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Happy October!

Today begins October, my favorite month, and the countdown to Halloween, my favorite holiday. This year I will once again use my LJ for a daily celebration of all things spooky and frightful. I hope you will enjoy.

First, to set the mood with a little interactive fun:

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Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com</td>

In 2005, The Edmonton Journal ranked different things, from film to poetry, in order to find the scariest. For my first posts of October, I will be sharing some of the texts The Edmonton Journal found to be most terrifying.

In the category of "Top Five Scariest Books," the following was ranked the fifth most frightening:

Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men's eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.

The house was a rental. Brooding. Tight. A brick colonial ripped by ivy in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Across the street, was a fringe of campus belonging to Georgetown University; to the rear, a sheer embankment plummeting steep to busy M Street and, beyond, the muddy Potomac. Early on the morning of April 1, the house was quiet. Chris MacNeil was propped in bed, going over her lines for the next day's filming; Regan, her daughter, was sleeping down the hall; and asleep downstairs in a room off the pantry were the middle-aged housekeepers, Willie and Karl. At approximately 12:25 A.M., Chris glanced from her script with a frown of puzzlement. She heard rapping sounds. They were odd. Muffled. Profound. Rhythmically clustered. Alien code tapped out by a dead man.

- from The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty (1971)



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)
Was that the opening of the book? It is fantastic! Sucked in now and I'd keep going if I had it here, lol.

Happy October! Yaaayyy! I was out yesterday evening and there it was, the October twilight that I love so much. Maxfield Parrish must have only painted landscapes in the Autumn.
Oct. 1st, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed, that's the opening of the book. (I edited the title to link to the Wikipedia article about it - I'll link to the online texts when they're available online.) Isn't it gripping? I know exactly what you mean about feeling sucked into the story!

I love the October twilight. That's an excellent point about Maxfield Parrish: all those oranges and reds are right at home this time of year! :)

Oct. 1st, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
You know, I've never read the book. I wonder if I should. I find books much more scary than films. I have a mighty powerful imagination!
Oct. 1st, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean. Written horror always affects me more, because I can imagine what's being described rather than relying on the film to show me. (I edited the title above to link to the Wikipedia article about it; in other posts, I'll link to the online texts when they're available on the web.)

I have a mighty powerful imagination!

That you do! And a lucky thing it is, too, for those of us who read your writing. :)
Oct. 1st, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
Ah...the promised daily Halloween countdown begins ;o). Ok because I'm German I didn't read the book but I've made the quiz *gg*:

<td align="center">

Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com</td>

Oct. 1st, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
Ha! That's a great epitaph. ("See? I told you so!") Thanks for playing. As for the online Octoberfest I'm having, I'll definitely be posting some excerpts by German authors before the month is over. :)
Oct. 1st, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
Yes it was great *grinning*. I like a little bit black humor ;o)). And I'm looking forward to the excertps by German authors...thank you!!!!
Oct. 1st, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, The Exorcist. I assigned my one research paper class a paper on horror movies for October. One girl said she couldn't stand them, not even a little. I said she could write on that and suggested she rent something like Poltergeist.

Well, she took the first piece of advice, but not the second. She let her friends talk her into going to see The Exorcist when they released the new extended version to theatres. It did not bring her the happiness that it brought her friends. However, it did give her great grist for the mill about why she cannot stand horror.
Oct. 1st, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
What a great assignment for October! I had to laugh about your story of your student. Poltergeist was such a reasonable and appropriate suggestion for her, and to think she ended up seeing The Exorcist! Yikes!

It did not bring her the happiness that it brought her friends.

ROFLOL! Quite the understatement, I suspect. :) It's terrific that she had the chance to channel that into her writing, though. Great stuff.

I love your icon, by the way.
Oct. 1st, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
That book scared me so much I refused to see the movie and I love horror stories.
Oct. 2nd, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
It's really chilling, isn't it? And somehow more terrifying in book form, where the imagination can run wild with it.
Oct. 1st, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
Yeeeesh! I am at once compelled and repelled. I know darn well if I read that book I will not sleep at night. (Though admittedly I haven't had that problem as much now that I have a bed partner)

But speaking of good terror stories, have you ever read (or seen) The Uninvited? I can't remember the author, but it is an old out-of-print book that was made into a movie (pretty faithfully) in the 1930s or so, back when they didn't need splashy special effects to make a good suspenseful movie. My brother and I saw the movie and loved it (though I couldn't sleep for a week), then we found the book and read it and loved it even more. Here is a link to his review of it if you are interested:

Oct. 1st, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
Okay, the author was Dorothy Macardle, and the book was published in 1942, with the alternate title Uneasy Freehold.
Oct. 2nd, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I owe you one. Thanks!
Oct. 2nd, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
Welcome! :~)
Oct. 2nd, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yeeeesh! I am at once compelled and repelled.

I know exactly what you mean!

I've never seen The Uninvited, but from the description, it seems I must! It sounds fantastic. Thank you so much for the recommendation and information. I really look forward to tracking it down and seeing it.
Oct. 2nd, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, you must! I know you will enjoy it.
Oct. 2nd, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
The Exorcist still scares me to death.
Oct. 2nd, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
Yep. Me too! :)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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