This One's Haunted
My Dearest Trick or Treaters:
Happy ALMOST Halloween! This week we continue in our quest for all things Spooktober - covering demons and ghosts. TWO BIG ONES. Let’s get into it!
Listen, ghosts are my bread and butter. I could talk about ghosts all day long and I think they are THE most important and interesting form of human storytelling. Ghost stories tell us about ourselves, our history - and the things we want to forget. Ghosts are what happens when there’s something painful about the truth, and one day I’m going to write a dissertation on WHY AND HOW. Halloween is the best time for ghost stories, because as you know from my pagan history posts - the veil is thin. The ghosts are around!! Get streaming!!
Here Lies Ghost Content:
- Mary Ellen Pleasant Part 6: The Ghost
- The White Lady of Stow Lake - post
- The White Lady of Stow Lake - video
- The Ghost of Senator Broderick
- The Ghost of Senator Broderick - video
- The Phantom Ship Squando
- Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son!!)
- Ghostland by Colin Dickey
- Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach
Reality Ghost Shows - Bay Area Edition
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is watch local ghost content, so I curated a list of the most popular ghost shows and their Bay specific episodes. HELLA GHOSTS.
- S4 Ep 34: USS Hornet
- S5 Ep 57: Winchester Mystery House
- S7 Ep 78: Brookdale Lodge
- S7 Ep 85: Market Street Cinema
- S8 Ep 96: Alcatraz
- S18 Ep 193: Westerfeld House
- S19 Ep 211: Albion Castle
- S2 Ep 21: Winchester Mystery House
- S3 Ep 46: Presidio and Lullabye Lane in Millbrae
- S4 Ep 72: USS Hornet
- S6 Ep 103: Alcatraz
- S4 Ep4: Alcatraz
- S5 Ep 1: Winchester Mystery House
- S5 Ep 2: Mission Solano
Demonic possession is absolute canon in horror fiction and movies - especially American stuff. Since the 1970’s, there’s been an avalanche of devil and demon possession content, fueled in part by fundamentalist religious focus on the literal Devil and his quest for modern souls. This fed into the Satanic Panic of the 80s and 90s, and it’s also a very fucking scary concept. Even if you’re not religious - the idea that an otherworldly entity could invade your body and take it over is extremely frightening! Yes, there are some metaphors to be explored here, no I’m not going to bore you with them in this newsletter.
Here Lies Content:
- Sinister (possibly my favorite horror movie)
- Rosemary's Baby
- The Omen (1976)
- My Amityville Horror (documentary)
- The Descent
- Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack
- American Exorcism (article)
- You’re Wrong About: The Satanic Panic (podcast)
Fun Local Halloween Stuff
Terror Vault Presents: The Immortal Reckoning
I went last week! AND I LOVED IT!! These folks put on the best scary immersive experience in the Bay Area. It’s SO MUCH MORE than a Haunted House. This year’s theme is “The Immortal Reckoning,” and its focal point is 90’s Vampire Goth Culture - has anything ever possibly been more perfectly tailored to melt our cynical Gen X hearts??? The aesthetics are gorgeous, the vibe is pitch perfect, and there’s just enough humor to keep you from passing out from screaming. Yes, I screamed! A lot! Especially in the fucking SPIDER ROOM! The actors are really good and a lot of them are super hot, as a special bonus to all of us. Get there a little early and have a drink at the FANG BANG bar (heyyyyy TrueBlood) and watch the dancing sexy goth nuns.
Mayhem Mansion at the Haas-Lilienthal House
I haven’t been to this one but I’m hoping to fit it in. HLH is a gorgeously preserved Victorian mansion in Pacific Heights - it’s spooky without the theatrics so I can only imagine what it’s like when it’s dressed up. They have HAUNTED DOLL ROOM when it's NOT Halloween, so you know this shit will be good.