Posted tagged ‘Dracula’

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.”

October 22, 2017

My back is pure misery. I grab things so I can move from room to room. I keep wishing for a Star Trek doctor with his medical tricorder to knock at the door and with one button take the pain away. I guess I’ll just have to keep wishing.

We are again blessed with a warm, sunny day. The house is even cooler than outside. The blue sky is striking. I figure I’ll make my way to the deck in a bit to enjoy the day.

When I was a kid, we always carved pumpkins. I loved to pull out what we always called the pumpkin guts. Every year the pumpkins looked the same when we were done. They had triangle eyes and a triangle nose and a wide grin with a few teeth up and down. The pumpkins went on the front steps. We’d put in real candles and light them. The wind was always blowing them out, but we’d keep lighting them. There is something magical about lit pumpkins grinning in the darkness.

We loved being afraid, not actually afraid but afraid of scary stories we knew weren’t real. My dad told great stories. We all know the hook. I swear it is a universal story. Small parts of it change, but the hook is always on the car door.

I remember walking on the sidewalks and seeing my shadow. It looked tall and eerie this time of year. Add the sound of my footsteps, and I’d keep an eye out to make sure I wasn’t being followed. I never was, but my imagination worked overtime. Ghosts flew.

I still love the old black and white horror movies. They were always on this time of year. When Dracula hid his face with his cape, we knew, without seeing it, that he was about to bite some poor victim. Renfield was one of my favorite characters. He’d do his master’s bidding and eat flies to keep up his strength. Bela Lugosi had the best voice. Frankenstein wasn’t as scary as Dracula. The doctor’s creation never really had a chance. One of my favorite scenes is when the villagers carrying torches and pitchforks follow their dogs to where the monster is. I always felt bad for Larry Talbot who turns into the Wolfman. His fate was decided by Bela, the Gypsy. I still love these movies. Lots of blood and slashers do nothing for me.

I am resting my back today, not that I need an excuse to be a sloth.

“Vampires, werewolves, fallen angels and fairies lurk in the shadows, their intentions far from honorable.”

October 28, 2016

Fern was hiding this morning, but I managed to find her. She was under a guest room bed sitting on an afghan. She let me pat her, but she didn’t come out. I got her food and water and put it in front of her. She had some of each. I think that is hopeful, but I do wish she were feeling good enough to come downstairs. I’m going to go back up to her when I’m finished here hoping to entice her downstairs where it is far easier to watch her. Fern is almost 18.

The weather has been chilly and rainy. The sun appeared early this morning but is now hidden by clouds. It is really a gloomy day. My heat is on and the lamp in here is lit, but neither keeps that gloom away. My front yard is filled with small pine branches and needles. It will need raking again.

My dance card is empty. I have nowhere fun to go and no one to see. Watering the plants, taking the trash to the dump and doing a load of laundry is what will keep me busy. I also have a couple of new books, and there is always MSNBC.

TCM has made my evening. I can watch all the horror classics like Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man. When I was a kid, they were the scary movies. Even though you never saw Dracula take a nibble, you knew just what he was doing behind that cape. Imagination provided the fright. I always felt bad for The Wolf Man. Larry Talbot was just trying to save a woman when he was bitten by the werewolf attacking her. Throughout the movie, he hoped to find a cure but never did. Once that moon had risen, Larry was on the hunt. The worst thing was the ending when his own father killed him with the wolf cane he had used to kill the werewolf which had bitten him. The Mummy too was scary with his dragging bandages and his limp, but I was less afraid of him than the others. I didn’t figure a mummy would likely find me.

“Strict punctuality is perhaps the cheapest virtue which can give force to an otherwise utterly insignificant character.”

March 16, 2015

Yesterday Boston broke the record for most snow ever in a winter. There were no celebrations, no sparklers or fireworks, just groaning and complaining. Snow stopped being pretty about 13 or 14 inches ago. It snowed here as well, and the night was cold with a howling wind. I was lying in bed listening and thinking in black and white about Dracula or the Wolfman.

The morning was busy starting with the dentist at ten. It was an interesting experience. First I had a different hygienist then came the coup de foudre. The new hygienist’s chair was heated and had three different massage settings. It was wonderful. My back felt better and my teeth were whiter.

