My true love gave to me a raven in a bare tree.
My true love gave to me a raven in a bare tree.
I remember hearing this ghost story growing up – a guy meets a mysterious girl at some sort of social gathering (party, bar, school dance, etc.) and he spends the evening by her side, captivated by her pale, silent beauty. They barely speak, but he offers to drive her home at the end of the night; much to his surprise, she agrees. After unexpectedly asking for him to stop the car on a stretch of road where there are no houses, the strange girl disappears into the night – but not without first placing a cold, whispery kiss on his lips. The following morning the still-entranced young man returns to the site where he left her, only to discover that he is in front of a cemetery.
When I came to Chicago a decade ago, I had no idea that this ghost story had actually originated here. The urban legend version above was based on the account of Jerry Paulus, who in 1939, alleged to have kissed a ghost before she materialized through the iron gates of Resurrection Cemetery on Archer Avenue. Since that time, sightings of Resurrection Mary, as she has come to be known, have been reported all along Archer Avenue – earning this spirit the pre-eminent title of Chicago’s Most Famous Ghost.
Interested in meeting Mary for yourself? The Windy City’s resident paranormal expert, Ursula Bielski, hosts an annual ghost-hunting event that targets the elusive girl in white. Join her this Sunday, October 21st from 1 to 6 pm – if you dare. http://chicagohauntings.com/schedule.html
What do you get the girl who has everything? A skeleton cameo, of course! Black inlaid with ivory, this macabre cameo is finished off with a delicate silver setting and a red, aluminum heart adorning the lady’s tresses. Available from “Fashion Crash Jewelry” on Etsy, the “Red Rose Lolita” cameo hangs from an 18″ chain and retails for $21.50.
In 2008, I learned that the Aylesworth family was descended from some of the earliest-recorded witches in medieval England. This family lore is what eventually led to The Triskele Trilogy.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells of the Ægleswuore clan – a noble, land-owning family who just also happened to practice the pin-pricking of totems (a form of sympathetic magic). The Ægleswuore matriarch was eventually arrested for the crime of witchcraft and put to death by drowning at London Bridge in 963. Legend speculates that she was persecuted more for the forfeiture of her properties rather than heresy, but the truth, unfortunately, will never be known.
100 years later, following the Norman Conquest, a group of 11 family members settled in what is now the Hamlet of Naunton in Gloucestershire, England. Nestled in the rolling hills and meadows of the pastoral Cotswolds, the Aylworth settlement eventually grew to a vast 600 acres. The manor home, which still exists today, was constructed in the 1500′s in a secluded valley (Aylworth literally means “village in the meadow”). Situated at the heart of the Cotswolds, Aylworth Manor is less than an hour drive from a 5,000-year-old pagan burial ground, Stonehenge, and both Shakespeare’s and Jane Austen’s homes.
Now operated as a B&B, Aylworth Manor offers a peaceful stay to guests exploring the English Countryside. And you never know… You might just catch a glimpse of the Ægleswuore matriarch seeking revenge for her untimely death.
The Lovely Bones.
Looking for the perfect business-creepy shirt to wear to work this Halloween? Look no further than the skeleton print white shirt from online boutique, ROMWE. Boasting the latest in “street fashion”, ROMWE retails the fashionably macabre button-down for $31.99. Beware – stock is limited.
Home Sweet Home.
Voted the #1 haunted house attraction in the US, Atlanta’s “Netherworld” is an intense, multi-story spectacle of horror. Although tickets are a bit pricey at $30 ($50 will get you to the front of the line, which I hear is pretty long in October), this terrifying attraction was created by film and TV professionals which has resulted in movie-quality special effects, high-quality actors (no Carnie-Zombies here) and frighteningly realistic, detailed sets.
A word to the wise – Netherworld is not recommended for anyone with a heart condition.
Making cornfields creepy since 1984.
Based on the short story by Stephen King of the same name, the film “Children of the Corn” is set in fictional Gatlin, Nebraska – a town taken over by murderous, demonically possessed children. Rent it with other cult classics like “The Shining”, “Psycho” and “The Thing” for a creeptastic movie night.
Want to add a flair of macabre to your DIY Halloween party invitations or hand-crafted decorations? Download the frightfully free Halloween fonts from Over the Big Moon! Terrifyingly easy to install, these fonts will make any of your October crafts authentically creepy!
If the shoe fits…
Whether you’re a stylish, brain-ravaging zombie or a fashion-conscious, blood-drinking vampiress, these are the shoes for you. Carried by Costume Express, these gory pumps are on sale for $39.99 and only come in whole sizes.
Leave it to Cleaver.
Some girls like Coach, others like creepy. From Kreepsville 666, the originators of “Scare Wear”, comes the Cleaver Clutch. This vinyl and satin handbag retails for $35 and is the perfect accoutrement to any Halloween costume.