Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Samhain vs The Great Pumpkin

Yesterday I caught the smell of wood burning smoke in some freshly lit hearth in a home nearby.It is that time of the year. The days are getting shorter and the nights are drawing in. Full sail into the heart of The October Country. Halloween is just around the corner. All Souls Night. The Great Pumpkin is rising from the pumpkin patch. And there are not many of those in Northern Ireland. I have just finished reading A Stir Of Echoes by Richard Matheson to aid somewhat in getting in the mood. Written and first published in 1958 it still holds up well. A book with good character writing as well as a good thoroughly modern, for 1958, Haunting at its core. A good jazz score written by Miles Davis would be the perfect score for a moody reading. With a finger snapping theme tune song effortlessly by Bobby Darin to set the tone.
                I used to have an October ritual where I would read The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. It is the perfect mood piece for the autumnal shades that turn to winter. Full of rusty Halloween Hues as familiar as the lop sided grin cut into the face of a seasonal turnip. In Belfast we used turnips for Halloween lanterns not pumpkins. And we ate what we carved out. Hmmm.Turnip. I must admit the novel has lost some of its otherworldly and historic charm for me as I find the older I get the more like Ichabob Crane I become. Same reason I find it difficult to watch the David Lynch movie The Elephant Man.
It has me reaching for my pillowcase with the single eye hole cut out.
                 I am going to dig out The Legend Of Hell House by Matheson. I am going to once more seek out the company of The Roaring Giant Belasco and his hateful house. I know I have the film version somewhere at home too. With a hipster turn by Roddy McDowall being tormented by a weird electronic soundtrack in a house full of nauseating camera angles. Oh boy, cannot wait.
                My Da used to say YOU ARE NEVER ALONE WHEN YOU ARE READING A GOOD BOOK  and you know; the whole time I was reading A Stir Of Echoes I could not shake the feeling I was being watched....