ALL HALLOWS (1926) – Written by Walter de la Mare. In recent decades Walter de la Mare’s horror stories have begun to get as much attention as his poetry. This particular tale is about a haunted cathedral but there is also a blatant subtext.
Our narrator has walked for several miles to reach remote All Hallows Cathedral. The once-prominent place has fallen into disrepair and has become so rarely used for religious services that it has become more of a curious tourist attraction than “holy” site.
Appropriately for a horror story our protagonist has arrived as the sun is going down. The odd, perhaps half-crazed Verger (Anglican Church Caretaker) impatiently leads the new arrival on a tour of the degenerating interior. Almost like a Halloween Funhouse host the Verger emphasizes the creepy lore about All Hallows.
Nightfall is well along by the time he tells the narrator about the temporary disappearance of the previous chief clergyman, who was later found in a dark corner. The Holy Man was weeping and crazed and never recovered his sanity. Continue reading
Obviously I’m proceeding from the assumption that just about ANY song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show qualifies as a Halloween Song. Here we go:
ROSAURA (1817) – Written by Friedrich Fouque. Halloween Month 2017 is dying quickly. Here is another neglected story from the late Gothic Horror period. Rosaura has a fairly unique supernatural premise so that alone should have earned it a wider following by now.
No vampires or ghosts or werewolves feature in this tale, but instead a more offbeat kind of supernatural horror. Count von Wildeck packs up his guns and wears his finest clothing for a visit to the castle of Colonel von Haldenbach, whose niece Rosaura he wants to romance.
After an amiable first day of the visit, Count von Wildeck is warned by his host the Colonel to lock himself very securely in his bedroom. The Colonel seems tempted to explain things more clearly to Von Wildeck but is too frightened. Continue reading
You knew it was coming at some point! It’s Warren Zevon with a very popular Halloween song.
FOR THE OTHER CREATURES IN THIS MONSTER RALLY CLICK HERE
First Appearance: Rappaccini’s Daughter (1844)
Cryptid Category: Human-plant hybrid.
Lore: Beatrice Rappaccini, also called the Poison Woman, had been experimented on by her mad scientist father since infancy. Some dark rumors even held that the father – Doctor Giacomo Rappaccini – had spawned her from a seed-pod and that his tales of a wife were lies.
Beatrice was so toxic that she was the only one alive who could come into contact with the monstrous and deadly plants in her father’s courtyard garden. The Poison Woman’s beauty drove men wild, tempting many admirers to brave the dangers of her father’s mutated plant life.
The dark beauty’s flesh was a toxic poison and her breath could kill insects, snakes, rats and small children. Dead creatures made the ideal fertilizer for the creations of Beatrice’s father. It was hinted that Beatrice fed on the vermin killed by her breath, just like Venus Flytraps and other carnivorous plant-life. Continue reading
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CEMETERY MAN (DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE) (1994) – This film is based on stories by Tiziano Sclavi, the man at the center of “Sclavian philosophy” from Italy. Michele Soavi directed and Rupert Everett starred as the hero, Francesco Dellamorte. Dellamorte is the gravedigger and custodian of Buffalora Cemetery, Buffalora being a fictional town supposedly in the north of Italy.
If you ever wondered what the Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner would have been like if it had been done as a horror story rather than sci-fi then Cemetery Man is the movie for you! The film employs the same Kafkaesque themes that The Prisoner did with heavy overtones of Sartre’s work The Myth of Sisyphus.
The dead buried in Buffalora Cemetery tend to come back to life as killer zombies after seven days. Dellamorte, with minimal help from his rotund and simple-minded assistant Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro), destroys the undead monsters. Our hero gets no thanks from the living citizens of Buffalora, however, who treat him like a Village Idiot and spread rumors that he is either impotent or a eunuch. Mysterious benefactors pay Dellamorte well for his thankless job via envelopes of cash that they mail to him. Continue reading
Halloween Month is slipping away! Think of this song as being about witch’s brew or the strange brew made by the Gnomes of the Catskills during their one week here on Earth each October.