Angella's Thirteen Days of Halloween 2018

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13

 

Day 13 - October 31st, 2018

*HAPPY HALLOWEEN!*

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It's the big day! Halloween is finally here!  For my final thirteen days post, I simply want to wish you the spookiest, most eerie and most fun day ever! Oh and candy! Can't forget that!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my posts and also those who liked, shared and commented. I will be doing a draw tomorrow with all the names of those who did any of these things and I will be sending a prize to the winner as a token of my gratitude for the support shown! :)

Happy Halloween and remember to keep it creepy! ;)

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Day 12 - October 30th, 2018

I have held a fascination for the paranormal since I was very young. Hearing stories and tales about happenings from around my part of the world certainly made me even more curious and a lover of the mysterious.

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There have been so many I heard or read about through the years, it would be impossible for me to recount them all. I will share some links here to the ones I have enjoyed the most. Perhaps I missed some of your favourites. If I did, please let me know and I will make sure to find out about them.

But before I do that, I want to share a personal story about something that happened to me three years ago on Halloween day that I still consider to be high on the creep factor.

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My boyfriend and I decided to go take a drive on Halloween Day 2015 towards Alma, New Brunswick. I brought my camera with me to take some photos of the colourful Fall leaves, that were still abundant in the trees that year. On the way back, we stopped at an old cemetery as I thought it might make for nice photos. I got out of the car and turned on my camera, before heading towards the closed wrought-iron gates to enter the cemetery.

I noticed after taking my first test shot that my camera was acting weird. It turned on, but wouldn't take any photos. It gave me an error message that it never gave me before that day (and never again since). I removed the battery and put it back in, hoping it would clear up the issue. It did. With camera in hand and as my boyfriend made his way next to me, I turned around to face the few stairs up to the gate.

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To my left, I noticed movement and rustling near the fence that surrounded the cemetery. There, a middle-aged man stood, dressed in an old plaid shirt, acid-wash jeans and a smile. Startled, I gasped as I had not seen him coming, nor heard him either. I wondered where he came from and asked him, as I was perplexed. He explained he had been admiring the tombstones and had just come out, and he apologized for having caught me off guard and made me jump. I re-assured him it was all good, and we talked a bit more. He was very adament about us going to see the two tombstones of a couple in there. He went on and on about how great the stone carvings were and how impressed he was by them. He never spoke of the people, only of the stones.

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Once our conversation over, he wished us a good day, and we bid him one too, and he left, on foot heading towards Alma. We turned too, and made our way to enter the graveyard. The gate was not only closed, but latched. It made a loud noise when we opened it, yet had heard nothing when the man had come through. We went in. I took photos (the photos included with this post are all from that day), and then we decided to head back to town for supper. Off we went in the car, and headed towards Moncton. The opposite direction our friendly stranger had headed.

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After some driving for a bit (maybe 15 minutes or so), I noticed someone walking alongside the road. I noticed a red plaid shirt and old acid wash jeans. It was the same man! He had somehow made it this far, already, on foot, in the opposite direction of where we had seen him heading earlier. The oddest part about this, was that as we came upon him, he turned, he smiled at us and waved. The goosebumps came when I realized that behind him, was another graveyard!

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I wrote two story ideas based on him and that experience that evening. Those still wait to be written.

Now, onto the links of my favourite local folklore and legends from right here in New Brunswick, Canada:

The Headless Nun

Grey Island Cemetery

Rebecca's Grave

The Sad Tale of Maggie Vale

Here are a few books that I have found were very interesting:

Will O' The Wisp: Folk Tales and Legends of New Brunswick (1979)

New Brunswick Ghosts! Demons! and things that go bump in the night! (1994)

Legends, Oddities and Mysteries Including UFO Experiences in New Brunswick (1993)

Do you have stories about an experience or someone that made you a bit jumpy? Please, share them if you do! I love hearing them!

