Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, Everyone

Let’s start off the morning with some spook-tacular links.

Author Jeri Westerson has put together a revised history of this holiday. “Some,” she explains, “would have you believe that [Halloween is] Satanic in origin. Nothing could be further from the truth!” After taking all of that in, click over to Flavorwire for a look at 10 “Real-Life Haunted Houses Around the World,” three of which, I’m proud to say, I have already been privileged to tour. Addicting Info, meanwhile, tallies up “10 Haunted Places that Aren’t So Famous,” including the Miami Biltmore Hotel (at which I have dined) and Canada’s Banff Springs Hotel (where I once stayed). Flavorwire is back with a list of “20 Cemeteries You Need to Visit Before You Die”--because, I guess, you might only be visiting one afterward.

In case you want some spinetingling reading material to get you through this holiday, go to The Huffington Post for its picks of “10 Novels that Will Scare the Hell Out of You.” Joseph D’Lacey, author of the eco-horror novel Meat, selects his own top 10 works of horror fiction for The Guardian. Oline Cogdill suggests a few more such books in the Mystery Scene blog, while Blogging for a Good Book recommends Victorian Ghost Stories: An Oxford Anthology. Finally, Criminal Element has posted a full story from its Girl Trouble e-book compilation, totally appropriate to this day: “Her Haunted House,” by Brendan DuBois.

It’s been 75 years now since a notorious October 30, 1938, radio broadcast established an intimate link between H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Halloween. In 1957, the weekly TV anthology series Studio One dramatized the hysteria that reportedly resulted as listeners were taken in by Orson Welles’ 1938 Mercury Theatre on the Air transmission, believing that Martians had indeed invaded New Jersey. Click over to YouTube to watch that hour-long show, The Night America Trembled. Eighteen years later, in 1975, an ABC made-for-television flick revisited that controversy: The Night That America Panicked, all 90 minutes of which you can enjoy here. Just don’t get too swept up in the excitement surrounding that 1938 scare: Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow contend in Slate that “The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast. ... [A]lmost nobody was fooled by Welles’ broadcast.”

READ MORE:Mystery Melange, Halloween Edition,” by B.V. Lawson (In Reference to Murder); “Cool Flicks: I Put a Spell on You--Halloween Movie Fest,” by J.F. Norris (Pretty Sinister Books); “Halloween Was So Much Weirder Back Then: Creepy and Disturbing Vintage Halloween Photos” (Weird Tales).

1 comment:

John said...

Thanks for that link to the Huffington Post article on horror novels. Although too many familiar titles made the list I was truly surprised to see a new book by Charles Palliser. It's not even officially out yet -- Nov 4 is the on sale date. I ate up THE QUINCUNX decades ago and I'm sure I'll thoroughly enjoy his latest foray into Victorian Gothic.