Saturday, 31 October 2015

Mystery Movie of the Week - FAIL

Well, the movie I wanted to post, Dragonwyck with Vincent Price, got removed from YouTube :( So, if you find another full length version there watch it quick! Here's the original trailer...

You can also listen to the Lux Radio broadcast here. But before I go I wanted to include a little gem I stumbled on the other day.

Now, I'm pretty sure I've seen Meet me in St. Louis BUT if so then how on earth did I forget this amazing Halloween scene! "Minnelli claimed that that sequence was the principal reason he did the film..."  (from A Thought on a Moment in Meet Me in St. Louis).

Now THIS is Halloween! A bunch of small kids running around in the dark in imaginative costumes they've pulled together themselves! And who started that bonfire? And throwing flour at people's houses? And what houses, gosh! Must be a ghost or two in there!  (“Darn those youths!” Halloween in the 1900s)

I'd forgotten about the mischief.

I remember flour, eggs, toilet paper, and exploding paper bags of cat poop were the things youth did 'back in my day.' Although in my hometown these things were done the night before Halloween. It was called Mat Night. Presumably because stealing people's front door mats was part of the tradition.

Whatever your traditions I hope you have a spooky and safe(ish) Halloween!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Demon Dance

Let's get this party started!!!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Halloween in Canada #5

University of Manitoba
In honour of Halloween, Rewind [CBC RADIO] brings you a journey into fantastic literature. There are lots of treats in store: ghost sightings from the poet P.K. Page and writers Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, thoughts on ghosts from the filmmaker David Cronenberg and stories from Ray Bradbury and Oscar Wilde. This program is introduced by Alberto Manguel, with his anthology Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature.

Featured in the hour are:
- The Emissary by Ray Bradbury, which first appeared in his collection of short stories The October Country.
- An excerpt from a short story called The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
- The poem Dirge Without Music by Edna At. Vincent Millay
- The Ghost of La Scala, an Italian story

Guests included:
- Writers Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, poet P.K. Page and filmmaker David Cronenberg, with stories of their own ghostly encounters
- Cynthia Ozick, American author and critic on writing about ghosts
- Professor Leslie Fiedler, of the University of Buffalo and author of several books on the fantastic, discussing early fantastic literature
- Richard Outram, Canadian poet, compares old ghosts with modern ones
- Readers were Stewart Arnott and Tanja Jacobs

You may not see the player with the clip I've embedded here so to listen to the whole program click here.

Or go here for more Halloween treats in the Canadian Broadcasting Coroportation (CBC) Archives.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Halloween in Canada #4

Halloween at Wineglass Ranch, Alberta 1907-08 (Glenbow Archives)
Excerpt: Halloween in Alberta

From the start Halloween in Alberta was marked by “general nuisance” and “sundry pranks,” such as soaping windows, unhinging gates, or moving property. 

Reporting on Halloween in Innisfail in 1897, the Calgary Herald noted that “several small buildings took the usual trot around town during the evening.” 

Generally speaking, these items were left where they could be found – the goal was to create a nuisance, not to steal. 

Occasionally, however, people were left searching for their property the next day. In 1925, a farmer posted a notice in the Red Deer News requesting that the 'Halloween revellers' who removed his garden gate "kindly return the same forthwith or indicate…where they have taken it...” - by Allan Rowe

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Halloween in Canada #3

Buck 65 has been making music since the 1990’s. If you listen to the CBC then you should recognize him as Rich Terfry, the voice of CBC Radio 2 Drive. “Zombie Delight,” from his record 20 Odd Years, was just released early this year [2012]. 

The music video was filmed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, just outside of Buck 65′s hometown in Mt. Uniacke. This song offers an informative examination and deconstruction of the characteristics of a zombie. If you didn’t know that zombies are excellent dancers, then it’s best you have a listen to this. 
 - Source (includes more Canadian music content)


Monday, 26 October 2015

Halloween in Canada #2 - UPDATED

A boy on Queen Street, Toronto, 1957
It's infographic time! But before you peruse the stats here's an interesting fact.

For some reason is blocked (by something called SonicWall) in the country where I currently live. So I can't get to the "10 Things you Didn't know about Halloween" article that includes a version of the photo to the left. This is a bit odd.

