* GhostGirl11's Etsy Shop includes remarkably beautiful handmade items, many of which have holiday themes (such as the Castle Dracula Bram Stoker trinket box, the Victorian Halloween door hanger, etc.). The "pampered pumpkin soap" is blissful, I can say from experience - it smells like pumpkin pie!
* Alivan's, the Harry Potter-themed store extraordinaire, is offering a special Harry Potter Trick or Treat Bag filled with goodies.
* The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has just debuted their newest CD, An Even Scarier Solstice. If it's anything like the last album, it will be horrifyingly hilarious. Sample MP3s are available at the site.
* I'm officially in love with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's perfumes. Just reading the descriptions is great fun itself. Currently Limited Edition Blends are available for Halloween.
Now that I've completed the "top five" countdowns, I will be posting my picks for the best Halloween poems and stories. One that is a particular favorite of mine, which I bring out every year, is the oh-so-eerie poem "The Mewlips" (1962) by J.R.R. Tolkien from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.
And a special treat: listen to J.R.R. Tolkien reading the first lines!
The shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.
You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour.
Beside the rotting river-strand
The drooping willows weep,
And gloomily the gorcrows stand
Croaking in their sleep.
Over the Merlock Mountains a long and weary way,
In a mouldy valley where the trees are grey,
By a dark pool's borders without wind or tide,
Moonless and sunless, the Mewlips hide.
The cellars where the Mewlips sit
Are deep and dank and cold
With single sickly candle lit;
And there they count their gold.
Their walls are wet, their ceilings drip;
Their feet upon the floor
Go softly with a squish-flap-flip,
As they sidle to the door.
They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they've finished, in a sack
Your bones they take to keep.
Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
And through the wood of hanging trees and the gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips - and the Mewlips feed.