I also stopped in a couple of other places for St. Patrick’s Day stuff, and I wanted to check to see if the store had cut up turnip. They did not but did cut it for me. Now I just have to skin it. Tomorrow will be the rest of the shopping.

I went to St. Patrick’s Grammar School so we always had March 17th as a holiday. The public schools in my town didn’t have the day off, but those in Suffolk County which included Boston did. It was for Evacuation Day which celebrates the date when the British troops evacuated Boston during the American Revolutionary War. Nobody really calls it that. They all call it St. Patrick’s Day.

When I was a kid, I walked everywhere and was never late. In winter I got to school in the morning with enough time to freeze while waiting in the school yard for the bell. At the movies I ended up eating half my candy before the cartoon even started. In high school I’d wait for the bus, and if it was raining, my hair and shoes always got soaked. I used to tell my students that punctuality is the sign of a civilized society. They were never impressed.

I don’t like waiting for people who are late. It seems as if they don’t care about keeping me waiting. They always have an excuse.

If I’m alone and not expected anywhere, time doesn’t matter. I move at my own pace. The day is broken into activities, not hours. I don’t even wear a watch.

“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

October 2, 2014

The rain started Tuesday and continued throughout Wednesday until well into the night. The dog’s outside water bowl was filled with rainwater. We’re talking inches of rain here. The ground is still soaked. With the rain came cooler temperatures. It is only 57˚ and with the dampness it feels even colder. The wind has picked up and the trees are being blown. More rain is predicted for later.

I’d vote for October as my favorite month. The weather is lovely, fall flowers are in bloom, pumpkins adorn front steps and fill wagons at farm stands, leaves are in such an array of colors even the most boring road is ablaze in yellows and reds and the best of all is that October finishes on its very last day with Halloween. Christmas has Santa and elves and flying reindeer, but I love even more the witches and ghosts and monsters of Halloween. There are no scary Santa movies except maybe Santa Claus Conquers the Martians which is frightfully bad. Nope, hands down, Halloween has the best scary movies. I love them all especially the classics. I’m not talking blood and gore movies. I want to be scared by subtlety. We never see Dracula bite into Mina’s neck. He uses his cloak to hide it, but we know what’s going on. Our imaginations fill in the void. One of my all time favorite movie scenes is in Frankenstein. It is when the villagers hunt the monster. They are sent off to, “…search every ravine, every crevice. The fiend must be found.” The black and white of the movie enhances the scary scene. Wide-eyed women huddle and hide. The dogs who lead the pack of crazed villagers are barking and pulling at their leashes. The men wend their way down a hill their torches bright in the darkness. Their garbled shouts echo in the night. We sense their fear. It touches us and scares us. That’s the best part of Halloween.

“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

October 12, 2010

Today is dark and rainy. It’s a stay in sort of day. I’m thinking old black and white science fiction movies might be perfect to while away the day. I already know the plot. Strange creatures will attack, some terrestrial, some extraterrestrial. Our heroine will run away screaming. She’ll be wearing a dress and high heels, and she’ll fall. Heroines always do. Our hero will grab her just in time, just before the creature does. He’ll save her and he’ll save the day.

Every Halloween I pull out the old horror movies, the monsters of my childhood, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman and the Mummy. They didn’t need to be in color or have gore. They scared me anyway.

I’ll never forget the eyes of Dracula in his guise as the count. They looked huge and frightening shining in the light. Even though I never saw Dracula bite his victims, I knew what was happening when he pulled his cape around them. What I imagined was always scarier than what was real. Renfield with his hysterical laughter and his flies and spiders was almost as fascinating as the count, maybe because he had once been just an ordinary person.

I always felt bad for the Wolf Man. I thought of the character as poor Larry Talbot. I never liked that Gypsy woman who tells Larry he’s a werewolf. She was almost scarier than the wolf. It was the eyes again.

I have favorite scenes in Frankenstein. One is when he is awakened by the electricity, when the current goes up and down the coil and the lightening strikes. The scene with the little girl is another. The mob running through the village holding torches and leading dogs to hunt down the monster is my all time favorite scene.

The Mummy is not so scary, but I love it anyway especially the scenes where Im-ho-tep walks with his arms out straight and his wrappings dragging as he hunts for his beloved.

When I was little, I knew the movies weren’t real, but I still had a nagging doubt and always hoped it wouldn’t be a werewolf attacking us. We’d never find a silver bullet.