Only one more day until Halloween. Hope you are all ready! :)

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Day 11 - October 29th, 2018

I have decided to share another short story with you, this one I wrote last year, but would like to share it with all of you in the hopes that you will enjoy it as much as I loved writing it. Please click on the link below to read this story. Feel free to let me know your thoughts about it on Facebook or Twitter. Have a lovely evening! :)

Click here to read my short story: "Mary's Rainy Day"

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Day 10 - October 28th, 2018

Another big part of my love of Halloween is creating an ambiance through decorating. I have been decorating for a long time and over the years I have created some various types of decor, of course age dependent and also how much effort I wanted to put in.

This year, I created a few new pieces of decor that anyone can create in no time!

Here are the three main ones I worked on creating to add to my growing collection of decor:

Isabella, my "Doll in the Hall"
Think Elf on the Shelf, but for the month of October!).
I found an inexpensive doll at a thrift store. Here she is, before I started her transformation:

Isabella Day 1

First, I tousled her hair, painted her eyes black (white or grey would have worked too!). I then applied a very light brushing of white to make her skin as pale as possible. Then I smoothed it out with my fingers to make it look as natural as I could. I did the same with a few black spots and faded these out with my fingers also. I added some red dabs of paint on her neck, dress and shoes to make it appear like blood. I think she turned out just lovely. What do you think?

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Mrs. Satan Claus

I was asked if I wanted a ceramic Mrs. Santa Claus around the end of summer, and at first, I declined the offer from my friend, who had received it from a house that she was helping to clear out. It had never been painted. I quickly realized I could transform this into yet another Halloween decoration piece. I am always wanting to recycle items I already have or that I can find for not expensive and make my own, unique pieces. This one was no exception!

Here are the transformation pictures of what this ceramic decoration looked like before I took brush and paint to it and the resulting Halloween decoration!

Mrs Satan Claus Mrs Satan Claus Mrs. Satan Claus Mrs. Satan Claus

 

Witchy Potion Jars

In keeping with the recycling idea, I decided it was time to do something with the growing collection of various glass jars that we have accumulated. From peanut bottles, jam jars and salsa containers, I created jars that hold imaginary magical conconctions.

First, I primed them, covers and all...

Witchy Jars

Then, I painted them black and dry brushed a gold acrylic colour lightly over top, all in same direction, making sure to paint as lightly as possible for it to blend with the black. I also did this in red on a few jars.

Witchy Jars

Last, I added some chalk labels I found at the Dollarama (6 per pack for $1.25!). I tried the white chalk that came with them, but I decided to use a gold coloured permanent marker to make them pop a bit more. I did like the chalk look too, though! I used the marker to write down names of potions and some common items a witch may find in her pantry! And finally, I added twine to the tops of lids to complete the look and placed them all together with some black stones and a rat skeleton. ;)

Witchy Jars

I hope to do some more decorating between now and Halloween. For me, it's a daily thing leading up to the big day of Halloween. What about you? Does your house look ready to host a goblin or two around this time of year?

 

 

Day 9 - October 27th, 2018

Of course we can't talk about treats and not mention tricks! Here are some gentle and friendly pranks to play on your friends and family members. Please be mindful of others though. Not everyone can appreciate a prank, and so please use your judgement when serving up these tricks. Also, I am posting links to their original source, where many more ideas can be found! :) Have fun!

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Visit friends' houses and write on the mirror with your finger...

If you are a fan of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown...

If you want to really disappoint your coworkers, try this classic: make Halloween candy treats...

Funny pranks for kids

The most important thing to remember is to laugh, have fun and remember what it was like to be a kid again! :)

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Day 8 - October 26th, 2018

How can we talk about Halloween and not talk about treats? ;)

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Here are some links to a few Halloween treats to try in the upcoming days.

Harvest Hash for sweet and salty cravings!

Oreo Stuffed Rice Krispie Treats for super sweets!

Peanut Butter Acorns for a super easy (and yummy) treat!

Chocolate Monster Cookies for a cute and spooky dessert!

Triple Dipped S'Mores Apples for a twist on a classic Fall treat!

Maple Cupcakes for the all-Canadian sweet!

Pumpkin Tortilla Chips for a healthy and crispy snack!

Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball for a dipping fix!

