Spooky tales:  Origins of the Headless Horseman

Whoa:  it turns out the fictional Ichabod Crane wasn’t the first poor schmuck to encounter the Headless Horseman and that author Washington Irving may have been inspired by older tales of same.  Who’d have thunk it?  Our WordPress and Twitter pal across the pond Ed Mooney, photographer and chronicler of Gaelic folklore, has a recent […]

Spooky venues: L.A.’s haunted Griffith Park

Hello again, spookyfriends!  Warming up to that shift in the Polar Vortex yet?  Naaah, we didn’t think so.  Stick with the hot beverages and down booties, etc.; this won’t be over for a while yet. We thought we’d give you a better reason for the shivers, one that might keep you warmer: a column about […]

Spooky holidays:  Solstice tales – The Werewolves of Anne Rice

Holiday greetings, dear spookyfans!  Are you enjoying the Grim(m) Season so far?  Yes, the days keep growing shorter, which leaves us in the northern hemisphere with longer evenings for things to go bump in the night. As you may know, there are certain astronomical events during the year that held special significance for the ancients […]

Spooky folk figures:  Tales of the Golem

Now that we’re past Allhallowtide, perhaps it’s time during The Dead Season to take a look at frightful creatures from non-Christian traditions.  Given that Hannukkah will be coming up before Christmas, the Jewish story of the golem comes to mind.  A golem is a mythical being from Jewish folk culture, but it really made an […]

Spooky TV:  Gotham, s01, ep06 – It’s All About The Goat

Greetings, spookyfriends!  Two weeks ago Sunday was November 2, the Day of the Dead, which may prompt visions of dancing skeletons dressed in their over-the-top best and sugar skulls for a gruesome treat.  If you’re of Hispanic extraction (Mexican, mostly), you probably would have been picnicking in the cemetery and remembering your lost loved ones, […]

Music for the Grim(m) Season  – Dancing on graves

Welcome, spookyfriends!  Since this week began on Monday with the Day of the Dead, we thought this week’s music should relate to the dead.  Not the honored saints of last Sunday (All Saints’ Day), but the rest of the dead whom we remember on All Souls’ Day, November 2.  You know, that day when people […]

All hail Allhallowtide, or:  Happy Halloween, spooky friends!

[An opening aside from Marie:  it’s bloody well snowing right now in Chicago, even if it is just little pellets that evaporate before hitting the ground,  there’s a fierce, numbingly cold wind, and the waves are crashing over the barriers on Lake Michigan, pounding the sand like it was in a battle for the WWF […]

Favorite spooky stories:  Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Let’s “face” it, Sleepy Hollow is scary.  The concept, the story or the excellent movie by Tim Burton with its terrific spooky rural eerie countryside ambience – doesn’t matter which one you mean, ’cause they’re all creepy.  And yes, there’s also a major Haunted Attraction in Ulster, NY that pays homage to the headless wonder.   […]

Music For The Grim(m) Season:  Pretty Polly

It’s that time of year again for creepy music, and so it will be until winter finally fades (or at least until the solstice, when the days start growing longer again).  In this installment of our continuing series Music For The Grim(m) Season, we bring you that particular subset of traditional folk music known as […]

Old World origins of The Spooky Holiday Trifecta, Oct. 31 – Nov. 2

It’s like a haunted long weekend:  Halloween (October 31), All Saints’ Day (November 1), and All Souls’ Day (November 2), better known to those of Hispanic extraction as the Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos; more on that in our next post).  This triduum or three-day holy observance was established in the 8th […]