I don't know, maybe the article is a dead one but that doesn't explain why the site itself is blocked.

Does it have anything to do with the recent election results? (Yay Trudeau!)'s just a glitch I'm sure.

Whoops! So sorry! If you can't read below you can go straight to source link here.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Halloween in Canada #1

Canadian National Fabric

Check out the Halloween / Autumn collection at Canadian National Fabric! Is all this fabric actually MADE in Canada, no I don't think so. But it's sold, and more importantly, delivered anywhere you may live in Canada! Which is good cause when I'm back there next year it will be not just anywhere but a specific and somewhat remote online ordering and postal delivery is good!
Not so perfect GIF

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy next Halloween is gonna be sooooooo great!!

And not only because I can order fabric from these guys (change is afoot! in Canada, yay!)

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Mystery Movie of the Week

"Looking for Trouble is a 1934 American Pre-Code crime film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Spencer Tracy, Jack Oakie and Constance Cummings. After he is rejected by a woman, a man leaves his safe job and joins a gang that robs banks. The film features actual stock earthquake footage." - Wikipedia

This is less mystery and more crime but it's definitely fun!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Ok, this is pretty clever...

"What's more, the father of three and his family have put out a donation box outside their display to raise money for the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Over the past two years, they have raised $10,000 for the cause..." - Source

"We're not safe! We're not spared!"

I thought Season 1 of The Leftovers was brilliant but wasn't sure I could handle its darkness. But I kept watching. And was glad I did. But still, where do you go from there? I know the book it's based on is pretty much tapped out so from here on in it's going to be the writer's who flesh out this weird and mysterious premise.

I watched the premiere of the second season recently with...well, I was trying not to have any expectations. And I was blown away.

From the change in opening credits, to the weird time shift opening scene of the cavewoman and baby, and then the introduction of a new family in a new town, Miracle, Texas, well, I was very much on board. Hurray for Lindelof (and Perrotta) for a tv series that leaves me speculating at the end of each episode.

Did you know there's a guy out there that sees this show as "evidence of an Occult ritual hijacking of this space-time domain" ?!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

My Halloween Gang

None of these are original designs. All are inspired by others work I've seen online. But I did craft them all myself by hand. Still have a few more to go...want at least a dozen to hand out on Halloween night. My favourite is the latest cat...


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

More wobbly sewing...

So here is the first table runner and place mats I've ever made! Also this was the first ever attempt at quilting. All done several weeks ago based on this quick and easy video tutorial. Still wasn't patient enough to do the binding properly but meh, I'm ok with it.

Would fit in well at the Adams House, I think.

Table runner

Table runner detail

Place mat 1

Place mat 2 detail

Monday, 19 October 2015

Halloween around town

So, still not much in local stores that screams Halloween but I did find an overabundance of owls at Home Centre...

Vases or candle holders

for incense

just for fun I think...

and finally a weighted fabric doorstopper

But there is a corner of Halloween at Japanese dollar store, Daiso! I picked up a great pumpkin paper lantern for the night in question :)

Cheap and cheerful!

And a little Creepmas I see

Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Book of Hallowe'en

I don't know 'bout you but in this digital world I'm slowly starting to find myself longing for old fashioned paper books. Now, I'll be honest with you, I don't read as much as I used to. But I have found a few books recently that I'd love to get hard copies of. While local bookstores here do offer a fairly sizeable offering in English it's not like cruising through a Chapters, Barnes & Noble, or my personal favourite, Waterstones.

And it's not just big retail book shops I miss perusing it's also the good old fashioned library...particularly an academic library. I used to love to cruise through the bookshelves of my university libraries. Randomly pulling out books to see what they offered I always found the folklore section fascinating. Great inspiration around the holidays as I could always find some old tome from the late 19th or early 20th C that explored the "old ways" and supernatural beliefs of various groups.  So that's why I love Project Gutenberg.

Sure, it's not quite the same as finding yourself alone in a disused section of a library. And it certainly doesn't offer up that unique smell that comes only from the pages of a book that's been around for a century but, it does offer up much in the way of inspiration!
You can listen to this libravox recording...

