October 2nd, 2008

Skeleton

Halloween Countdown, Day 2


Edinburgh graveyard
Originally uploaded by Tony Worrall
Happy birthday to fenice_fu. May you enjoy a great birthday today and many, many more!


LINK OF THE DAY: The link today is darkdestination, an online travel guide to the mysterious and macabre. Filled with eerie pictures and descriptions of truly spooky places, this blog offers perfect October reading!


LITERATURE OF THE DAY: In 1929, literary editor B.K. Hart of the Providence Journal mused in his column about what might be the eeriest story ever written. One of the readers of the Journal was H.P. Lovecraft himself, who responded with a letter to the editor listing his recommendations. Over the next few days, I will spotlight some of the short stories that Lovecraft considered to be the spookiest of them all.

Today's reading was Lovecraft's favorite pick, "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951). Few stories create such atmosphere and evoke such psychological horror.

Excerpt from "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood:
For a change, I thought, had somehow come about in the arrangement of the landscape. It was not that my point of vantage gave me a different view, but that an alteration had apparently been effected in the relation of the tent to the willows, and of the willows to the tent. Surely the bushes now crowded much closer--unnecessarily, unpleasantly close. They had moved nearer.

Creeping with silent feet over the shifting sands, drawing imperceptibly nearer by soft, unhurried movements, the willows had come closer during the night. But had the wind moved them, or had they moved of themselves? I recalled the sound of infinite small patterings and the pressure upon the tent and upon my own heart that caused me to wake in terror. I swayed for a moment in the wind like a tree, finding it hard to keep my upright position on the sandy hillock. There was a suggestion here of personal agency, of deliberate intention, of aggressive hostility, and it terrified me into a sort of rigidity.

Read the complete story.
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