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From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!
- Traditional Scottish Prayer
Image via Translucent MindHallowe'en is a great night for romantic comedies as well as horrific shockers. Below are a few viewing suggestions just in case you don't plan to go trick or treating.
Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
A Witch and her familiar
Image via Tales from the Old Wooden Art Table
Bell, Book and Candle is a romantic comedy based on the hit Broadway play by John Van Druten. It starred James Stewart and Kim Novak in their second on-screen pairing - after the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo, released earlier the same year. The film, adapted by Daniel Taradash, was Stewart's last film as a romantic lead. Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn allowed Novak to appear in Vertigo as a last-minute replacement for pregnant Vera Miles in exchange for Stewart appearing in this film with Novak.
Fans of the film point to similarities between it and the earlier I Married A Witch (1942) and especially the 1960s television series Bewitched (produced by Columbia's television division), speculating that this film may have been an inspiration.
In Bell, Book, and Candle, Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) met her upstairs neighbor (James Stewart) and was intrigued. When she found out he was about to marry her old school rival, she cast a spell using her cat Pyewacket to make him forget his girlfriend and become infatuated with her. Though he eventually finds out about the deception, it's too late...he's fallen in love. Unfortunately for Gillian, she fell in love, too. The problem... when a witch falls in love, she loses her power. Sadly, in addition to losing her power and her familiar, she loses all sense of style. Gillian is no longer selling exotic tribal art or dressing in cool, dark and sexy clothes. Now that she is mortal, she is selling seashell flowers (yawn) and dressing in boring white bland clothes.
However, by the end of the movie, Gillian has her groove back and is deleriously happy living the mortal life with the man she loves. - It's schlock but fun schlock and Novak never looked so good.
As she burns at the stake, a 17th century witch, Jennifer (Veronica Lake), places a curse on her accuser (Fredric March), so that from this day forward, all of his descendants (each played by him) will be unhappy in marriage. After several hilarious through-the-years examples (the Civil War-era Fredric March runs off to battle rather than endure his wife's nagging), we are brought up to 1942.
Image via Mothgirl
Wallace Wooley (March) is a gubernatorial candidate, preparing to wed snooty socialite Estelle Masterson (Susan Hayward) - the well-to-do daughter of a publisher who is backing him. A bolt of lightning strikes the tree where Jennifer had been executed three centuries earlier, thereby freeing the spirits of Jennifer and her warlock father, Daniel (Cecil Kellaway).
Image via Mothgirl
Wallace meets Jennifer when she materializes in a burning building, obliging him to save her life. The revivified sorceress does everything in her power to induce Wallace to fall in love with her - even destroying the hall in which the wedding is supposed to take place. The attempts succeed, and the two marry, but on their wedding night, Wallace refuses to believe Jennifer's claims that she is a witch. Frustrated, she attempts to convince him by doctoring the gubernatorial election - in his favor.
Image via Mothgirl
Based on the Thorne Smith novel The Passionate Witch, the rollicking I Married a Witch can be considered the forerunner of the TV series Bewitched, but only on a surface level. The film had been scheduled to be directed by Preston Sturges and to be released by its producing studio, Paramount; the end result was helmed by RenÃ (C) Clair (his second Hollywood film), and was distributed by United Artists.
See the trailer here.
~ Rating: 7.1 out of 10 Re-blogged from Rotten Tomatoes ~
The Legend of Hell House
The Legend of Hell House is a chiller-diller 1973 British horror film directed by John Hough. The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson based on his own novel Hell House. and the story goes like this...
Four people with alleged extrasensory powers are called upon to spend a weekend in a supposedly haunted house, to either prove or disprove the presence of ghosts. Roddy McDowall has been in the house before, and refuses to treat the possibility of paranormal activity lightly; scientist Clive Revill believes that he can trace the happenings to rational explanations involving electric current; Pamela Franklin is convinced that, if spirits exists, she will be able to communicate with them; and Gayle Hunnicutt plays Revill's young wife, ripe for "possession."
Hallowe'en 2011 -
Johannesburg South Africa
of Hamilton House – by Neal McKenna
It’s Hallowe’en; the lamp is lit and ‘round the fire, we children sit – telling ghost stories! Although the British Columbia's West Kootenay region is steeped in history, it’s been darn difficult to dig up a real live ghost story. So when such a dearth of source material makes itself evident, it’s always best to draw upon one's own personal experience. So here goes…
As a 17 year resident, of Nelson, British Columbia, I had the distinct pleasure in living in two very different heritage homes. One was the ‘vicar’s house adjacent to what is now the Evangelical Covenant Church. Though large, it was rather modest.
The other was the ‘Hamilton House,’ also known as ‘the Bank of Montreal mansion.’ As you might expect, it was large and opulent with big rooms, high ceilings and white carpeting throughout – not a practical choice but it looked marvelous. The house had been remodeled several times since it was constructed in 1906 but retained most of its Victorian charm. While life in the parsonage had been serene and without incident; taking possession of the Hamilton House in 1984, was quite a different story.