Or you can get your own digital copy from Project Gutenberg here.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Mystery Movie of the Week

This week it's My Cousin Rachel based on another novel by du Maurier. My mom used to talk about this one too --  she had a thing for Richard Burton (who doesn't?!).

"The waves are crashing wildly against the rock-ribbed Cornish coast at the outset of "My Cousin Rachel" ..., and a corpse is hanging from a gibbet at a crossroads on the wind-swept moors. That is a gentle indication of the eerie and fateful mood that prevails through this excellent screen translation of Daphne du Maurier's literate romance, and that is a fair pre-warning also of the terminal satisfactions of the tale." - New York Times review 1952

Rachel Weisz is apparently in talks to star in a remake!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Furniture with a dual purpose...

So, cruising through the furniture section of Home Centre I came across this interesting bedroom set. Make that light in the headboard full spectrum daylight and you have a secret weapon in case of vampire attack!

 There's even a dresser that goes with it.

I didn't notice 'the eye' in the mirror until later...

Thursday, 15 October 2015


This is my second attempt at a Halloween wall hanging. A somewhat more elaborate one...

BOO! by me

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Another reason to find carousels creepy

Dollhouse is pretty creepy too...

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

My first Halloween wall hanging...

And so here it is in its first ever wall hanging. Created this past July with much help from my mother-in-law! I made the penny art pieces last winter and took them with me when I paid the in-laws a visit this summer. A little plain BUT it's a beginning, right?

Penny art Halloween wall hanging by me

Monday, 12 October 2015

And now a word from Mr Houdini...

And speaking of ouija boards, ectoplasm, and tambourines we can't forget Mr Harry Houdini. Or his opinion of the many spiritualists and mediums that set up shop at the beginning of the 20th C.

Harry spent a fair amount of his time exposing them as charlatans. And it's his passionate crusade and the 'talents' of renowned medium, Mina Stinson (Margery Crandon), that is the subject of The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher. This one is definitely on my wish list.

Read more about their encounter at Houdini v. The Blond Witch of Lime Street: A Historical Lesson in Skepticism and here at Mina Crandon & Harry Houdini: The Medium and The Magician

October 27 - book launch in Philadelphia at Mutter Museum
October 16-  illustrated lecture in Brooklyn at Mordid Anatomy Museum

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Ready for your séance?

Just in case you missed this post by Morbid Anatomy...

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Mystery Movie of the Week

Based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, this week's feature is Rebecca - a dark tale of death, love, and jealousy! du Maurier was another well known female mid-century novelist who wrote many a moody mystery including Jamaica Inn (a real place in Cornwall where you can book a ghost tour). 

My parents had an old disintegrating copy of Rebecca among their books (image to the left is the same cover of their edition!) And after my mother described the plot to me it made its way into my hands for some great summer reading. The movie came much later...I'm not usually a fan of Olivier but he does make a good brooding Maxim de Winter!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Midwinter of the Spirit

"This adaptation of Phil Rickman’s books was an exceptionally creepy visit to the spirit world..."

Midwinter of the Spirit is a new three parter on ITV based on a book series I'd never heard of. At the heart of the series is vicar/exorcist Merrily Watkins. Her job entails the usual marriages and christenings but also 'deliverance' the new word for exorcism. Or, as Merrily's daughter Jane put its -- "ghost busting for Jesus!"

No head spinning but it's one of those works-on-your-nerves creeping very spookily along type of stories. I only got through the first episode after a 20 minute think-I'll-go-wash-the-dishes break! For the 2nd episode I found myself having to stop after Merrily sees a nasty vision. And so fortified with a hot cup of tea and a couple of digestives (seriously!) I made my way through the rest of it. 

For some reason I've always found demons and possession particularly creepy (but no, I won't be watching the reality show version on Halloween night as exploitation ain't my thing). But honestly, Midwinter of the Spirit has got to be my favourite tv viewing this Halloween season so far.

I've been so captured by the character of Merrily (her name comes from a Christmas carol--the one with "ding dong merrily on high" in the chorus..HA!) that I bought myself the first book (audio) in the series!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Salut Jordan Reyne

As you may have seen from a previous post I am a fan of Jordan Reyne. I love her driving loops, primal rhythms, rich voice, evocative lyrics, and arresting visuals! I've also been deeply impressed with her incredible drive and the amount of work and effort she has put into not only her music but also the videos and everything else that a lone musician must do for themselves in this new digital world. She has also been incredibly generous with sharing her work, knowledge and hard earned experience.

