Did you hear that….? Those sounds far off in the darkness? That beautiful melody leading you on? Are those lilting strains the plucks of a tortured soul, a winsome witch-call, a shudder of delight or a ghoulish mumble? If you’re like me, you will follow those sounds to their source, and enjoy every moment of musical mischief you find. Please sample these 31 gathered tunes, I hope they hold you spellbound…
I love Hallowe’en parties. They are my favorite parties to give, to attend, to plan and to savor. I’ve traveled hundreds of miles for a Hallowe’en party and I would not hesitate to do so again. As I’ve got older I think they become more precious to me, being the lone remainder of the nostalgic seasonal occurrences of youth. I can no longer trick or treat, and I’ve no more schoolroom parties awaiting me. Haunts are months of planning and weeks of production and since we are the dreamers and designers and do-it-yourselfers of our haunts, it holds little surprise for us. The Hallowe’en party remains to offer that feeling of anticipated wonder. We get to don a costume and be thrilled and chilled and immersed in the experience. An evening, a few precious hours to indulge in the spectral spectacle. What is it that makes it all so special? It shares all the common elements of every other type of party; music, food, decorations…and yet. There is that something other…a sense of whimsy, of mystery, of funhouse fear that is singular and potent.
The most fantastic advice on how to give a Hallowe’en party must have come from the Dennison’s Bogie Books, please click pic to link to an archived site to read further on how to give just such a bash, with perhaps a dash of Monster Mash.
Cauldrons leave you maudlin?
Can’t handle coal or candle?
Is there perhaps, no craft in your drafts?
On tenterhooks from bulky books?
Got no notions of potions, perplexed by a hex?
In pains from tisanes, simples just too complex?
Whether extract, elixir, infusion or tipple,
tonic or essence or tincture or ripple.
She fixes your mixes, she’ll simmer and stew,
she’ll bubble your troubles away in her brews.
Do pesky beaus bother? Do grey hairs persist?
A cure for ague that you wish to resist?
Is it romance you seek, is it fortune you crave?
Her prowess is awesome, her customers rave.
Her prices are steep, but your problems she’ll heed
with skill and discretion – results guaranteed.
(Excerpt from The Apothecary Witch, by A.E.)
I have always been fond of Friday the 13th, and as today is the only remaining one of 2021, I thought perhaps it would be prudent to make the most of it and make a witch-wish of the Season ahead. It is now 78 days until Halloween, I see decor and display going up – though the Summer sun still beats a loud thrum. As though the very act of adornment would truncate the heated weather and summon the cooling wisps of autumn through the trees. Well, I suppose it’s a “gather ye pumpkins while ye may” idea. I don’t mind – it’s lovely to see and experience, as it is lovely to anticipate and propagate. I wish you all well in your lead-up to Fall, and if you pass by a fountain or well, make a wish of your own…
If you are an Edward Gorey fan (and if you are into Halloween it’s hard for me to think you aren’t) then you probably know about his long habit of illustrating novels and doing book cover art for his own published works as well as for various and sundry in what was an amazing career (alas, gone too soon!). This year I was fortunate enough to come across a copy of The Dwindling Party (Random House, September 1982), about the visit of the MacFizzets to Hickyacket Hall – and was quick to purchase as it seemed in good condition (a birthday present to myself). Did I mention it was a pop-up book? It is a beautiful example of his stylings and wit and is fun to read aloud as one flips through curious and clever pages of the artist’s hand. If you haven’t come across one yourself, do check out online, it’s not to be missed. If you are fortunate enough to come across a good copy, don’t hesitate to pick one up if pocketbook allows. I won’t tell more and spoil the sneaky surprises it offers and I beg your indulgence for not giving up spoilers, I will simply post a couple pics (cover and one of the fold-outs) to tempt you…
If you find yourself with nothing better to do this weekend than staring longingly at that bowl of candy you’ve purchased (so as to beat the crowds, wink wink) or you’ve done your pumpkin shopping early and while the lure of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds is calling, you know you must stay your knife-hand another 13 days and you find the hours in between now and then taxing your patience to its limits, stress no more! Take up your writing/drawing implement of choice, scour your abode for an envelope of any size, fix yourself in a comfortable chair at your favorite kneehole desk, play some apropos music and muster imaginings of “uncomfortable creatures” and draw! Why? Well, why not? If you require further prompting, consider this:
2019 Halloween Envelope Art Contest
Deadline: Postmark by Monday, October 21st, 2019
For an entry form, click any pic for link to contest page.
The Edward Gorey House is now accepting original artwork from artists of all ages for their 2019 Halloween Envelope Art Contest. An Edward Gorey-inspired decorated envelope decorated with the theme of Uncomfortable Creatures is what they are looking for this year. There is no entry fee and not a particularly big prize but winning entries, runners up, and very-close-to- being -runners up will all be displayed in the Edward Gorey House, on their website, and on their Facebook page. Winners will be notified and results will be announced on Wednesday, 10/31/19.
Mail entries to:
Edward Gorey House
8 Strawberry Lane
Yarmouth Port, MA 02675
Tell your friends!
…..and perhaps these images of past submissions will help you along, mind that deadline 😉
Rogers Gardens, located in Corona Del Mar, California has never failed to captivate and enthrall with their stunning displays of thematic design. This year will prove that if this pic is anything to go by, with the tagline noted I am sure we all know what to expect, but will certainly be surprised by what we find nevertheless.“We’re All Mad Here!”
This will be my seventh year visiting the Gardens for their annual Halloween Boutique opening and I look forward to what I am certain will be a not-to-be-forgotten step through the looking glass.
Will I see you there? 9:00 am on Friday, August 30th, 2019
Click pic for site and event information.
Some wonderful examples of how a design aesthetic can add fun to the fantastic – click on pics or links to follow back and check out other offerings of sweet and sublime mod monster examples of Halloween, and get your swing on in style!
I took it to heart and stepped near to the cart and emerged in a waxing moon.