Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Halloween Crafting is therapeutic

I've been trying make use of my recovery time. So, I spent the last couple of days making this rustic looking guy with what was at hand...including steel wool for his stem. He makes me smile!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Balcony Ghost

Was going to try and recreate this display I did several years ago but emergency surgery on Tuesday last has put the kibosh on Halloween :(

Will content myself with reading all your posts!

Balcony ghost 2006

Monday, 21 October 2013

Local Spirits - Djinn and Zombies

I've always been interested in the response to Halloween celebrations in this part of the World. From what I've picked up it would seem that beliefs in supernatural beings (angels and demons mostly) are common. During our first few years here I remember some of the South East Asian women, working as Nannys, seemed more frightened by the house decorations -- and of what might happen when the door was opened -- than their small trick or treating charges!

But I've also noticed a real growing interest in the horror genre among young people here. Last year I participated in a Zombie Run during the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and was amazed at the numbers of people participating. I was also impressed by the makeup AND by the number of young locals who seemed to be working on horror film projects (like Lockdown) with friends. (Watch the Zombie Run here and see yours truly as a pathetic kneeling zombie holding out one lone red ribbon).

And it's not just the young locals getting inspiration from regional 'spirits.' Check out this trailer for Tobe Hooper's new film, Djinn.  Release date here is October 31st.

Will DEFINITELY go see this one.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The House is Haunted

This house is haunted by the smell of pumpkin muffins...finally! Been meaning to make these for days now.

The House Is Haunted by the Echo of Your Last Goodbye by Holly Cole on Grooveshark

Friday, 18 October 2013

My very own Boo Tree

Styrofoam bowls, black marker, a few screws et voilà!
It's big, it's broad...
It's broad, it's bright...
It fills the sky of 
All Hallows' Night...
The strangest sight 
you've ever seen.
The Monster Tree 
on Halloween.

 - Ray Bradbury

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Creepy Feeling - Jelly Roll Morton

There's nothing better this time of year than getting that creepy feeling....

My Creepy Cat painting 2009

Jelly Roll Morton - Creepy Feeling

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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I`d like a Second Line, please

So, you know that Halloween is really all about the dead, right? The dead, death and our fear of the inevitable and unknown. We celebrate the possibility of the dead's return while at the same time disguising ourselves to elude recognition should they actually show up. Crazy, right? But that`s partly why we love it!

Now me, I'm not actually afraid of death. Dying on the other hand, well, like most people I hope I go in my sleep, in my own home, and AFTER I've lived my life to the full. I'm not going to get all melancholy on you here BUT at this time of the year I do like to point out the underpinnings of the season. 

And, for those of us who were raised and still live in Northern climes, there's the added piquancy of the Autumnal season. The season that signals summer's end, a time of falling leaves, harvest and the coming long nights and colder weather of winter. It's the ending of our calendar year. 
And so it is that today I would like to recognize and tip my hat to the ending (coming soon) of one of my favourite tv shows, Treme. The last few episodes (sniff) will air in December. That makes me sad.

But in my sadness there is the will to celebrate -- because Treme was/is a celebration!  A celebration of music, of people, of community, but mostly of a life's pulse that just won`t quit! And that, my dears, is essentially what the Second Line is all about -- getting on with living. Something the dead can not do.

Can I have a Hallelujah! Hell, yeah!

If you want to know more about this particular scene you can read about it here.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Spooky Seasonal Listening - Blasphuphmus Radio

I discovered Blasphuphmus Radio last year...I think. The old brain cells ain't firing the way they used to - as is the way of rot. Anywho, regardless of when the point is you should listen to this guy's (Austin Rich) Halloween Spooktacular podcasts!

It's not the kind of stuff that's going to scare the poop out of you but rather make you feel the tingly, slightly creepy, fun of the season you once did as a kid. Well, at least that's how I feel. Cheesy, spooky fun for the whole family!

His latest contribution, The Ghost of General Moulton features music and an old time radio broadcast from the 1940s. Love it!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Witch of Pittenweem - Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo

I love discovering new spooky Halloween appropriate music. I came across this one about 6 months ago.

Every morning I'd go
With the dawn to the harbor
Where the gulls fought for guts
Where the boats bayed and echoed

Where the waves wept and stormed
Like my heart that was stolen
When a curse as cold as the sea
Pointed its finger straight at me

Cruel Lord
She has stalked me in dream
You abandoned me
The Witch of Pittenweem
Left me to hang between
The shore and the sea

And the waves did rear
And the bay did burst
When they swallowed your lies
When they heard my cry
Left me to roll between
The earth and the sky

In the dungeon deep
In the company of thieves
I was pulled, I was pushed
'Til my blood danced in mirrors

'Til my life almost left
'Til my words did confess
To a crime I'd never commit
In the cold month of January

Cruel Lord
She has stalked me in dream
You abandoned me
The Witch of Pittenweem
Left me to hang between
The shore and the sea

And the waves did rear
And the bay did burst
When they swallowed your lies
When they heard my cry
Left me to roll between
The earth and the sky

I escaped in the dark
On the mercy of a guard
To the house of a friend
Oh, but betrayal let 'em in

I was dragged through frozen streets
With a rope 'round my heels
Then tied to the mast
And the stones I could feel

'Til they cut me down
Buried me under a door
And the red waves
Lapped the shore

Cruel Lord
She has stalked me in dream
You abandoned me
The Witch of Pittenweem
Left me to hang between
The shore and the sea

And the waves did rear
And the bay did burst
When they swallowed your lies
When they heard my cry
Left me to roll between
The earth and the sky

The Last Witch gives me hope...

