It's the trope codifier in Anglo-centric literature; the first "spell" most of us ever learned (aside from perhaps "Abracadabra!"). Parts of it were even borrowed by John Williams for the composition Something Wicked from the Prisoner of Azkaban soundtrack. I am of course talking about that famous scene from Act 4 of the so-called Scottish … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 14: Double, Double Toil & Trouble
Before the pressure of social media, before the deluge of expensive costumes, all it took to generate a fun Hallowe'en costume was a bin-bag and a pair of scissors. A snip or two in the right places, a cheap plastic hat on your head, et viola - you are a witch! If your school teacher … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 25: An Ode to the Bin-Bag Witch
We all have it - sticky and warm and red - and if we don't, then we're probably dead. It's a fluid of life, and of horror. It feeds us, nourishes us, and even protects us from minor hurts - but it is also startling to look at and a fairly comment common fear... It … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, day 12: An Ode to Blood
Not to turn the conversation towards the macabre, but sometimes I find myself thinking of death. It's something which is inevitable given my career, but it has been on my mind a little more than usual in the last few months. One can only guess why... And often when I think of death, I wonder … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 11: The Haunting of Wednesday’s Child
A rather depressing Scottish statistic (aisde from the continuing modern ills of poverty and poor life expectancy) is that, during the witch trials of the late 16th and 17th centuries, Scotland tried and executed three times as many "witches" per capita as the rest of Europe. A hysteria that permeated from the upper echelons of … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 10: Witch Hunt!
The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 9: The Cask of Amontillado
Before there was Hallowe'en, before there was All Hallow's Eve, and perhaps even before there was Christianity, there was Samhain, a Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season, and the encroach of winter. Our ancestors believed that this was when the barrier between our world and the spiritual world was weakest, and … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 8: Tumshie Lanterns
Recently, I was reading through a list of writing prompts when I stumbled across an unfamiliar term: dark academia. My mind immediately filled with images of ghostly lessons after hours, studies of necromancy, vampires and zombies wandering the halls (since Oxford never gave a definitive answer to the Vampires versus Zombies question, let's assume they … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 7: Dark Academia
Back in 2018, it was posted online that some interviewees for places at Oxford University were asked: Would you rather be a vampire or a zombie? I've heard urban legend of similarly off-piste interview questions for many years now. Is the purpose of these questions to test a candidate's cognitive reasoning and thought process when … Continue reading 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 6: Vampire or Zombie?
Just a short post for today! Late summer/early autumn brings with it not merely a change in weather, but the appearance of various mushrooms and toadstools in the grass. I spotted this particularly interesting one a few weeks ago... To which I pose the question: pelvis or fungi? All contributions to the debate welcome!