Hopefully you will have the chance to try at least one of these yummy treats soon. If you have some treat ideas to share, please do so too! :)

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Day 7 - October 25th, 2018

I love writing poetry but rarely have I tried to merge my love of all things dark and eerie with my prose. Here is the resulting poem. I must say I did enjoy writing it very much. I hope you will like it!

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The Visit

Pondering each step, I seek among the fallen leaves,
Darkness from the ashen skies, behold me it seems,
As I search alone, weary, and longing sleep,
The grave stone of my love, oft where I weep.

Crumbling stone and falling years,
Memories of many shed tears,
I yearn to find the shadow cast,
A marker of one loved, long past.

In the setting sun, behind my cloak,
Death announced, a mournful sound,
A raven calls out, its cry but a croak,
At last, my dearest, at rest I have found.

A light mist arrives, chilling my bones,
As I commence my yearning, in cries,
Devastated still, my spirit mourns,
Another approaches, their quiet demise.

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The stranger speaks in tongues unknown,
Garbled and meek, his voice atoned,
My head bowed, to stifle my sorrows,
Casting not one glance, hopeful my visitor follows.

Gathering my tears, palms full of sadness,
I gaze upon the stone, where my love rests,
A shadow remains, on the moss-covered stone,
Mine and another, behind me, is shown.

Gasping, I stand, not without fear,
For I had not discovered the stranger so near,
Turning to face such a distasteful intruder,
My mouth open, my words caught in stupor.

Standing tall, the stranger stood on firm ground,
Gurgles and syllables spoken, the only sound,
At last my love, my true love, my one and only,
Somehow escaped death’s grip, and came to visit me.

Written by: Angella Cormier

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Day 6 - October 24th, 2018

Today I want to talk about horror stories and books! Of course, horror is what I write but also what I most enjoy reading. I first started reading some mystery and light horror fiction in my teens. I remember reading Agatha Christie, Dean Koontz and Stephen King and being mesmerized by the monsters (both human and non) and the supernatural events or mysteries that happened in their invented worlds.

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Here is but a glimpse of some of my favourite written works of horror or mystery, both fiction and non-fiction. All of these, in one form or another, sent shivers through my body and made me shudder in fear or fright.

- Phantoms by Dean Koontz

- The Lives of the Mayfair Witches Book Trilogy by Anne Rice

- The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (AKA Stephen King)

- The Black House by Peter Straub and Stephen King

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- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

- The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

- A Child Called "IT" by Dave Pelzer

- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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As you see, not all my favourites are strictly horror in genre. There are many disturbing and frightening tales out there, and many are based on true stories or are non-fiction. Reality is often scarier than made-up stories. At least in fiction we can let our imaginations run wild without fearing the true monsters, the ones we see and meet in our every day lives or hear about on the five o'clock news.

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Let me know what your top picks are for scary stories or tales! I am always on the look out for new and frightening books to read!

 

 

 

Day 5 - October 23rd, 2018

Do you like dressing up for Halloween? I do! I believe there is only one year that I can recall when I didn't dress up in a costume on October 31st! The past few years I have been wearing two or three, for different events leading up to the big day. The kids that come to the house to trick or treat always get a kick when I open the door to them in costume. They usually love it!

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I'm not sure where my love of dressing up came from, but I know it stems from my childhood. There are a few costumes I remember from when I was younger, but my favourite had to be a costume of a robot that my parents crafted out of cardboard boxes. I can actually still remember that Halloween, even though I was very young. Maybe that's when it started for me. Who knows? But one thing that I know for sure, is that it was one of the first times I realized I could create a costume out of regular, every day items and transform myself into anything I could imagine up. What fun it was then! How much more fun it is now! ;) I guess I am a big kid at heart.