In my quest, this spooky holiday season, for something that has the least bit of real Halloween spirit in it (still haven't seen American Horror Story but so disappointed in The Witches of East End, The Originals, AND The Tomorrow People) I look forward with some hope to The Last Witch. Here there seems to be, at last, a whiff of the odd, autumnal unease I have been searching for...

Medieval stained glass and illuminated manuscripts plus scratchy titles and spooky music put us firmly in weird goings-on territory, and that’s before we learn we’re in real-world witch central (aka Halifax) where a mysterious murder has taken place. Is oddball character Alice Lister (Katherine Kelly, secretive but charismatic) involved? - Read more...

Heeeee, heeee, heeeee, heeee, heeee!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Costumes that are not scary

Photo courtesy of my cousin - Thanks!
So this here is my grandfather. He's at a costume party and it's August 1906. He's dressed as a Scotsman / Highlander.

The caption for the larger group photo includes the word 'Egwanulti.' Apparently that is Cherokee for "by the water." In this case I think it's the name of the country house where this party took place. La di da...

And then here's me, approximately 60 years later, dressed as a little Dutch girl. I'm at 'camp.'

Dutch Girl?
On this particular day a select few of us were put into the national dress of various countries and told to smile while our picture was taken. The sign I'm holding is the name of the country I am representing (although it could just as easily read "For Sale").

Nope. Can't remember why we had to do this.

But I do remember those wooden shoes were uncomfortable.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Repurposed Mat for Halloween

Took our faded 'Welcome' mat and used a little black marker to create this...
'Ghostly' Halloween repurposed mat by me, 2013

Sunday, 6 October 2013

I love me a gargoyle or two

Where did I become interested in gargoyles and church carvings? Well, that would have been at the 12th C Cathédrale St Pierre in Lisieux, Normandy. Made a huge impression on me back in 1990-something.

Gargoyle, Notre Dame - by me 2013

I hung out at that cathedral a lot while volunteering on a local archaeological dig. Have I mentioned this before? Well, in case I haven't the dig was of a medieval cemetery (with some Roman remains underneath). And yes, I got to dig up a skeleton! But it wasn't really creepy. No, what was somewhat disturbing was the large pentagram, complete with melted candles, that I found on the attic floor of a nearby abandoned 19th C schoolhouse. Now, THAT was creepy. One night I was showing it to a couple of Scottish buskers I'd met when, on the way out, we heard voices coming up the stairwell. I started to run towards the other wing of the building followed closely by the buskers. We were really lucky we didn't fall through the many gaps from missing floor boards. And I was laughing so hard, in that hysterical kind of way you get when you are excited and a bit scared, I almost wet myself.

It was a great night!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Spooky Shadow in my backyard...

Sounds almost like a song title, doesn't it? But really, while out in the back supervising our kitten's garden frolic, I saw this shadow on the ground.

Is it just me or does it look a little devilish? And maybe just a little bit like the mascot for the Just for Laughs Festival?

Speaking of which, the Festival that is, who else here would love to go see John Cleese in his Last Time to See Me Before I Die tour!?

Sigh. If wishes were fishes...

I did get to see Graham Chapman, tho. Before he died, I mean. While on his own tour. Which, I do believe was, sadly, the last time many of us got to see him.

(Way to go, dear...always gotta end on a down note, do we?)

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Spirits caught!

Spirit Photography offered by Eastman House
Ok, well, maybe not really caught - more like created. Still, this is one photo workshop I would LOVE to participate in. Have a whole host of deceased relatives I'd like to 'snap.' Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near Eastman House where this workshop takes place. AND the price is a wee bit on the hefty side pour moi. Je suis désolé :(

Of course most of us now believe these spirit photographs are sophisticated double exposures, but the really good ones can make one pause to wonder.

The first spirit photograph I remember being very impressed with was the one of The Brown Lady. This one had my 10 year old self pretty convinced that a ghost had indeed been caught...or at least its image had.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

My front door on October 1st

It may not be October 1st yet where you live but it is here! Ok, I admit it. I did put it up the night before but I couldn't help myself - my front door's been naked for weeks now!

October 1st Halloween Craft based on free hand rendering of pumpkin stencil