Thursday, October 31, 2013

Creepy Halloween

Creepy Halloween sounds so much more fitting than "Happy Halloween", doesn't it?  Halloween is supposed to be creepy, because that's what makes it fun, after all.

Whether or not you believe that the gate between the worlds of the living and the dead will swing open on All Hallows Eve, a cemetery can be an intriguing place...

Please allow me to share with you some of my favorite "haunts'...

                                                                     Cemetery in Bloomington, IN

                                                              SpringGrove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH

                                                                New Orleans Cemetery, photo by Louis Martinie

The festival observed at this time was called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween). It was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year. The Celts believed that at the time of Samhain, more so than any other time of the year, the ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living, because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld....Virtually all present Halloween traditions can be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead. Halloween is a holiday of many mysterious customs, but each one has a history, or at least a story behind it. The wearing of costumes, for instance, and roaming from door to door demanding treats can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era, when it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and around, along with fairies, witches, and demons. Offerings of food and drink were left out to placate them.  ( Jack Santino, The American Folklife Center)

                                       shop window in Richmond, VA

                                                                          St. John's Church, Richmond, VA

The oldest gravestones I've ever seen were here.  At this church, Patrick Henry uttered the famous words, "Give me liberty, or give me death."

                              This burial is so old you can no longer make out any words or carving at all.

                                                                                        A beautiful place.

                                                               SpringGrove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH

                                                           SpringGrove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH

All Hallows Eve
By Dorothea Tanning
Be perfect, make it otherwise.
Yesterday is torn in shreds.
Lightning’s thousand sulfur eyes
Rip apart the breathing beds.
Hear bones crack and pulverize.
Doom creeps in on rubber treads.
Countless overwrought housewives,
Minds unraveling like threads,
Try lipstick shades to tranquilize
Fears of age and general dreads.
Sit tight, be perfect, swat the spies,
Don’t take faucets for fountainheads.
Drink tasty antidotes. Otherwise
You and the werewolf: newlyweds.

Who knew Dorothea Tanning wrote such things? Enchanting!


  1. Excellent post, Sharmon! Wow, Dorthy's poem... I agree, how knew!!!???
    happy Halloween, sus

    1. I really love that poem- so creepy, yet playful. I didn't even know she wrote poetry!

  2. oh my yes! I just love a good boneyard... and way fun poem..

    1. Cemeteries really are cool, aren't they? My love of them began years ago when my then-husband did genealogy research, before the days of computers. There is so much history to be learned, and ancestors to know...

  3. we celebrate Halloween here in Australia these days too, with big orange pumpkins carved into jack o lanterns and spooky decorations draping houses for the little kids to do their trick or treating. I loved the ritual when I was a kid in the US back in the 60's but it's funny to see this autumnal festival happening here in spring! It's a schizophrenic culture, we celebrate xmas with plum puddings, turkeys, mulled wine and snowy decorations in the middle of summer!

    1. Halloween in Spring just seems... out of place! I never really thought about the holidays being in the opposite season there. Still, I'm glad the kids get to enjoy it!

  4. Sharmon, I was asking this of John the other day "what the heck does HAPPY have to do with Halloween? Glad you addressed that here.. Great photographs!

    1. hi Gwen! I guess Halloween can be happy, too, but that doesn't quite cover it, does it? Hope yours was creepy! ;~)

  5. I must be the ultimate artist because I only see the textures and cracks and weathered and worn wabi sabi surfaces and edges... made me want to go to a graveyard to see all the textures... I could just see myself in there with my crayon making rubbings on paper.

  6. Oh yes, you would love it, Donna...doing crayon rubbings of the textures and designs is great fun!

  7. Some super fotos of these places....I was thinking the same thing:) about doing rubbings on that one shabby tomb thingy:)


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