October 1st, 2013


The 125th Anniversary of the Autumn of Terror, Cont'd

On this day in 1888, the morning issue of London's Daily News printed the text of a message allegedly written by the serial killer who was terrorizing Whitechapel at the time. The missive later became known as the "Dear Boss Letter," and it remains significant because it was the first time the name "Jack the Ripper" was given to the murderer. The letter had been postmarked and received on September 27 by the Central News Agency of London.

Jack The Ripper - Eyewitness Accounts

The letter read as follows (sic):

Dear Boss,
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn't you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck. Yours truly
Jack the Ripper
Dont mind me giving the trade name
PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I'm a doctor now. ha ha


Read more about the alleged Ripper letters here at Casebook: Jack the Ripper.

Halloween Countdown, Day 1

Are you ready to get this party started? I am! Please join me for a month of daily posts as I celebrate the spirit of Halloween. This year I am aiming for variety in my posts -- creepy texts and photos, "this day in spooky history" features, rec lists, and more -- and I hope the mix is to your liking. If you know of anyone who would enjoy these posts, please pass along the word. Thank you very much!

Be sure to check out other blogs that likewise are celebrating Halloween all October long. The wonderful Countdown to Halloween 2013 is a clearinghouse site that links to this and other blogs with similar month-long post-a-thons.

Let's begin with a video to set the mood. The British Film Institute is currently celebrating "Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film," and this trailer is a work of art in its own right.

And speaking of Gothic, here's a quote from one of my favorite modern works to start our countdown properly.

“How do I know you'll keep your word?" asked Coraline.
"I swear it," said the other mother. "I swear it on my own mother's grave."
"Does she have a grave?" asked Coraline.
"Oh yes," said the other mother. "I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.”
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Oh, I can't help myself. Just one more...

"We have eyes and we have nerveses
We have tails we have teeth
You'll all get what you deserveses
When we rise from underneath."
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline