Tag Archives: Monsters

Around the Common Room: October 12, 2012

The Hog’s Head isn’t the only site pulling out the Halloween props–ghosts, spooks and goblins are all over the web! To begin, you may want to get your Potter-themed costume from OfficialHarryP

otterCostumes.com. Though making your own is always a perfectly good choice, too.

On Blu-Ray this fall: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection, which includes such famed monsters as The Phantom of the Opera, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Mummy.

Definitely frightening: a pie chart of Voldemort’s soul, describing what percentage is in which Horcrux (assuming a 50/50 split every time).

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The Beast of Bray Road

“Personal haunting” is an intriguing term. It seems almost as if the haunt is going out of its way to make you feel special–personalized notes under the door, handwritten frights, your name whispered down dark corridors, or perhaps even your own picture as a ghostly reflection in the mirror.

The letterbox slammed. Jake picked up the note–just a piece of A4 folded in half, with a note written in green ink.

“Dear Jake, [he read]

Boo.

Dreadfully yours,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Spookable”

Jake sighed, shivered, glanced anxiously round the hallway. Somehow, knowing the identity of his Secret Santa wasn’t as reassuring as he’d hoped.

While I may or may not have some personal hauntings to recall, I did grow up not far from a regional spook. Walworth County, Wisconsin, is in many was typical small-town Midwest Americana. We even had our own werewolf: The Beast of Bray Road. Reported sightings date mostly from the 80s and 90s. The monster gained that most coveted of sppok recognitions: even skeptical authorities reluctantly agreed there was “something out there…something out of the ordinary.”

I’ve been to Bray Road. It’s a back road around the farms and fields of Elkhorn, flattish and uninteresting, between Route 11 and I-12. It was winter when I drove down there. Clods of earth glittered frozen with frost, and the few trees were leafless. It was one of those gray, November-like days you’ll get in a snowless January in Wisconsin. It was bitterly cold. For some reason, I remember the way the sun gleamed off the salt crust on the shoulder.

I didn’t see the monster. But it struck me, even then, that it was the sort of place where a monster might be seen.

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