Happy Halloween!

From The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson:

“No ghost in all the long histories of ghosts has ever hurt anyone physically. The only damage done is by the victim to himself. One cannot even say that the ghost attacks the mind, because the mind, the conscious, thinking mind, is invulnerable; in all our conscious minds, as we sit here talking, there is not one iota of belief in ghosts. Not one of us, even after last night, can say the word ‘ghost’ without a little involuntary smile. No, the menace of the supernatural is that it attacks where modern minds are weakest, where we have abandoned our protective armor of superstition and have no substitute defense. Not one of us thinks rationally that what ran through the garden last night was a ghost, and what knocked on the door was a ghost, and yet there was certainly something going on in Hill House last night….”

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Single Frame: Autumn Close Up #16

From the (very dark, extra-super-creepy, not for the squeamish, perfectly chilling for the day before Halloween but best not read at night) novel Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates:

“My name is Q__ P__ & I am thirty-one years old, three months. Height five feet ten, weight one hundred forty-seven pounds…. Distinguishing features: none….”

“I see my probation officer Mr. T__ alternate Thursdays 10 A.M., downtown Mt. Vernon. My therapist Dr. E__ Mondays 4 P.M., University Medical Center. Group therapy with Dr. B__ is Tuesdays 7 P.M. I am not doing well, I think…. I know they are writing reports. But I am not allowed to see. If one of these was a woman I would do better, I feel. They believe you, they are not always watching you. EYE CONTACT HAS BEEN MY DOWNFALL….”

“Mon. 4:00 P.M.-4:50 P.M. Mt. Vernon Medical Center on the other side of the campus, in good weather I walk & in bad weather drive…. Dr. E__ says ‘Well, Quentin. This brisk autumn air is a tonic isn’t it. After our long hot summer.’ There is a double meaning in this I know…. [It] is awkward in Dr. E__’s office. I sit across from his desk & stare at the floor. Or at my hands I have scrubbed. RAISINEYES’ wristwatch on my left arm & its bronze face secret where I watch the tiny numerals flashing bronze. & around my right wrist my solitary memento of SQUIRREL. Dr. E__ asks do I have any dreams to speak of today. There is a flurry of leaves against the window behind him & the sky is darkening so early….”

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