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Happy Halloween, Day 1

Welcome to October! This month I will be making a daily "spooky post," which will include my picks for link of the day, literature of the day, and other assorted goodies. I hope you will join me for my month-long celebration of all things Halloween.

First, a few related announcements and recommendations:

* To celebrate the month of October, Sword of Gryffindor (on LJ as sword_gryff) will be taking a month-long break from Harry Potter analysis and focusing on one short story by H.P. Lovecraft per week. Everyone is invited to read the stories online and join the conversation. Learn more here.

* If you're longing for some chilling Halloween listening, I recommend Mercury Theatre on the Air. This website has free downloads of haunting radio plays by Orson Welles and his company, including dramatic adaptations of Dracula and Rebecca, as well as the infamous 1938 version of War of the Worlds.

* Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has Limited Edition Halloween scents available here, while Black Phoenix Trading Post has Limited Edition Halloween items, including soaps (I highly recommend the pumpkin), available here.

* All Lacquered Up is holding an October Contest and Giveaway for the best Halloween manicure. Read more here.

And now, on with the show:

Link of the Day: Gothic Cemetery Art (Here you will find several different albums of cemetery art, including black and white photographs of unusual cemetery decorations and mausoleums.)

Literature of the Day: One of the many reasons I love Halloween is the sense of awe and wonder it produces, if we allow ourselves to be receptive to it. Neil Gaiman's poem captures this very well.

"The Day The Saucers Came"
by Neil Gaiman (1960-present)

That day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed to find what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn't notice it because

That day, the day the saucers came, by some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because

On the saucer day, which was the zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-man's nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold, and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because

On the saucer-zombie-battling gods day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across the land, and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because

That day, the saucer day the zombie day
The Ragnarok and fairies day, the day the great winds came
And snows, and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of the Time Machine day,
You didn't notice any of this because
you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.

Watch Neil Gaiman read this poem here.



( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC)
More Old Time Radio fun.

For those who haven't listened to it yet, try out this episode of Quiet, Please entitled The Thing on the Fourble Board. This is easily the most disturbing radio play I've ever listened to. I guarantee when you come to the ending, you'll find yourself saying, "That's just WRONG!!!!!"


Some others I recommend which I unfortunately don't have a link to include an adaptation of The Dunwich Horror on Suspense with Ronald Coleman as Dr. Armitage and an episode of The Mysterious Traveller called S.O.S., which is like the MTotA version of War of the Worlds in that it could only work as a radio play. The first time I listened to it, the ending just blew me away.
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks so much for the recommendations!
Oct. 1st, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, hurrah! Too fabulous to be that time of year again - your journal is such a celebration -- thanks!
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) Happy October! (Your icon is so much fun.)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
Oct. 1st, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thank you for the discussion link and the poem.
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
You're most welcome! I'm glad they're of interest.
Oct. 1st, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
Most cool! I love that Neil Gaiman poem. The links are awesome, too. I'm so glad October is here. October and November are my favorite months.
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad, too. They're my favorite months, as well. :)
Oct. 1st, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
One of my fave poems, that. :)
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yay! I love it, too. :)
Oct. 1st, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
the gothic cemetery art is gorgeous - i may make some icon bases with some of those images. i have an odd appreciation for cemeteries, and love finding old and historic cemeteries. thanks for linking!
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
That's fabulous! You're most welcome. I'm so glad to hear you liked the link. I share your love of old and historic cemeteries. That's a lovely icon, by the way. Happy October!
Oct. 1st, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
What a great start to the festivities! Looking forward to more in the days to come :)

Oct. 1st, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks so much. :)
Oct. 1st, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
*loves Neil Gaiman*

Yayyy! It's the Day Eldritchhobbit began the October haunting of livejournal!
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
Ha! I love it. :)

I'm sending good vibes to your computer. I hope it gets well soon.
Oct. 1st, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
(Here via terrylj's journal)

Those links look fantastic, especially Mercury Theater on the Air - I have always been desperate to hear 'The War of the Worlds'! I am going to put on my headphones and close my eyes.

And that Gaiman poem is incredible!
Oct. 1st, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
Hello there - and welcome! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. I highly recommend War of the Worlds - it's beautifully crafted and utterly chilling. I haven't listened to their adaptation of Dracula yet, but I plan to do so. I hope you'll stop by my LJ again! :) Happy October.
Oct. 1st, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
BPAL and Neil. Wow. A double dip of goodness.

Which BPAL pumpkins do you have? I have imps of the first patch, and they don't work that well on me, but the more foody ones this time out (#1, 3, 5) make me want to risk again.
Oct. 2nd, 2007 10:49 am (UTC)
Yay! :)

I haven't bought a pumpkin scent this year, and I really need to decide soon if I will. You and I are on the same wavelength: I've been trying to choose between 1, 3, and 5! I do love BPAL's "Jack" and wear it all the time. I did buy the pumpkin soap from BPTP. It is fabulous.
Oct. 1st, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
These posts are really cool. Thanks for doing them:)
Oct. 2nd, 2007 10:49 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :) It's my pleasure. :)
Oct. 2nd, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
What a neat poem!
Oct. 2nd, 2007 10:50 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you like it, too! It's one of my favorites.
Oct. 2nd, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
<I>The Magic Ring</I>
I forgot to mention, I thought of you on my trip up north. I saw a copy of the 1876 publication of The Magic Ring for sale in a bookstore called Browser's Books in Corvallis, Oregon, of all places. I thought about getting it, but then saw they wanted $200 for it.
Oct. 2nd, 2007 10:51 am (UTC)
Re: <I>The Magic Ring</I>
Oh, wow! I try to grab old copies of the Baron's work whenever I can - and whenever they're not $200! It's nice to know there are some copies floating around.
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Neil is completely without par, isn't he? I love to hear him read his own work because it always sounds so different than the voice in my own head when I read it to myself. That and he's quite pleasing aesthetically. ;)

I'm bookmarking the Lovecraft analysis. I hope I'll get do the Lovecraft walking tour of Providence sometime this month. It used to be an announced group event, but I think I'm on my own these days.

Also, yay for Cemetery Art! I'm a HUGE fan of cemeteries, especially old spooky ones. I try to get to Swan Point (where Lovecraft is buried!) a few times a year. I spend strangely large amount of time with this statue. It's beautiful and strangely compelling:

My daughter had a friend in high school who lived next door (and I mean right next door, as in within a few feet) to an old, small graveyard in Newport, RI. They both thought I was strange for thinking this was just the coolest thing, because it creeped them right out.

Oct. 6th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
I couldn't agree more about Neil Gaiman!

I am amazed and enthralled by this picture from Swan Point cemetery. No wonder you've been taken with this monument! It's remarkable. I've only been there once, in a hurried detour before going to Brown, and I very much want to go back and spend some time there - and, as you've said you want to do, take a Lovecraft walking tour, either organized or self-led. I was just enchanted by what little I got to see (I had my list of Lovecraft sites and snatched glimpses as I drove past), and I've been left with the deep desire to return and really soak it all in. One of these days...

I love old cemeteries in general, too. (I have another cemetery link up here that you may enjoy, and I'll be posting more during October.) I love your story about your daughter's friend - I would think that is so cool! The real estate agent who sold us our new house lives by an old church cemetery. When I told her how cool I thought that was, she said, "Well, they're the quietest neighbors I've ever had." LOL!

Thanks again for posting that wonderful picture.
(no subject) - primroseburrows - Oct. 7th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eldritchhobbit - Oct. 9th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC) - Expand
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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