October 20th, 2008


Halloween Countdown, Day 20

LINK OF THE DAY: Visit Halloween Pumpkin Palooza for Halloween costumes, decorations, crafts and pumpkin-carving templates. Ghoulishly-good videos and step-by-step instructions guarantee a hauntingly crafty Halloween holiday. Four words: power tool pumpkin carving! (Thanks to green_key for this link.)

Next, for something a little different, here are two fascinating videos that chronicle walks through the historic Highgate Cemetery.

LITERATURE OF THE DAY: Join me today for a spooky classic, "Markheim" by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894).

Excerpt from "Markheim" by Robert Louis Stevenson:
The faint, foggy daylight glimmered dimly on the bare floor and stairs; on the bright suit of armour posted, halbert in hand, upon the landing; and on the dark wood-carvings, and framed pictures that hung against the yellow panels of the wainscot. So loud was the beating of the rain through all the house that, in Markheim's ears, it began to be distinguished into many different sounds. Footsteps and sighs, the tread of regiments marching in the distance, the chink of money in the counting, and the creaking of doors held stealthily ajar, appeared to mingle with the patter of the drops upon the cupola and the gushing of the water in the pipes. The sense that he was not alone grew upon him to the verge of madness. On every side he was haunted and begirt by presences. He heard them moving in the upper chambers; from the shop, he heard the dead man getting to his legs; and as he began with a great effort to mount the stairs, feet fled quietly before him and followed stealthily behind. If he were but deaf, he thought, how tranquilly he would possess his soul! And then again, and hearkening with ever fresh attention, he blessed himself for that unresting sense which held the outposts and stood a trusty sentinel upon his life. His head turned continually on his neck; his eyes, which seemed starting from their orbits, scouted on every side, and on every side were half rewarded as with the tail of something nameless vanishing. The four and twenty steps to the first floor were four and twenty agonies.

Read the complete story.
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