rivers of blood
war on Christmas
Well, it’s happened. Another Halloween season has come and gone, and it’ll be 11 long months until our favorite holiday comes back around. Post-Halloween Depression is real. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things we want to do during the month of October. While it’s easy to fall into the trappings of woulda, shoulda, coulda, guilt never brought back Halloween any sooner. If you have a serious issues, get help. Young folks, talk to someone. For reals. Maybe you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is the loneliest time of the year and it doesn’t have to be.
If you think you got a handle on it and you’re just looking for ways to squeeze the spookiness outta the holidays. Here’s a few helpful tips:
Find Your Tribe
Life is simply too short not to hang with people who don’t engage your interest, inspire your creativity or support your vision, even if it’s just turning your front yard into a cemetery every October.
Halloween groups on Pinterest, Reddit and Facebook are great places to find likeminded fans. Commiserating with others helps us not feel so alone, and trust me, you are not the only one who cannot bear to watch Freeform’s sugary programming on repeat for the next two months.
Shop ’til You Drop
Don’t put away that credit card just yet because shopping for Halloween items is even better after Halloween. This is the time when stores are blowing out their stocks and have slashed prices from 50-80% off. Spirit stores, Michaels, Joanns and World Market, just to name a few, all have big sales still going on. Never underestimate the power of retail therapy.
Scare up Your Next Halloween
There’s no time to cry when you’re a notebook deep full of ideas for next Halloween, and next year is gonna be a doozy. Halloween 2020 will be on a Saturday, there’ll be a full moon and that’s also the day we set our clocks back. Sounds auspicious already!
Let Autumn Linger
I don’t understand why people insist on rushing into Christmas when we have the beauty and wonder of the harvest to celebrate. Pumpkins, scarecrows, fall leaves, much of what we love about Autumn is what we love about Halloween, and nothing is better than natural spookiness of fall.
You can always decorate with autumn lights and harvest candles. Hang a fall wreath on the front door or somewhere over the mantle. Instead of the Christmas tree, put up an autumn tree during the month of November. Check out this fantastic autumn home decor from All for Fall & Halloween member Megan Sanders:
Give Thanks to Dark and Moody
Maybe you’re one that needs to feed your gothic soul all twelve months outta the year. Well, Wednesday, keep your striped socks on, because it’s quite easy to flip the holidays to satisfy our love for all things dark and brooding, as seen here in this incredibly beautiful dark holiday photography:
For more photos like these, check out our Dark and Moody Holidays board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/halloweenkristy/dark-and-moody-holidays/
Celebrate Bad Santa
Of all the bad Santa origin stories in the world, Germany’s Krampus is the clear winner. The half-goat, half-demon, schnapps loving, children whipping, horned god of the witches is the most recognizable of all holiday bad boys and has been depicted in numerous way, but the consistency has always been his long twisted horns, a long tail, snake-like tongue, razor-sharp claws, and black hooves for feet. Additionally, he often wears a long heavy coat, wrapped in heavy chains, with some type of big bell attached.
Krampus is bad cop to Santa’s good cop. He carries a bundle of birch branches for whipping naughty children and stuffs the really, really bad ones into a basket or sack that he takes home to torture, drown and eat.
How this devil ended up as Santa’s evil sidekick is a mystery but he’s the only one celebrated internationally, even has his own designated night, Krampusnacht on December 5th
Embrace the Spooky Side of the Holidays
Krampus is more proof that Halloween and Christmas go together like peanut butter and jelly. Artists, creators, and movie makers have been genre-bending and making the holidays scary for decades.
From twisted Santa histories to spooky holiday tales, there are plenty of the dark or supernatural elements to admire or revere during the holiday season.
So, dry your tears and get to planning, cuz the holiday scares are just beginning. Put some fangs on your snowman or hang some bloody reindeer antler bones on your front door and your relatives just might behave on Thanksgiving day.
