Happy Halloween from the old Ballard Mansion in French Lick, IN. Went to their haunted house last night. Great fun, but they moved us through a little too fast. I’d have preferred to linger a little.
Come to me,
you lovely creature,
Stalking by night
in the deepest of fog,
Catching the innocent unaware.
Come to me,
I wait with open arms.
So many have fallen prey
to your dark charms.
they follow where you lead.
They dance mindlessly
right into the mouth of hell.
Oh yes, my Dark Angel,
you have many lovers.
Come to me,
I wait, I yearn.
You care not that I wait.
You wish me to follow,
but I cannot.
You must come to me.
I can see the darkness of your cloak
through the swirling fog.
Yes, come nearer.
Come to me,
I will have you, my Dark Angel.
I will have you.
Poem: Elizabeth Melton Parsons
“Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe
“It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.”
Painting by Elizabeth Melton Parsons
I wait along the wooded path,
hidden deep within the shadows.
The dark of night is coming.
I can smell the scent of my prey,
Hear his footsteps ever nearer.
Anticipation is building.
I silence my now tense form.
As he approaches, never fearing,
I jump and throw him to the ground,
Ripping the garment from his trembling limbs.
I seek to devour flesh,
Fresh, young, filled with vitality.
I render him from top to bottom.
And in my frenzy, I too am devoured.
Poem copyright Elizabeth Melton Parsons
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Aaron E Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
Karen Fox (ASI)
My son, Eric, went to school sponsored Halloween Party at IU last night and won a costume contest. The prize was an Indiana University throw. He’d called me last night and ask me what kind of costume could he throw together at the last minute and I told him to paint his face. He did. And his nails. 🙂
The ghosts of all things past parade,
Emerging from the mist and shade
That hid them from our gaze,
And, full of song and ringing mirth,
In one glad moment of rebirth,
And again they walk the ways of earth
As in the ancient days.
The beacon light shines on the hill,
The will-o’-wisps the forests fill
With flashes filched from noon;
And witches on their broomsticks spry
Speed here and yonder in the sky,
And lift their strident voices high
Unto the Hunter’s Moon.
The air resounds with tuneful notes
From myriads of straining throats,
All hailing Folly Queen;
So join the swelling choral throng,
Forget your sorrow and your wrong,
In one glad hour of joyous song
To honor Hallowe’en!
By John Kendrick Bangs – 1910
This is one of my favorite Irish folk tales. I know I must have posted it around somewhere before, but here it is for those who have never found it in the archives. Happy Halloween.
Legend of Jack-O-Lantern
Jack was a lazy farmer and spent more time at the local pub drinking and betting than tending his crops. He was a prankster and all his mischief making did nothing to endear him to his friends and neighbors. Jack felt sure this was the devil’s doing and if Satan would stop putting so many temptations in his path, he could make a turn for the better.
Now Jack figured the devil was as fond of betting as he was and devised a plan to trap him. He’d met Satan at the pub on many a dark night and it was always the same, with the devil offering riches and fame in return for Jack’s soul. Jack of course refused such offers, not wanting riches and having no use for fame. He did, however, want to be less of a sorrowful burden to his family and stop all his evil shenanigans.
Although his wife argued vehemently against his scheme, Jack decided to proceed. He was confident the plan would succeed, not to mention, it allowed him to go to the pub every night with a legitimate excuse. He didn’t have long to wait. A few nights passed and Satan once again joined him at his table, buying him ale and making the usual offers in return for his soul.
“You truly want my soul, Devil?”
Satan laughed. “You know I’ll have you sooner or later, Jack. Why not take my offer and enjoy what’s left of your wretched life?”
“I’ll make a wager with you. There’s a tree on the south end of my land. It grows straight and tall with limbs only at the top. Now, many a man has tried to climb the tree, but none has made it to the top. Even with you being the devil and all, I don’t think you can do it. If you can climb to the top without slipping back down or falling, I’ll take your offer and you can have my soul.”
Satan loved a good bet, but he was slightly irritated that this miserable mortal doubted his ability to accomplish such a simple task. “I can climb your tree, Jack, never fear. Lead the way.”
The two left the pub and walked the short distance to the tree. Satan removed his hooded cape and shimmied up the tree without any problems at all. “I made it, Jack, and now you’re mine.” His laugh echoed hollowly from the top branches.
Jack hurriedly removed his hunting knife and carved a cross on the trunk, as high up as he could reach. “Think again, Devil. I’ve trapped you. You can’t come down unless I remove the cross.”
Satan howled in anger when realizing he’d been tricked. He was trapped in the blasted tree and would have to bargain with the man to gain his freedom. “What is it you want, Jack?”
“I’ll carve out the cross and set you free if you promise to never again set temptation before me.”
“Agreed! Let me down.”
Jack’s plan had worked. He could now go about his life without the danger of falling to temptation. Unfortunately he was never allowed to reap the benefits. The very next day, the same tree was felled in a storm and came crashing down on poor Jack, taking his life. Having been involved in more than a few evil misdeeds, Jack was denied entrance to Heaven. It would seem the devil would have his soul after all.
But Satan was still angry at having been tricked and would not allow him into Hell. Jack was doomed to walk the earth in the cold darkness for all eternity. He begged the devil to have pity and Satan relented by giving him a single glowing coal. Jack found a large turnip and carved out the middle and front. He placed the burning ember inside and used it to light his way.
Many have claimed to see the swaying of Jack’s lantern on dark nights and most especially on All Hollows Eve. Perhaps you will, too.
Okay this post has nothing to do with Halloween, but if you’re like me you may find the way these guys turn their head and look directly at you kind of creepy and spooky. They can turn their heads 180 degrees which is reminiscent of the girl in The Exorcist. (Spooky) The female usually eats the male after mating. (Not nice at all) So maybe when they’re praying, they’re asking forgiveness. But like a lot of my more evil friends, I love them regardless.
Mantis creeping ‘round the stairs
So fragrant and pink
Seeking prey to munch and eat
ÓElizabeth Melton Parsons
Our story begins on All Hallows Eve 1849.
A full silver moon rose high on this darkest of nights.
Fog lay like a shroud, clinging to the moonlight shine.
Mary Englebright sat sewing by dim candlelight.
Alone in her cabin, she shivered with dread.
Shadowy faces danced on the wall,
Grinning and grim, faces of the dead.
Taking a deep breath, she awaited the call.
The story her mother had told long ago
of what happens to the Englebright three.
The spirits will come to collect their soul
on their twenty first year of All Hallows Eve.
The last in her line, she sat frozen in fear.
The wind began to rage and moan
blowing the door wide…the spirits appear.
Screaming in terror, she was carried from home.
Never again to be seen in the light of day,
but if you listen closely on All Hallows Eve
you may hear her cries rising…then fading away.
ÓElizabeth Melton Parsons