Hey! It’s Music Monday!
There’s nothing I like better on a cold winter’s evening (and sometimes in the summer too) is a cup of Irish coffee and some dark classical music. Whether it be a mournful aria or a draggy dirge in a lovely minor key, the dulcet tones of a sorrowful violin or the lamenting mezzo-sorprano.
I thrive on that shit.
Forget about the dog dying in movies or some drama on television. Youwant to bring a tear to my eye, play me a tune in a minor key. Those gloomy chord progressions will get me every single time.
Here we go.
Dido’s Lament – Dido and Aeneas, Henry Purcell
In operas, someone always dies. Here, it’s Dido. She’s taken poison because her great love, Aeneas, has abandoned her. Grab the tissue and take a look at her first lines: (Belinda is her lady in waiting)
“Thy hand Belinda….darkness shades me….on thy bosom, let me rest…
More I would….but death invades me….Death is now a welcome guest….”
And the great, greatc Jessye Norman brings these lyrics right to your doorstep.
“Remember me….but ah! Forget my fate…..”
Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
One of the comments on this video (paraphrase): “I listen to this in the dark with a cup of tea…like a psychopath”
Frederic Chopin – Waltz in A minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Prelude, Opus 2 #2 in C sharp minor
John Williams – Theme from Schindler’s List, Performed by Itzhak Perlman
Go ahead. Get the tissues, sob, breathe, then touch up your black eyeliner and tighten the laces on your Doc Martens. I hope you enjoyed my little gothy list of classical songs.
Peace, Love, Unity
Greetings all and Happy October!
Over here in New Jersey, USA, it’s hurricane season, which means the winds are blowing and the skies are deliciously overcast. Rain falls, mist gathers and there’s fog in the mornings. A perfect start to October, wouldn’t you say?
So what are these must see events, you’re asking? With no further ado, let’s get the list going.
Black Speculative Fiction Month
Speculative fiction: (according to Wikipedia):
Speculative fiction is a broad category of narrative fiction that includes elements, settings and characters created out of imagination and speculation rather than based on reality and everyday life. It encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, and magic realism. It typically strays strongly from reality and so may feature fictional types of beings like mythical creatures and supernatural entities, technologies that do not exist in real life like time machines and interstellar spaceships, or magical or otherwise scientifically inexplicable elements. The term’s popularity is sometimes attributed to Robert Heinlein, who referenced it in 1947 in an editorial essay, although there are prior mentions of speculative fiction, or its variant “speculative literature”.
Easy enough, right? This is by no means a complete list, just something to get you started.
Colors in Darkness Halloween Event
This is the second year of the mighty successful Halloween Party from last year.
You’ve got to attend. And why not? It’s going on the whole weekend. At least stop by to have a little fun.
Black Girl Magic Lit Mag’s ALL HORROR ISSUE will hit the virtual stands on October 15, 2016. Don’t miss getting your copy!
Charred Remains Horror Trivia 2016:
Char of Charred Remains Treat for Trivia Horror Game. Beginning end of September through October 31st. A test of player’s horror knowledge. High scores will win prizes. Game rules on www.charredremainsreviews.
Six week event!
Click this link to be taken to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1145943362142469/
Blogtoberfest, my yearly fun of things scary, creepy and Halloweeny, is now located at darkindigohearts.com. Click the pic to be taken there!
Looks like this October will be a busy one!
Title: The Houses October Built
Genre: Horror, Found Footage-ish
Director: Bobby Roe
Writers: Zack Andrews
Stars: Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1958043/
HERE MAY BE SPOILERS
Portions of the movie may or may not be revealed.
Synopsis: Beneath the fake blood and cheap masks of countless haunted house attractions across the country, there are whispers of truly terrifying alternatives. Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them…
Today we have the found-footage (i.e. some of the film was shot with a hand-held camera) movie.
The Houses October Built is quite a creepy movie. The gist of the movie is that five friends travel in an RV on old back roads of the countryside(you know that’s already trouble) to find the underground haunted houses which contain the REAL scares. Because, you know, the extreme haunted houses just aren’t enough scares for these people. And, I supposed bored twenty-somethings need a “real scare” to wake them out of their stylish boredom.
Of course, on the way, they’re asking the haunted house actors about the underground haunted houses where the terror is real.
Sigh. Mind you, the movie is framed as a documentary. Just seeing the interviews with these haunted house “players” was enough for me. Some of these folks presented a scary presence even without the makeup. In addition, it’s implied some of these folks are on the shady side of the law, and might not be the best folks to be trusted.
Eventually, the trip turns weird. They are being followed by a creepy crew who don’t speak but just stare, a la The Strangers. Instead of turning around and driving all night to get home, (because, movie) they continue on this trip and are stalked by some nefarious miscreants.
