Music For The Grim(m) Season:  Louis Armstrong and your favorite mouse

Good eeeeeeeevening, daaaaarrrrrrrrrlink creatures, dooooooo come innnnnn!  Tonight’s spooky installment of Music For The Grim(m) Season comes to you courtesy of ol’ Satchmo himself, Louis Armstrong, who has been known to sing a creepy Christmas song or two in his time. Alas, but the great Louie is dead, having departed waaaaaay back in 1971.  This […]

Music for The Grim(m) Season: Unto Ashes

Happy third day of Hallowmas!  It’s the Day of the Dead, aka All Souls’ Day; and while we’ll get into describing that later next week in more detail, for now we’ll help you celebrate with this week’s musical offering. Unto Ashes is a musical ensemble that describes itself as “unrepentant purveyors of apocalyptic folk, medieval […]

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 […]

Spooky drinking and dining:  a Tiki Bar from the Twilight Zone!

Imagine:  could there possibly be a Tiki bar (of all things) with spooky overtones?  YES!  There is!  And it’s in Chicago!  Three Dots and a Dash, a Tiki bar with skulls lined up all around the room, and to-die-for killer tropical drinks with headbanger names.  When I read about it, I almost died laughing.  Alfred […]

Spooky doings on the Chicago River:  Haunted tours by speedboat

So:  haunted houses, pumpkin vendors, and horror film fests aren’t enough for you, eh?  Well, how about this – a haunted Halloween boat tour!  How very Chicago … though I imagine you could do it in other cities, too. If you’re in town, there is indeed a spooky cruise you can take, courtesy of Seadog […]

Spooky stuff in the neighborhood: Midnight Terror Haunted House in SW suburban Chicago

Brothers Justin and Dylan Cerniuk have been making their own Halloween decorations and displays since Justin, the elder, was 10.  Their testing ground was the Nottingham neighborhood where they grew up, a thin finger of Chicago east of 74th Street and Harlem Avenue caught between Bedford Park, Bridgeview and Burbank.  An uncle began taking them […]

Spooky sharing:  the stories behind our Halloween traditions

Where do we get some of our Halloween traditions?  Well, since many of them were brought along by some of the earliest settlers in the American colonies, it’s unsurprising that many of them come from either the British Isles or from Celtic culture in Ireland and mainland Europe.  And now I’ve found a new source […]

Music For The Grim(m) Season:  Spooky Songs Of The Week bonus tune – A-Soalin’

Aw heck, I couldn’t help myself.  Here I was, looking for material for the next post, when a tune kept nagging me in the back of my head.  The truth is that when I spent time over the last week looking into the music of Kristen Lawrence, the tune I really wanted to hear was […]

Music For The Grim(m) Season:  Spooky Songs Of The Week, Oct. 12th

Have you ever thought that Halloween deserved its own set of serious spooky music?  We don’t mean camp or cute, though the soundtracks that Danny Elfman wrote for Tim Burton‘s dark fairy tales border on that.  We also don’t mean pop music (“Monster Mash” would certainly qualify for that category).  Naturally, there’s already classical music […]

Ghost stories in the library – for Halloween!

A few posts ago, we wrote about haunted libraries.  Well, I was in my local public library recently, looking for spooky, moody stuff to read.  Since we’ve had some rain lately, I was looking for some Nathaniel Hawthorne.  I know that when most American readers think of Gothic, spooky and classical American literature at this […]