Now, alas, Jordan has announced her final tour dates and draws to a close this musical part of her life.

You can read her reasons why here. Unfortunately they are not unique. While I am sad to read this news I understand. And from what I've seen and read I know that Jordan, a woman of talent, passion and much heart, will do well on whatever path awaits her ahead.
Go maire sibh bhur saol nua!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Autumnal Wall Hanging

I'm new to quilting but I thought this turned out ok...

Wobbly binding and uneven tabs but I like the colours!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


The reason I brought up Ripper Street yesterday was so I could follow up on something that happened in Season 3.

SPOILER ALERT - You've been warned. If you haven't seen Season 3, like a certain Celtic Pumpkin ;), then do NOT read any further...

You see, the big tragedy in Inspector Reid's life was as a result of a ship board explosion in which he was gravely injured and his young daughter disappeared...presumed dead. The loss of their daughter has left a deep scar in the lives and marriage of Mr and Mrs Reid. Especially as Inspector Reid can't seem to let go--in the deepest part of his heart he believes his daughter is still alive. Even after almost a decade.

His belief proves true when it's discovered she'd been locked away in someone's basement for years. Reasonably looked after but well adjusted can you be after spending 10 very formative years locked away? Which is why I'm interested to see where they will take that story line.

And in completely new series there is a similar story line. Thirteen is not a period piece. Set in a contemporary world it's described as a "psychological drama about who to trust when you can’t even trust yourself." And the trust issues stem from the main character's experience of having been locked away in a cellar for thirteen years. The series starts with or just after her escape.

Intriguing...I'll have to check it out.


Monday, 5 October 2015

Have you seen Ripper Street?

This is another one of those shows we watch religiously...regularly. Well, we do and it's great! But the fate of the series seemed doomed when BBC cancelled it! Then Amazon Prime stepped in and we got a third season. For which we were extremely grateful given the unresolved mystery/tragedy surrounding Inspector Edmund Reid. And with the resolution of that in Season 3 I felt satisfied.

But now I'm more than that as Amazon has announced there will be a Season 4 and 5! So, if you haven't seen this excellent moody Dickensian thriller/mystery well, this is prime Halloween viewing.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

And still the raven remains in my room...

A mix of paper and digital collage. Inspired by much listening of Alan Parsons - Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Oh, and although it's an old link you might find the Poe ultimate song list interesting.

Nevermore by me

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Mystery Movie of the Week - updated!

Young and Innocent (directed by Hitchcock) makes for some fun viewing! It's based on a novel by Josephine Tey (A Shilling for Candles). "Tey, whose real name was Elizabeth MacKintosh, is herself something of a mystery. A teacher from Inverness, Scotland, she began publishing novels in 1929 under the name Gordon Daviot, the first of her pseudonyms." Tey was such a private and mysterious individual that her biographer (Nicola Upson) gave up on ever sorting through the half truths of Tey's life and instead wrote a novel, An Expert in Murder (another review here).

I started reading Tey waaaaay back. I think I found some old musty copies of her books in a barn while up at summer camp. I read The Singing Sands, Bratt Fararr and, much later, her very intriguing The Daughter of Time. That last title centres around a bed-ridden 20th C detective's attempt to solve the mystery of the two young male skeletons found in the Tower of London (thought to have died during the reign of Richard III). 

So, if you are looking for some great seasonal mystery reading (or viewing) I recommend Tey!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Haunted Mansion

Regrets! - Stampede 2015
Saw this on the mid-way back in July when I was at the Calgary Stampede.

No, I didn't go. I shoulduv tried harder to convince my brother to come with me. Instead I told him about the time I went on one of these rides by myself and came out the other end with a complete stranger sitting in the car beside me.

I kid you not.

Calgary Stampede 2015

Thursday, 1 October 2015

There is still some truth in advertising

Yep. The package said pot-pourri (actually on closer inspection it actually reads "Poe-pourri") and that's exactly what it smells like. A bunch of slightly dried out flower petals in a your grandmother's house.

It now hangs from my desk lamp