Halloween!

by A.E., October 2009

Nothing grim about this…

Rogers Gardens has announced their annual Halloween Boutique Opening “Grimm Tales” will debut on Friday, September 2nd @ 9:00am!  Visiting this amazing boutique yearly has become a favorite for me and I hope you find time to stop by, it will not disappoint.

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“…and the Storyteller paused…
and it was as if the wonders he retold had cast a spell upon him…”-A.E.

“The forest is dark and enchanted…branches creak and leaves rustle as trees close in, obscuring the path home.  Wander deep into the shadows and you’ll find frightful folklores, fantastical stories and chilling tales.  These bedtime stories will give you nightmares, and you’ll discover that not all fairy tales end happily-ever-after.” –Rogers Gardens

 

Perils and Perseverance

Once in a night as black as pitch, Isabel met a wicked old witch.  The witch’s face was cross and wrinkled.  The witch’s gums with teeth were sprinkled.  Ho, ho, Isabel! The old witch crowed, I’ll turn you into an ugly toad! Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry, Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.  She showed no rage and she showed no rancor, but she turned the witch into milk and drank her.  Isabel met a hideous giant, Isabel continued self reliant.  The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid. He had one eye in the middle of his forehead.  Good morning, Isabel, the giant said, I’ll grind your bones to make my bread.  Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry, Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.  She nibbled the zwieback that she always fed off, and when it was gone, she cut the giant’s head off.

Excerpt from The Adventures of Isabel, Ogden Nash, 1931

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Click images for source

 

 

 

Horseman step back

The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together:
Through thick, and through thin,
Now out, and then in,
Though ne’r so foule be the weather.

A Thorn or a Burr
She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble she rides now,
Through Brakes and through Bryars,
O’re Ditches, and Mires,
She followes the Spirit that guides now.

No Beast, for his food,
Dares now range the wood;
But husht in his laire he lies lurking:
While mischiefs, by these,
On Land and on Seas,
At noone of Night are working,

The storme will arise,
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the Tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Cal’d out by the clap of the Thunder.

Robert Herrick
The Hag, 1648

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Boo

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

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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

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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

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With fierce abandon…

Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or over the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly horses prance;
Or for Colean the route is taken,
Beneath the moon’s pale beams;
There, up the cove, to stray and rove,
Among the rocks and streams
To sport that night…

With merry songs, and friendly tales,
I know they didn’t weary;
And many tales, and funny jokes,
Their sports were cheap and cheery;
Till buttered scones, with fragrant steam,
Set all their mouths a’stirring;
Then, with a social glass of liquor,
They parted off careering
Full happy that night.

Robert Burns
from the poem, Halloween, 1785

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The Brush of a Feather

…Nat hurried on. Past the little wood, past the old barn, and then across the stile to the remaining field.
As he jumped the stile he heard the whir of wings. A black-backed gull dived down at him from the sky, missed, swerved in flight, and rose to dive again. In a moment it was joined by others, six, seven, a dozen, black-backed and herring mixed. Nat dropped his hoe. The hoe was useless. Covering his head with his arms he ran towards the cottage. They kept coming at him from the air, silent save for the beating wings. The terrible, fluttering wings. He could feel the blood on his hands, his wrists, his neck. Each stab of a swooping beak tore his flesh. If only he could keep them from his eyes. Nothing else mattered. He must keep them from his eyes. They had not learnt yet how to cling to a shoulder, how to rip clothing, how to dive in mass upon the head, upon the body. But with each dive, with each attack, they became bolder. And they had no thought for themselves. When they dived low and missed, they crashed, bruised and broken, on the ground. As Nat ran he stumbled, kicking their spent bodies in front of him.
He found the door, he hammered upon it with his bleeding hands. Because of the boarded windows no light shone. Everything was dark.
“Let me in,” he shouted, “it’s Nat. Let me in.”
He shouted loud to make himself heard above the whirr of the gull’s wings.
Then he saw the gannet, poised for the dive, above him in the sky. The gulls circled, retired, soared, one with another, against the wind. Only the gannet remained. One single gannet, above him in the sky. The wings folded suddenly to its body. It dropped, like a stone. Nat screamed, and the door opened. He stumbled across the threshold, and his wife threw her weight against the door.
They heard the thud of the gannet as it fell.

Daphne du Maurier
The Birds, Echoes from the Macabre 1952

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