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I'd like to challenge you to make your own costume this year. There are so many websites with ideas for costumes and also cos-play sites that you can get some tips from the best there are at dressing up. Of course you can go and rent or buy a costume from the store, but where's the fun in that? If you need a little bit of help to get you started, here is what I do, not only for my own costumes, but also those of my kids. I have very rarely bought costumes already made, usually I create them myself. First, I go online and do a search for the type of costume I want. Once I have looked at several images, I usually find some inspiration in those and have a good idea of the elements I will need. I write down all the pieces needed to either find or make my costume. Then I usually go through my closet and dressers to see if I already have the pieces I need as a base. If I don't, I will go visit some thrift stores and buy the clothes items required as well as any accessories I may not have found that I could use. I never buy new, as it will only be worn once or twice. If I can buy a piece that I can re-use, it's a bonus! Most often, though, I will compare the price of the outfit that I need to buy pieces for with the cost of the costume itself if there is one for sale. If it's cheaper to buy it, I will go that route. But that is usually the exception.

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This year, for example, my son wants to be Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. With the hooded cloak required and long beard and hair, there was no way I could buy the pieces required cheaper than the cost of the costume pieces they had at Value Village brand new. So, for this year, his costume was purchased. Last year he was a teen werewolf though, and we found a leather bomber jacket, a plaid shirt, the fur for both his head and hands as well as fangs all for under $20 total! He just wore a pair of jeans he had at home and I did his makeup after looking at a few YouTube tutorials.

My other son is a big fan of Anime. His costumes are rarely found in stores and so we have been making his from scratch for the last several years. Again, making sure to look at the details and making sure we have all the elements of the costume before we go shopping has helped lots.

I thought I would list just a few costumes here, some I have worn, others are on my list of costumes to come, but I think this is a good starting place for easy, diy costumes.

- Zombie: Dress with regular pants and shirt but dirty it up with tea bags and even dry brush some acrylic paint (you may want to decide if you want to reuse these clothes beforehand!). You can then do a search on YouTube for easy zombie makeup. I linked one as an example.

- Bank Robber: Wear black pants or leggings and a white and black striped top. Wear a black eye mask and a pair of gloves. You can create a fake money bag by stuffing a white kitchen garbage bag with bunched up newspapers and drawing a few $$ symbols on the bag with a permanent marker. Add a black toque as a final touch.

- Scarecrow: Wear a pair of jeans (overalls are best, but regular jeans will do fine), a plaid shirt and a large brim hat. You can rip the sleeves a bit at the wrists (if you don't plan on keeping the shirt) or simply roll them up a bit, loosely. Same with the bottom part of jeans. Use some makeup, again with the help of tutorials on YouTube, to create the perfect scarecrow look!

- Waldo: Red and white striped shirt, a toque with a pompon (either red or white, or both), with a pair of jeans or pants, and a pair of black plastic glasses (just the frame from the 3D movie glasses works great!)

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So many more costumes can be made out of clothes you already have at home, a bit of makeup and a lot of imagination. Don't be afraid to try! You may be surprised at how much fun it can be to create your own costume. If you already know what you will be, feel free to share on my Facebook page in the comments section for today's post or on Twitter!

 

 

 

Day 4 - October 22nd, 2018

I have decided to share with you a short story that I wrote earlier this year as a writing exercise at our local YWCA writer's group.

I believe it fits right in with the haunting season. I hope you enjoy reading it. :)

Click here to read "The Three Keepers".

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Day 3 - October 21st, 2018

Today I want to talk about my favourite villains. No, I don't mean the kid that bullied me in grade nine. Mind you, he may well end up in a story one day! “Favourite villains” doesn’t mean to say that I like them for what they *are*.

Readers have asked me why do I write horror, how can I get enjoyment from reading or writing such vile, deranged and sometimes just pure evil characters? What needs to be remembered is that villains, just like protagonists, drive the story forward. Without them, without some opposing force getting in the way, the good guys are just living their lives. Nothing would move forward or force them to grow, change or adapt.

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The horror and mystery genre push these things onto the protagonists with powerful and oftentimes dire consequences. It is a necessary element in any story, but in the genres I enjoy to read, watch and write, I believe it is one of the factors to consider as equally important as the protagonist. Without a well thought-out villain, the hero or heroine of this type of story can be boring and unmotivated and this will always show itself to the reader or viewer.