*revised photo 11/12
Halloween may be officially over but we keep on celebrating here at Halloween Haiku!
This holiday season, I wanna get back to showcasing art from amateur, intermediate, or relatively unknown artists that I come across. Today, I’m sharing the cool digital art of JayGraphixx, titled Silk and Potions
Social Media: www.instagram.com/jaygraphixx/
To view more of his art, please go here:
Don’t tell Disney Sr. Designer Caley Hicks that Halloween can’t be cute because there will be cute! If you’re looking for new wallpaper or love to sew, you’re gonna fall in love with Caley Hick’s designs. Personally, I’m waiting for the day that she turns her boo-tiful art into wrapping paper!
To view more of Caley Hick’s art, please visit her website here: https://caleyhicks.myportfolio.com/
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThereWillBeCute?
The Old Dark House (pre-code 1932)
“Have a potato.”
Kicking off Tuesday Terror is black/white classic The Old Dark House from 1932. Once considered a horror film, really, it’s more a thriller-comedy about a group of travelers, who on one violent stormy night, find themselves stranded in the mansion of an eccentric Femm family and their creepy mute butler.
Directed by James Whale and produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr. at Universal Pictures Corp., who were still riding the wave of success from the horror sensation, Frankenstein, the film starred soon-to-be-leading man Melvyn Douglas, English actors Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore and Lilian Boyd, and was the first Hollywood film for both British star Charles Laughton and Canada’s Raymond Massey. The film gave up-and-coming starlet Gloria Stuart her first starring role as well, and oddly enough, the film hottest star at the time, Boris Karloff, received his first credited starring role (Karloff’s name was not printed on Frankenstein publicity packages).
The Old Dark House is one of the first atmospheric, dark, creepy house movies. The lightening and cinematography and dreadful, menacing music sets the tone perfectly: cold, dark and wet. While it has its moments of creepy melodrama, particularly towards the end, I found the movie quite humorous. The script was brimming with funny lines and sardonic wit, remember, this is pre-code too, so there’s drinking, smoking, and a very thinly dressed leading lady.
As for the scares, it’s an entertaining build to the end, and then, it gets real dark and weird. Most of the horror is contained to the audience not knowing the motivations of the hulking mute butler, Morgan, played by Boris Karloff, in a role so similar to Frankenstein’s monster, the movie company issued a notice in the first frame that this movie is not the Frankenstein movie released in 1931. Unlike the sympathetic monster, Morgan is a nasty piece of work here, a mean drunk who terrorizes Gloria Stuart’s Margaret, navigating her way in the dark like a delicate gazelle.
There’s some real laugh out loud moments and charming interactions between the travelers, as well as a rushed love story, or maybe I’m just too cynical to believe two people can indeed fall in love in ten minutes. Despite not knowing whether to laugh or hide under the covers, it’s those bizarre and charming characters that really make the film worth watching. The film was even marketed on the strength of its cast and for being weird.
One of the highlights is Ms. Rebecca Femm played by the veteran stage actress and women’s suffrage activist, Eva Moore. Her turn as a cantankerous religious fanatic going deaf is both creepy and hilarious. Rebecca hates the idea of opening up her home to strangers (“No beds! They can’t have beds!”) and seizes several moments to insult her guests, especially the young and beautiful Margaret.
In 1957, Universal lost the rights to the film and the William Castle was hired to direct the remake in 1963 for Columbia Pictures. The original film was considered lost for many years until found by director Curtis Harrington, who discovered a negative print in the Universal Vaults in 1968. The first reel was in such bad shape, the famed George Eastman House was brought in to help restore the film.
With lukewarm reviews, the pic didn’t do much box office business in the US but broke some records in the UK, due in part to the talented English cast. Now, The Old Dark House is just an underrated thriller with a cult following.
Don’t forget to join us for Tuesday Trivia: http://halloweenhaiku.freeforums.net/thread/8/random-classic-horror-movie-trivia