by Shirley Drew
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…”
~Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven
Standing on the deck, I pull my jacket tight around my shoulders. The evenings are chilly now. I gaze out at my butterfly garden, once full of color, now fading. It’s starting to get dark. Walking back inside, I drop my jacket on a chair. I find myself glancing at the fireplace. Should I build a fire? And then I remember…it’s nearly Halloween.
I close the blinds. I check the door locks. I sit in my favorite chair, pull a quilt over my lap, and curl up with one of my favorite scary tales.
I love scary stories. Stories that make me pull that quilt up a little higher, almost to my chin. Stories that make me hear every sound the house makes as it settles into the foundation. Stories that make me want to peek carefully around the blind so I can see outside the window to my front porch…is there someone--or something--out there??
As Halloween approaches, I challenge you to to curl up with your favorite scary stories. Just make sure your doors are locked. And close the blinds. What--no favorites? Then perhaps I can interest you in some of mine…
"The Tell-Tale Heart", by Edgar Allan Poe (1843)
“Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.”
Dracula, by Bram Stoker (1897)
“There was one great tomb more lordly than all the rest; huge it was, and nobly proportioned. On it was but one word, DRACULA.”
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson (1959)
“It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of a house; Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed.”
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (1966)
“I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat.”
The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty (1971)
“Perhaps evil is the crucible of goodness... and perhaps even Satan - Satan, in spite of himself - somehow serves to work out the will of God.”
The Shining, by Stephen King (1977)
“Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win.”
The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris (1988)
“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
Enjoy your Halloween. And don’t forget to lock the doors…