Halloween is a mere 3 sleepless nights away, and this weekend it may as well be here, upon us, within us, overtaking us, swallowing our souls whole... Welcome to the Burn Pile's collection of spooky fun and not-so-cheery glimpses of our inevitable doom.
So what's at the core of our attraction to the frightening, anyway? Why do we need to jump out of our skins now and then? Why do we crave it? “A Fondness for Fear: Why Do We Like To Be Scared?” offers insights into fright nights, when "our thoughts can just take a break and we can enjoy being fully in our bodies, feeling primal and animal. When you’re on a rollercoaster or in a haunted house you’re not thinking about your bills, your classes, your relationships or your future…"
“13 Scary Short Stories You Can Read Online to Get in the Halloween Spirit”
Kristian Wilson warns that "if you came to this list looking for your standard collection of ghost stories, you might be disappointed. I have chosen stories that run the gamut from science fiction to fantasy, and everything in-between, because any story can be spooky if you try hard enough. This list includes webcomics, creepypasta, and classic stories from your favorite, spooktacular writers, including Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes), Joyce Carol Oates (The Accursed), and Karen Russell (Swamplandia!). Some of the stories have their moments of humor, while others are just downright unsettling."
From Kristian's list come two for your immediate consumption:
“How to Get Back to the Forest” by Sofia Samatar.
"And bugs—the idea of a bug planted under your skin, to track you or feed you drugs—that’s another dumb story.
Except it’s not, because I saw one."
"The Bongcheon-Dong Ghost" by Studio Horang
An animated webcomic with the warning that “reader discretion is advised for pregnant women, the elderly, and those suffering from serious medical conditions.”
Here's a perennial frightener, the Reddit thread that never fails to bug me out. See what you think of these tales of high weirdness in the woods: I'm a Search and Rescue Officer for the US Forest Service, I have some stories to tell.
"When we found her, she was curled up under a large rotted log. She was missing her shoes and pack, and she was clearly in shock. She didn't have any injuries, and we were able to get her to walk with us back to base ops. Along the way, she kept looking behind us and asking us why 'that big man with black eyes' was following us."
“Why I Decided to Become a Witch”
“I didn’t always identify as witch; I used to be pastry chef.” These everyday women spill why they identify as witches, what that entails, and what their witchcraft means to them.
“I really liked Practical Magic, too, but…”
"So... You worship Satan?"
"What? Next you're going to tell me you're a lesbian, too?"
YouTuber cutewitch772 shares choice unsolicited opinions in “SHIT PEOPLE SAY TO: Pagans, Neopagans, Wiccans, Witches, etc.”
William Peter Blatty, author and producer of The Exorcist, on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
If you’re short on time and need some instant fight or flight hormones, drop in at the 10:49 marker and listen to the audio recording Blatty brought along of an IRL exorcism in progress.
Finished the new season of Stranger Things already? Here are more prime watchables from Netflix: 11 Great Underseen Horror Movies on Netflix "The streaming service has well-trod classics like The Shining and A Nightmare on Elm Street. But how about these lesser-known frightening films?" by SCOTT TOBIAS
And now for something really scary from the “This is no dream. This is really happening!” files:
“Full Frontal's (Hot As) Hell House | October 25, 2017”
If you've had enough of evil creeps creeping, or maybe just need to feel better about yourself, your Halloween party hangover, and the universe as a whole, have a serious virtual soul cleansing and envastment. Enjoy the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram right here at your desk or on your phone.