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Halloween Countdown, Day 15

To kick off my post today, I have a very spooky U.K. Public Information Film from 1973 meant to warn children about the dangers of playing near water. This gets forwarded around every so often, but I think it is worthy of repeated viewings, especially during the Halloween season. The creepy narration by Donald Pleasance and the Grim Reaper-esque appearance of "The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water" make this - to my mind at least - a horror classic in its own right.

Remember: he'll be back...



LINK OF THE DAY: Check out VictorianHalloween.com, where Gothic tales, obscure Victorian poetry, and spooky images abound.


LITERATURE OF THE DAY: Today's story is an eerie one, "The Burial of the Rats" by Bram Stoker (1847-1912):

Excerpt from "The Burial of the Rats" by Bram Stoker:
"I once lost a ring--a beautiful diamond hoop that belonged to a queen, and which was given to me by a farmer of the taxes, who afterwards cut his throat because I sent him away. I thought it must have been stolen, and taxed my people; but I could get no trace. The police came and suggested that it had found its way to the drain. We descended--I in my fine clothes, for I would not trust them with my beautiful ring! I know more of the drains since then, and of rats, too! but I shall never forget the horror of that place--alive with blazing eyes, a wall of them just outside the light of our torches. Well, we got beneath my house. We searched the outlet of the drain, and there in the filth found my ring, and we came out.

"But we found something else also before we came! As we were coming toward the opening a lot of sewer rats--human ones this time--came towards us. They told the police that one of their number had gone into the drain, but had not returned. He had gone in only shortly before we had, and, if lost, could hardly be far off. They asked help to seek him, so we turned back. They tried to prevent me going, but I insisted. It was a new excitement, and had I not recovered my ring? Not far did we go till we came on something. There was but little water, and the bottom of the drain was raised with brick, rubbish, and much matter of the kind. He had made a fight for it, even when his torch had gone out. But they were too many for him! They had not been long about it! The bones were still warm; but they were picked clean."

Read the complete story.

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Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
wellinghall
Oct. 15th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
That brought back some childhood memories!
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
*shudder* I'm glad I didn't see that when I was a child, or I would have balked at taking those swimming lessons! *wink*
the_cornettist
Oct. 15th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
Blimey - how I remember that video lol. I was only 3 when it was first made but definitely saw it at some point as a child. It's no wonder I'm such a scaredy cat these days *g*
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
LOL! I don't blame you. Safety is good, but I imagine this is a bit more like trauma. *wink*
primroseburrows
Oct. 15th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a creepy video. I bet it actually saved some kids--who then went on to lives filled with psychological trauma.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
Ha! I agree. Ads like this should come with a coupon for a free therapy session!
byslantedlight
Oct. 15th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
I've never seen that video before, and it's genius - thank you! *g*
(Anonymous)
Oct. 15th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
The Canadians have some good safety/horror shorts of their own. Here's one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UxVvE3VRkI), more gory than creepy.

-The Fredösphere (http://fredosphere.com)

byslantedlight
Oct. 15th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Erm... erk!
(Anonymous)
Oct. 15th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, and then there's this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0yB2-B1gZU).

-The Fredösphere

eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Good grief! Now I don't ever want to go in a kitchen again! :-o
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
Ha! That's gruesome-funny, not just gruesome-gruesome. *wink* Thanks so much for the links!
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad it was new for you and that you enjoyed it. Ever since I first saw it, it's "haunted" me. ;)
otoselkie
Oct. 15th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to drop by and mention that lunatunes's theme this week is "Halloween music." The community is FO, but it's very easy to get into. Theme runs 'til Friday.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! Thanks so much for letting me know. I appreciate it.
alicambs
Oct. 15th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting public information film, very creepy! They don't make them like that now...
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 16th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
Indeed they don't! It is very creepy. I wonder how many nightmares it inspired?
ext_128256
Oct. 17th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
If only that branch had been a bit stronger or perhaps if he had been been able to hold on longer....but oh well. I had no idea this psa existed but smokey the bear and showing me what my brain would like on drugs pale in comparison to this one.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 17th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
Hey there! Thanks so much for dropping by the geekfest I call my LJ. :) You're so right about Smokey the Bear not holding a candle to the Spirit of Dark and Lonely water.

Your comments ("this is your brain on drugs") has started me on a spiral of PSA nostalgia. *points shaking finger* "You! I learned it from watching you!" ;)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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