Trick or Treat?
Spookings on Halloween: Paula Guran
“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.”
Spookings on Halloween: Seth Adam Smith
“The pumpkin itself is a symbol for mortality. Like mortals, the pumpkin seed is planted in the darkness of the earth, where it is left to search for the light. When the plant finally sprouts, it travels along the ground, as if in search of its place in the world. Then, once the pumpkin has found its place, it blossoms into a fruit that towers above all others. And when the pumpkin is ripe, it’s a veritable life-giving force.”
Frightful Art for Halloween – Odilon Redon: “Smiling Spider”
Frightful Art for Halloween – Anonymous: Untitled (“Moaning Lisa”?)
“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen. Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!’”
A Poem for Halloween
By Walter de La Mare
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Frightful Art for Halloween – Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: “Kingo Chunagon Hideaki Looking Up at a Ghost”
“Clothes make a statement.
Costumes tell a story.”
A Second Poem for Halloween
“Ghosts and Fashion”
By Elaine Equi
Although it no longer has a body
to cover out of a sense of decorum,
the ghost must still consider fashion—
must clothe its invisibility in something
if it is to “appear” in public.
Some traditional specters favor
the simple shroud—
a toga of ectoplasm
swirling around them.
While others opt for lightweight versions
of once familiar tee shirts and jeans.
Perhaps being thought-forms,
they can change their outfits instantly—
or if they were loved ones,
it is we who clothe them
like dolls from memory.
“I dropped the candies into the children’s bags, thinking: You small mortals don’t realize the power of your stories.”
Halloween Humor – Part III of III
“Halloween is a day in which some people choose to wear a mask… while others finally feel safe to take theirs off.”
Below – Deeneniska: “Taking Off The False Mask.”
Frightful Art for Halloween – Gustav Klimt: “The Gorgons and Typhon”
A timely reminder:
“Even a man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright.”
Spookings on Halloween: Anne Finch
“I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.”
“Dusk in Autumn”
By Sara Teasdale
The moon is like a scimitar,
A little silver scimitar,
A-drifting down the sky.
And near beside it is a star,
A timid twinkling golden star,
That watches like an eye.
And thro’ the nursery window-pane
The witches have a fire again,
Just like the ones we make,—
And now I know they’re having tea,
I wsh they’d give a cup to me,
With witches’ currant cake.
Spookings on Halloween: George Carlin
“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”
Spookings on Halloween: Carolyn MacCullough
“I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper-thin and when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.”
A Fourth Poem for Halloween
By Anne Sexton
I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.
I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.
I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
“Halloween is an ancient druidic holiday, one the Celtic peoples have celebrated for millennia. It is the crack between the last golden rays of summer and the dark of winter; the delicately balanced tweak of the year before it is given over entirely to the dark; a time for the souls of the departed to squint, to peek and perhaps to travel through the gap.”