It was the beginning of my second marriage and my bride (not my current spouse) and I moved into the great house following our honeymoon. It was also the beginning of July and Tylar, my 8-year-old daughter, arrived for her summer stay with us. Almost immediately slightly odd things began to occur. Heavy thumping would sound overhead in the TV room. Directly above it was my daughter’s bedroom. She was promptly told to ‘stop clog dancing up there.’ She, of course, denied any heavy-footed activity but the stomping continued through that summer.
Shortly after we were settled in, we had an open house party. What’s the good of having a big, sumptuous house if you’re not going to show it off? The party, like the house, was large with over 100 guests. People were everywhere – on the porches, upstairs, downstairs, the back yard and the cellar. However, no one ventured up the final flight of stairs to the attic on the third floor. And although the door was open, even our three cats felt it best not to explore the realm above.
At one point during the party, my daughter and her friend Erin excitedly asked me who ‘the black man’ was, in the upstairs hall by the linen closet. I simply said: “I don’t know but I’ll check.” And check I did, knowing full well there couldn’t be a black man in the house, because there were no black people in Nelson. What I later discovered was that my daughter had not meant ‘black man,’ as in Afro, but the black shape of a man, like a shadow.
The summer continued with odd little occurrences. The thumping continued. Car keys, eyeglasses and remote controls would inexplicably disappear and later reappear in unlikely places. The cordless phone would go ‘dead’ if it was used in the dining room. The cat’s continued to shy away from the attic door, even when it was found open, although no one had opened it.
And though none of us talked about it at the time, we later learned that all three of us in the house had the uncomfortable sensation of ‘being watched,’ especially in the vicinity of the linen closet in the second floor hall.
Just before Labor Day, Tylar returned to her mother’s home and another school year in Kelowna. The following week, my wife was away in Vancouver, on a buying trip for our clothing boutique, Tuxedo Junction. The cats and I were left to rattle around the big old house on our own.
That first evening was uneventful except for two things. I had the ‘being watched feeling’ which persisted as the night grew later. And, when I went to my bedroom, I found all three cats on the bed, something they had never done before. I read for a while. The ‘being watched’ sensation continued and, admitting I was one ‘big wuss,’ I got up, closed the door – and turned the key. Feeling much more secure, surrounded by protective pussycats, I switched off the lamp and immediately went to sleep.
Morning arrived. I had a great night’s sleep. I was feeling very relaxed until I realized that the door, which had been closed and locked, was now open! I’ll never forget the feeling. A chill, almost like an electric shock, tingled up my spine. I made all the rationalizations I could muster but nothing could nullify the fact that the door had been closed and locked. Finally, I simply chose not to think about it and got on with my day.
At work, I photocopied a couple of Ghost Busters logos and brought them home. After supper, I cut each of them out with scissors and taped one on the master bedroom door and the other on the door leading to the attic stairwell. I treated it like a joke but it was my feeble attempt to tell whatever-it-was to back off. It didn’t help. As night fell, the oppressive feeling returned even stronger. I lay in bed reading. Again, all three cats were on the bed.
Suddenly, the thumping began. It was coming from my daughter’s bedroom. I got up, switched on the hall light and opened her door. The thumping had stopped but the room was unusually cool. I was just returning to my room when I heard the unmistakable clatter of a toilet seat falling. This was getting too weird and I had a first class case of the willies going for me but I forced myself to investigate. The ‘thwacking’ noise happened again. I arrived in the bathroom and switched on the light just in time to see the toilet seat return to the ‘up’ position. Well! That did it for me! It was not my imagination. I was totally creeped out!
Even though it was well after midnight, I phoned a friend who is a psychic and she told me I would have to face my ‘demon.’ In doing so, I would have to go where I perceived the source was – the attic – and tell the entity to move on. That it was not welcome here.
“I want you to stay calm, my friend cautioned. “Ghosts rarely hurt anyone and they’ve never killed anybody. Don’t let it scare you into hurting yourself.” Uh-huh, that was reassuring. “Tell it this is your space and it’s not welcome. Tell it to go into the light.”
That’s it, I wondered? Don’t I need a priest to perform an exorcism? Can’t I sprinkle a little Holy Water around the place? Shouldn’t I burn sweet grass and smudge the house? Her reply was: “You’re not Catholic or Native, it’s not gonna work. All you have to do is tell the thing to ‘buzz off.’ This isn’t the movies, it doesn’t have to be dramatic.”
So, armed with a flashlight and a Bic lighter – just in case the lights went out and the batteries got drained – I made my way along the hall to the attic door. It was a long walk. For added protection, I removed the Ghost Busters logo from the door and stuck it to the front of my sweatshirt. The hinges creaked as I opened the door. A cool breeze met me. Quickly, I switched on the light in the stairwell and began climbing.
