Not quite in the Christmas spirit yet? Still hungover from another great Halloween season? A surprising way to help you to ease into it is to pick up a book by Michael P. Spradlin called “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies!” This frightfully delightful book has 2 dozen Zombie carols. For example, Deck The Halls With Parts Of Wally, and I Saw Mama Chewing Santa Claus are only a few of the twisted carols sung from a Zombie point of view. The book also has wonderfully gory illustrations from artist Jeff Weigel. It’s a good Christmas gift idea for that hard to shop for horror fan!
What makes a group fire the perfect setting for ghost stories? It may be Halloween (or any fall holiday party for that matter) where guests gather around the fireplace. Everyone gets cozy and warm and waits for the storyteller to spin tales of fear and terror. If it’s summertime, the beach bonfire or campground fire pit is where these stories begin. The warmth from the fire is what causes people to gather, but time after time the setting will evoke someone to start bringing up stories of ghouls and ghosts. I think in general people are fascinated by tales of mystery. This probably goes all the way back to the days of the cavemen. They probably tried in those early days to tell stories around the fire. (That’s assuming they all understood what was being grunted of course.) During the middle ages, elders gathered their families by firesides and told tales of heroism and magic, capturing the imaginations of everyone who listened. If we take a look at holidays of the Victorian era, its easy to see how telling ghost stories around the fireplace was an important tradition. This is even reflected in the classic Christmas song “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”. The lyrics are “There’ll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago”. It almost always happened at the Christmas Eve celebration. People would gather and try to outdo each other with the scariest tale. Charles Dickens tale “A Christmas Carol” is now probably the most famous of those wintertime ghost stories. Fortunately the summertime fireside ghost story time is alive and doing well. But unfortunately it seems the tradition of Christmas ghost story telling by the fireside has dwindled during the last century. Maybe because not everyone has fireplaces in their homes anymore. Or maybe everyone is too wrapped up in the stress of gift giving. I think this Christmas Eve I will try to bring the tradition back. After all what better way to enjoy chestnuts roasting by the open fire.
I’ve recently heard stories about The Black Eyed Children. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but this one was new to me. Apparently the myth states that black eyed children will come up to your front door and knock or ring the doorbell. When you answer, they will ask to enter your home. You will know something is wrong when you see their pale, almost corpse like skin color and solid black eyes. Whatever you do, DON’T LET THEM IN. I’m not sure what happens if you do but it can’t be good. Trust me! Even if they are disguised as girl scouts! The myth also states there are several hundred cases of this happening around the world. Could be an elaborate hoax, but I wouldn’t take any chances these days. If you want to read more about them, you can read the book by David Weatherly called The Black Eyed Children.
I have a question for you…can children see ghosts? I’ve heard people discuss this very subject several times throughout my life. For example, sometimes people claim they’ve seen their infant staring at something in the room that isn’t there as if they were staring in the eyes of a spirit. Sometimes the child will be calm looking at “something”, and other times will cry uncontrollably glancing fearfully at the fixed area where no one is standing. Ordinarily I don’t believe ghost stories. Too many weird people in the world looking for weird ways to get attention. Sometimes people want so much to believe in something that they can trick themselves into thinking they hear strange noises or see shadows in the dark. But what about children? Is there any truth to the claims that children are more “tuned-in” to the spirit world because they are so young? I am ever the skeptic, but then I heard a story that chilled me to the bone and made me wonder…could this be real? Read more »
One of the most beautiful times of the year is when leaves begin to change to hues of orange, brown and gold. Here in Southern California, it’s sometimes hard to really feel like it’s Fall because there are so many evergreens and palm trees. But in certain neighborhoods you can find groups of tall maple trees that are changing their colors and dropping their leaves only to be whisked away by the gentle autumn winds. I love these areas, and try to seek them out as often as possible. It helps me get in the mood for Halloween and Thanksgiving by infusing a little bit of holiday nostalgia in my life. I have always wanted to plan a trip to the east coast to the places where the fall colors are abundant. And I’ve found a great tool to help me plan this future trip thanks to the US Forest Service. Read more »