Zombie Legends in the Age of Mass Man

By |2020-10-30T15:23:04-05:00October 30th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Death, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Modernity, Myth|

Zombie legends remain a relevant medium that continues to capture the imaginations of modern people. As with any myth or legend, we gain wisdom about ourselves when we endeavor to unearth the symbolic meanings that lie buried beneath the surface. At times, what we find is as frightening as it is illuminating. With the Halloween [...]

The Best American Ghost Story? William Gilmore Simms’ “Grayling”

By |2020-10-28T11:11:44-05:00October 29th, 2020|Categories: Fiction, Halloween, Timeless Essays|

William Gilmore Simms When it comes to stories that make your hair stand on end everyone’s mind understandably goes to master of macabre Edgar Allan Poe. But what did Poe himself consider the best ghost story? Of William Gilmore Simms’s short story “Grayling, or Murder Will Out,” Poe wrote “it is really an [...]

The Halloween-ness of Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique”

By |2020-03-19T17:45:23-05:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Halloween, Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series|

It’s October, Halloween is approaching and I am obsessed with Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Blame it on the title and mood of the symphony’s fifth movement: “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath.” Could any title be more deliciously spooky? It’s this movement, and this symphony, that make classical music people nod in recognition at the sound of Hector Berlioz’s [...]

The Witches of “Macbeth”: A Weyward Translation

By |2019-10-30T17:42:37-05:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tragedy, William Shakespeare|

Enter three sisters as thunder and lightning clash above. Their very presence inspires both fear and wonder of the unknown. William Shakespeare’s broad audience of commoners, merchants, and nobility all readily acknowledge their supernatural presence, the stuff of superstition. But what was Shakespeare’s intent for their appearance? What are they? Imagine a smoking cauldron rising [...]

To Tell a Tale With Washington Irving

By |2019-06-27T10:39:49-05:00October 30th, 2018|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Halloween, Humor, Imagination, Literature|

Storytelling shaped Washington Irving and his life as much as he shaped it. Irving describes how from boyhood he rambled about the countryside and “made myself familiar with all its places famous in history or fable. I knew every spot where a murder or robbery has been committed or a ghost seen. I visited the [...]

“The Unfortunate Fate of Septimus Wise”: A Ghost Story

By |2020-10-13T12:44:22-05:00October 30th, 2018|Categories: Fiction, Halloween, Stephen Masty|

The young man intended to purchase my death and, presumably and in some manner carry it away so that I never would meet with it. Immortality, wealth, my beloved Jessica all rotated in kaleidoscopic vision before my eyes. Editor’s Note: The following short story was left unpublished at the author’s death. Thomas Masty, the author’s [...]

Ten Spooky Classical Music Favorites for Halloween

By |2020-10-27T11:45:04-05:00October 30th, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Culture, Halloween, J.S. Bach, Jean Sibelius, Music, Sergei Rachmaninoff|

It’s Halloween, and you’re looking for that perfect, spooky Halloween music that’s a little more sophisticated than “The Monster Mash” and “Thriller” and “Werewolves of London.” Look no further, friends. I’ve done my own hopping around to see what others consider to be their Top 10 classical spooky favorites. My list is a little different; [...]

What the Devil to Do About Halloween?

By |2018-10-30T22:59:24-05:00October 30th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Death, Halloween, History, Sainthood|

What are the historical roots of Halloween? Should Christians celebrate this holiday? And if so, how?… Not that the Mass of the day has mention of black cats, or the Divine Office of witches, but for so long Halloween meant nothing but parties and vandalism that when someone first proposed that it came out of [...]

“Two Ghosts Converse”

By |2020-03-09T00:12:50-05:00October 30th, 2016|Categories: Death, Halloween, Poetry|

I died for beauty — but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb, When One who died for Truth, was lain In an adjoining room— He questioned softly "Why I failed?" "For beauty," I replied— "And I — for truth, — Themself are One — We brethren, are," He said— And so, as Kinsmen, met at Night— We [...]

Did a Demon Make Me Do It?

By |2019-10-23T12:44:49-05:00October 31st, 2015|Categories: Christianity, Featured, Halloween, Religion, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

Mankind has long believed in the existence of evil spirits that haunt and torment the living. Tales of demons are found in many ancient civilizations, including the Assyrian, Persian, Hindu, and Hebrew; the first known account of demons is in the Testament of Solomon, supposedly written by the Hebrew king Solomon himself, but thought to [...]

Russell Kirk and the Haunting of Piety Hill

By |2020-10-23T15:47:00-05:00June 9th, 2015|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Featured, Fiction, Halloween, Russell Kirk|

The curtain between the world of the living and that of the dead was for Russell Kirk truly thin, as evidenced in his scholarly work and in his fiction. A ghost, as Kirk understood it, was a soul trapped between physical and eternal existence. The curtain between the world of the living and of the [...]

Remembering the Real Halloween

By |2020-10-28T22:30:37-05:00October 31st, 2014|Categories: Halloween, History, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

Probably at no other time in the history of mankind have cities been destroyed by the deliberate acts of their inhabitants. A mad world, my masters! Yesteryear’s festive bonfire in the village square, with its half jocular, half fearful notions of ghostly presences, has given way to a diabolical destruction in the core of some [...]

Ten Scary Classical Music Pieces for Halloween

By |2020-10-22T15:29:26-05:00October 31st, 2014|Categories: Antonin Dvorak, Audio/Video, Franz Schubert, Halloween, Hector Berlioz, J.S. Bach, Jean Sibelius, Music, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

Great music pierces the soul…and can sometimes terrify it. Over the centuries, composers, like nearly all artists of every variety, have been fascinated by the subject of death and by the supernatural—the world of witches, goblins, ghosts, and demons. Composers have given us Dances of the Dead, frightful tone poems and songs, scary opera scenes, [...]

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