Christmas - The Other Halloween

There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for roasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories
Of Christmases long, long ago

Wait a minute... There'll be scary ghost stories? On Christmas?

That's right, Virginia.

Most of us Halloween enthusiasts spend the large part of the holiday season packing up our graveyards and snuggling the spiders back into their webs for the year, followed by a period of mourning that "it's all over" and we shall have to wait another year for October to finally weave it's magic again.

When those sneaky Christian reformers started in on the transformation of Pagan observances, traditions and rituals they left a great deal intact. Much of it has been forgotten by mainstream society but, if you look into the origins of the symbols and traditions practiced today you'll be delighted to know the season is rife with everything we love - supernatural goings on, monsters, spellcasting, ghosts, witches and magic...

Starting December 1st here at blackwood I'll be showcasing the more macabre aspects of the season, profile some great gifts and movies, the best in creepy, small, independent shopping in Los Angeles.

...and of course, there'll be scary ghost stories.

*Photograph by Addison Geary

Singlehandedly Ruining The Neighborhood

Twiggy and Emily had a delightful Halloween

I went out to get my mail this morning and discovered among the Christmas ads, (seriously?) and bills a handwritten, two page note from a Jehova's Witness. It opened with, "You've probably never seen a handwritten note before..." to which Mr. Blackwood replied, "Not one not written in blood anyway." The letter of concern addressed the Halloween decor which adorns the outside of my house and that I am a tool of The Devil. I'm flattered. Who knew he was paying so much attention to me? Clearly, I am special! I was also warned about the "dangers of The Occult!"

Oh my. What would they say if they could see the everyday decor inside my house?

Mr. Blackwood has composed the following reply:

Those Old Timey Nightmares

Mr. Blackwood directed my attention to this piece on and I thought you, gentle reader, would very much enjoy this collection of bizarre and creepy vintage photos.

José Ortiz Echagüe, Vintage Photography
A Semana Santa procession in 1940, Spain.

Getty Images
Halloween, 1905

Franz Fiedler
Franz Fiedler did a series of these necrophilia shots - Narre Tod Mein Spielgesell (Fool Death, My Playmate) in 1922

You can view the entire piece here: