Thursday, October 31, 2013

A few ephemeral tidbits for your Halloween 2013 enjoyment

Greetings on this Nos Calan Gaeaf.1 This is our black cat, Mr. Bill, who helps us with our Halloween decorating each year.

Last night, he was kind enough to sit for a photo shoot with some gourds. He probably thought that it was an acceptable accommodation, especially compared to a few years ago, when I made him a temporary prop in my scarecrow/hay bale costume.

In the, ahem, spirit of the day, here are a few spooky-themed pieces for your enjoyment.

Dark Terrors, 1994

This is issue #8, from April 1994, of Dark Terrors, a magazine that focused on the history of Hammer horror films. According to, only 18 issues were published.

Mike Murphy of Cornwall, England, is listed as the publisher for this issue, which includes articles titled:
  • An Interview with Barbara Shelley: Hammer Scream Queen says fangs for the memories!
  • Censored Hammer — When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
  • Ray Harryhausen: Mike Hankin looks at the work of this special effects wizard on One Millions Years B.C.
  • An Interview with Harry Oakes: Camera assistant at Bray Studios talks about his Hammer days at the house of horror
  • Philip Martell: A tribute to Hammer's long-serving Musical Supervisor
  • Quatermass: Behind the scenes of Hammer's adaptations of Nigel Kneale's classic science fiction stories
  • Val Guest: Wesley Walker profiles the work of one of Hammer's finest directors

"Spirited Spooks play medieval melodies"

This undated postcard (early 1970s?) shows one of the scenes within the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in California. The famous dark ride opened in August 1969.

The caption on the back of the postcard states (this works best if you imagine Vincent Price saying the words):
"Crypt doors creak and tombstones quake to the rhythm of a haunting refrain. Spirited Spooks play medieval melodies for graveyard guests as all do the dance macabre in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion."

Don't look in the attic

Snapshot taken earlier this year in a friend's attic.
It's a wonder I made it out alive!

1. In Welsh culture, Calan Gaeaf is the first day of winter, and is observed on November 1. That makes today Nos Calan Gaeaf, which is thought to be a day when spirits are out and about and the living should tread carefully.

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