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Villains are the antagonists in a story. They should always have a motive, an idealistic perception (mostly only in their own minds) brought about due to something that happened to them or was done to them. Some villains may not even be human. Cujo, for instance, was a rabid dog that terrorized a mother and her young child. In this example, the dog was sick, and as much as it is scary, you have to feel at least a bit of empathy for it. Of course you feel more empathy for the victims, or protagonists, but we need to remember what makes a good villain as a whole.

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For this post, I will list villains from both books and movies.  Some are cold-blooded killers and stalkers while others can be on a quest to bring about their own uprising and gain the ultimate control and power over others.

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There have been many amazing villains, but I aim to highlight only a few here. Some of them I enjoyed as much as their protagonists, and in some cases, like the first one, even more than the main character!

Annie Wilkes, Misery

Pazuzu, The Exorcist

Norman Bates, Psycho

Hannibal Lecter, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, etc .

Cujo, Cujo

Pennywise, IT

Daniel Robitaille, Candyman

Lestat, Interview with the Vampire

Lasher, Lives of the Mayfair Witches Book II

 

 

Day 2 - October 20th 2018

Horror movies. You know, the ones that when you watch alone (if you are so lucky) they make you get up and turn on a light, or turn and look behind you as the uneasiness and paranoia sets in. They may cause nightmares or even better yet make you scream out loud. Oh, how I love a good horror movie!

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It has become tradition for me not only to watch scary movies in the days leading up to Halloween, but to spend most of the month of October dedicated to the genre. So far this month I have watched the Halloween series (all except the one just released yesterday!), The Omen and The Nun, among others.I have also watched many television series that fits the genre. American Horror Story: Apocalypse, The Walking Dead, The Haunting of Hill House and Stranger Things 2, just to name a few.

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In regards to movies, there are too many to list just one as my favourite fright flick, so I will share with you some of my favourites, the ones, in my opinion, that deserve to be watched year after year to celebrate the Halloween season. Of course this is my personal list and I encourage everyone to seek out new and old movies to create their own list of favourites. Perhaps this can serve as a starting point if you are really new to the horror movie world.

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Although this list is not exhaustive, by any means, here are some of my top picks for each category:

Psychological Thriller: Misery (1990)

Extra-Terrestrial: The Thing (1982) and Alien (1979)

Sci-Fi: The Mist (2007)

Haunting: Poltergeist (1982)

Possession: The Exorcist (1973)

Fantasy/Folklore: The Wicker Man (1973)

Dark Drama: The Shining (1980) and Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Animated: The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)

Mystery: Se7en (1995)

Musical: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

What are some of your favourite scary movies? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter! I look forward to hearing from you!

Angella

 

Day 1 - October 19th 2018

Welcome all to my first ever thirteen days of Halloween! I have been polishing my jars of magic potions and thinking up new and eerie tales to present to you, dear reader, for this season of frights.

Many of my friends and family members already know that this is my favourite time of year. The big sweaters and scarves worn to keep the chill out, the colourful leaves that flutter about as the wind picks up outside. There is the return of shorter days and a sense of semi hibernation mode kicks in every year around this time. I find comfort in this return to self, a return indoors and out of the crisp coldness of the outside world. Of course, all these things are only secondary. My true love of the season lies in the untold stories that are formed in the darkness, the ones too creepy to speak out loud for fear of what they may bring about.

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I decided to bring these short tales to life, as well as to shed some light onto the dark things that thrill me during this season of Halloween. You can expect some short stories, some of my favourite things, some top picks of mine as well as ideas and tips you could use yourself, if you are so inclined to share my ways of celebrating the macabre. All in good fun, though! There may even be a prize or two to win, so make sure to check every day between now and October 31st! 

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If you have any comments, suggestions or if you just want to share your own stories surrounding Halloween, please do so on my social media accounts: Twitter (@AngellaCormier) or Facebook (Mysterious Ink). Feel free to share, like, comment or retweet too!

I leave you now as I return to decorating the house for Halloween. It’s a scary job, but someone has to do it. ;)

Angella

 

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