All in all, the movie was averagely (is that a word) satisfying and the haunted house themselves give you a bit of a scare, while the people they interview give you an overall uneasy vibe.
I do wish the ending had been different. If you want to know what I’m talking about, scroll past the trailer.
All in all I say, take the ride with the movie. If you resist the urge to get annoyed at some of the actors’ decisions, you’ll finish the movie with a couple of genuinely creepy moments.
Grade: B– The characters grew to be rather stupid and thus unlikable, but as a horror movie, they do deliver on the scares.
Note: There is a film of the same name from 2011. I have not seen that one, but from what I read about it, it’s more of a documentary than fictionalized horror movie. The same people are in it and they use some of the real clips of the interviews in the 2014 film.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
The ending was a flop for me because it ended up being just a bunch of killers. I would have liked it to be just an extreme haunted house experience. I think that would have made the entire movie much more interesting.
It’s only fair, since I’m writing about scary stuff this month, is to highlight some spooky places in New Jersey. Despite being the Garden State, there’s a ton of mysteries surrounding some of the horse pastures and lovely farms.
So light the lantern and let’s take a closer look behind the cobwebs.
The Jersey Devil
The Jersey Devil is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, United States. The creature is often described as a flyingbiped with hooves, but there are many different variations. The common description is that of a kangaroo-like creature with the head of a goat, leathery bat-like wings,horns, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail. It has been reported to move quickly and often is described as emitting a “blood-curdling scream.”
I’ve seen some pictures of the Jersey Devil that looks my dog trying to dress up for Halloween. There is even reported “video” of the Jersey Devil. Obviously, is a legend and a kinda corny one at that, but still, it makes me laugh to see the claims. If you happen to see the Jersey Devil while you’re wandering around in the Pine Barrens, give him (or her) a carrot and a cube of sugar.
Snippets from the New York Daily News:
“It’s like a dark highway into people’s innermost fears.” That’s how Mark Moran, publisher and co-creator of the Weird NJ magazine and website, sums up Clinton Road, a quiet and twisty stretch of road roughly 55 miles northwest of New York City.
“People definitely play on the legend [of Clinton Road],” said Mark Moran. He mentions the menacing black truck that lurks on the road. Appearing out of nowhere, the truck gets extremely close to your rear bumper, flashes its lights, and then suddenly disappears into the night.
This rugged ten mile stretch of deserted road is so rich in lore that it has been attracting late night visitors for generations. The stories that these sightseeing sojourners have brought back with them of their adventures are sometimes harrowing, often terrifying, and almost always intriguing. Many of these tales of midnight joyrides may seem unbelievable, while others leave one wondering just where truth ends, and an overactive imagination begins.
If you ever decide to travel down Clinton Road at midnight, stop at the bridge by dead man’s curve. As the story goes if you sit on that bridge and throw pennies into the river, the ghost of a young boy will throw them back to you. –Anonymous
My friends and I decided to find out for ourselves what is true and what is not. We went to the bridge and threw a quarter off. Not but a minute later you hear the bloop, as if you dropped the quarter in again. The water filled with ripples and a child’s reflection appeared. I flew back to the car. That scared all of us. –Dina, West Milford
The Devil’s Tree
Local legend suggests the tree is cursed: those who damage or disrespect the tree (usually by urinating on it, or making disparaging remarks about it while nearby) will soon thereafter come to some sort of harm, often in the form of a car accident or major breakdown as
they leave. The tree’s history is surrounded by superstition, and common theories claim that Bernards Township was one of the central headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey and that the tree had been used to lynch African Americans and rebellious slaves since Colonial times. Another theory claims that a farmer hanged himself from the tree after killing his family and that anyone trying to cut the tree down will “come to an untimely end”. Other urban legends surrounding the tree allege that visitors who get too close to the tree will get chased by a black Ford pick-up truck that will then disappear at a certain point, or that anyone who touches the tree will find that their hands have turned black if they try to eat at a restaurant.
In winter, the ground beneath the tree is allegedly free from snow, no matter how much has fallen or how recently. A nearby boulder called “Heat Rock”, and sometimes the tree itself, are said to be warm to the touch regardless of the season or time of day, and is believed to be a portal to Hell.
The township’s plans to develop the land might have required the tree’s removal, but it decided to protect the tree and keep it intact. In 2007, a sign was posted at the site stating when it is open to the public. The Devil’s Tree is currently surrounded by a chain-link fence due to vandalism.
There are so many other scary/haunted places in New Jersey! Check out WeirdNJ.com if you want to read more.