In the early days of the house, the attic had been the servants’ quarters and was truly the only ugly part of the house. Though I was thoroughly spooked, I did feel sorry for anyone, or any thing, having to dwell in such an environment. At the top of the stairs, I began my edict.
“Okay,” I said shakily. “I don’t know who you are or what you are but you have to get out of my house. This is my place not yours. You don’t belong here.” Silence. “Do you understand?” I continued, thinking I was stark raving bonkers. “You’ve got to leave this place. Go into the light. You don’t have to be here anymore.” This was followed by an audible sigh, which did not come from me.
Something brushed by my legs and I almost wet my pants! It was Rasta, my black cat, and for the first time, she was in the attic. My other two cats, Stoney and Sebastienne were following close behind. Whatever it was that haunted Hamilton House was gone!
So banishing an entity from a home takes neither ceremony nor courage because I’m living proof of that. What lingered in the house truly scared the bejeezus out of me but I did make it go away. Or at least, I satisfied myself to the point of believing it was gone. Whatever the case, there was no more banging and clanging and no more feeling like we were being watched. Maybe the entity remained but if it did, its haunting was conducted quietly.
Banff Springs Hotel chosen as the most haunted destination in Canada
Image Via Blend Blogger
If you are looking for a good scare this Hallowe'en, check out the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Canadians have just chosen it as the spookiest destination in the country.
The poll conducted by Flightnetwork.com asked about "the most dastardly destination" and found 29.6 per cent of people picked the Banff Springs, followed by the Old Montreal at 20.9 per cent and the Craigdarrach Castle in Victoria at 20.1 per cent.
Respondents were choosing from a list, but some decided to nominate additional destinations. People mentioned a Crowsnest Pass hotel in Alberta and my personal pick, the Keg Mansion in Toronto. When I was little, my family would go there for dinner once a year. My brother and I would always beg the waiter for a tour of the attic where we'd look for ghosts. We never saw one, but certainly felt we weren't alone in that room on the top floor.
One respondent nominated the entire city of Kingston, Ontario, adding that it "is built on limestone and is a conductor for paranormal activity." Luckily, Kingston is located very close to Sydenham, where Dan Aykroyd a.k.a. Ghostbuster Dr. Ray Stantz currently lives. Stantz knows paranormal. His father even wrote a book called A History of Ghosts. Maybe, most of us aren't noticing the spirits because Stantz and his old crew are working to keep the paranormal activity at bay in this part of the country.
The survey also found that 57.3 per cent of respondents believe in ghosts. A total of 38.5 per cent of skeptics and believers even say they would try to engage a ghost in a conversation, if they saw it. Another 33.8 per cent would run and hide, while 27.4 per cent of people would try to get a picture.
Text Via Yahoo News
Hallowe'en (or Halloween) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns,bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
The origins of Hallowe'en
Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)." The Irish festival's name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end."
The word Hallowe'en is first appeared in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.
Text via Wikipedia.
The Hallowe'en traditions of trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns were brought to America in the 1840s by Irish escaping the Great Potato Famine. On Hallowe'en, Irish peasants begged the rich for food and played practical jokes on those who refused. To avoid being tricked, the rich handed out cookies, candies, and fruit - a practice that turned into our present day trick-or-treating.
Jack-o-lanterns trace back to an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. Unable to enter Heaven because of his stingy ways and turned away by the Devil, Stingy Jack wandered the world, searching for a resting place. To light his way, Stingy Jack used a burning coal in a hollowed out turnip – hence the name "jack-o-lantern." The first jack-o-lanterns, in fact, were carved out of turnips. Only when the Irish tradition reached America did turnip carving turn into pumpkin carving.
Witch means wise one. It comes from the Saxon word wica. Witches were thought to be wise enough to tell the future.
Orange and black became Halloween colors because of orange is associated with harvests and black is associated with death.
Hallowe'en is the 8th largest card-sending occasion. There are over 28 million Halloween cards sent each year!
There are many variations on the history of Halloween, but it's generally believed that Halloween dates back to 700 B.C. to the Celts, a rural society in northern England, Ireland and Scotland. On November 1, the first day of their new year, the Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain ("sow-in").
Chosen to signify the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter, Samhain was also thought to be a day of the dead. Because it was the end of one year and the start of another, the Celts believed that past and present were closely linked, allowing ancestral spirits to join them.On the eve of Samhain, October 31, the Celts dressed in costume, lit bonfires, and offered food and drink to masked revelers. Many say the costumes and fires were used to drive away the spirits, and the food given to placate the dead.
October 31 came to be called Halloween when the Christians proclaimed November 1 as All Hallow Day. Unable to stop the pagan ritual of Samhain, the Christians made it a day to celebrate saints who had no day of their own. The night before, or All Hallow Eve, was later shortened to Hallowe'en.
Text via Care2,com
Vincent discovered a guy is never too old
for trick or treating!
Picture Via Old Car Guy 41's Photostream
The Best Ghost Videos
By Stephen Wagner, About.com guide