Tag Archives: horror

Around the Common Room: September 21, 2012

Today being the 75th anniversary of the release of The Hobbit, and tomorrow being Hobbit Day, you’ll want to have Second Breakfast–and there’s a site dedicated to helping you do just that at 11 AM today. (Reading this a few hours late? It’s eleven o’clock somewhere. Go for it!)

If you’re hosting, you might want to check out Jana Riess’ delightful piece titled “Everything I Needed to Know about Hospitality, I Learned from Molly Weasley.” The rest of us will want to check it out just because it’s about Molly Weasley; who could stand to miss an article on every wizard and witch’s favorite mum?

Once you’ve read about Mrs. Weasley, if you’re hungry for more posts on Potter, you might try yours truly’s little “Harry Potter and the Writer of Fairy Tales,” guest posted over at the lovely fairy tale blog Spinning Straw into Gold.

And one more for the Harry Potter department: a little Voldy humor.

In other news:

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Spooky Stories in the Hogwarts Common Rooms

It’s a dark and stormy Halloween night at Hogwarts.

The wind keens, and the Whomping Willow churns and rustles. Fang’s lugubrious howls curl around a full moon hovering between silvery clouds. The Hogwarts ghosts flit silently throughout the still castle. Filch and Mrs. Norris prowl the halls, seeking miscreants.

Having feasted, Hogwarts students are now gathered around sprightly fires in their respective common rooms, telling spooky stories, as they toast marshmallows on long forks. You are one of them, and we want to hear your tale of terror from the wizarding world.

Regale us with a scary story, featuring characters known or unknown to us. It may be a wizard urban legend; a story passed down in magical families, a chilling new tale, or a retelling of something printed in the Quibbler. Adapt a Muggle story, if you wish. But your tale must take place in the wizarding world.

We’re waiting . . .

The Great Old Pumpkin

What do you get when you combine Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos with Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts?  A twisted tale of hilarious horror, that’s what!

The Great Old Pumpkin, written by John Aegard, is such a tale.  It takes the mind bending terror of H.P. Lovecraft and blends it into the beloved children’s classic It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

During this humor week, I invite you to either read the story or listen to it here.  I prefer the audio version, performed by Steve Eley, the founder of the Escape Pod podcast.  So read or listen at your leisure and comment about it here.  But beware, your sanity may become a casuality. (Insert sinister laughter here.)

Mockingjay: Is There Redemption amid the Horror?

My first analytical thoughts about Mockingjay involved uncertainty as to how to write about it for any sort of discussion. The response that felt appropriate to me as I processed the last few pages of the book was silence—the sort of thing I would expect in parts of a funeral, or after touring a Holocaust museum. I hesitate to write that, because it might sound like I think John Granger is wrong for his twenty-odd-and-counting posts on the book or you fellow Pub members are wrong for your comments. I do not. There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak, and the tale needs both.

For now, I don’t know how to take Collins’ trilogy in any way other than as a portrayal of ultimate cruelty and suffering. The books might be alchemical; they might be symbolic on many levels; considering John’s proliferating posts on the subject, I’ll assume they are. Maybe someday I’ll be able to read those posts and think about the tale on that level. The fact that I have not may leave me with some wrong conclusions, but tonight, I am still not ready.

Spoilers follow.
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Happy Birthday, H.P!

Tomorrow, August 20th, is the 120th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday.  Lovecraft, of course, is well known for his writings in horror, science fiction, and fantasy, genres which I think most of us here at The Hogshead appreciate.

So, to toast the birthday of this noted author, let’s make tomorrow a “Read a Lovecraft Story” Day!  Feel free to post what you’ve read here or make any other comments on Lovecraft that you like.  Many of Lovecraft’s writings can be found on the Net.  Here’s a place to start.  If audio books are more your style, then try out LibriVox.  Enjoy!

Nosferatu: The Symphony of Horror

NosferatuShadowNosferatu, The Symphony of Horror (How’s that for a catchy name?) was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  It is, as far as I can tell from a brief research, one of the earliest adaptations of Dracula.  Directed by F.W. Murnau and released in 1922, the film attempted to get around the problem of not having the rights to the Stoker story by changing the setting from London to the fictional German city of Wisborg and also changing all the names of the characters.  Count Dracula becomes Count Orlok, Harker becomes Thomas Hutter, Renfield becomes Knock, and so on.  Minus the ending, though, the story is essentially the same as Dracula. Continue reading