October 23, 2017

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes

Halloween is my least favorite calendar event. I know it is the favorite of many of you. I never liked dressing up as something else, and trick or treating always felt too much like begging.
Maybe you celebrate Halloween, or perhaps you celebrate Hallowtide or Samhain. The latter is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Samhain is celebrated from sunset on October 31st until sunset on November first and was chosen because it was the midpoint between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.
I do enjoy tales of Halloween, Martians and Radio Terrorists and, growing up in New Jersey, I enjoyed hearing about when the Martians landed in my home state. 
halloweengrinchSo, I am pretty much a Halloween Grinch. 
I would rather think of this time following my birthday as spooky in the way that a book and movie about the season scared me as a kid. That story is Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury which takes its title from Mr. Shakespeare's tale of wickedness with witches, Macbeth
"By the pricking of my thumbsSomething wicked this way comes."

And then there is the night before Halloween, known as "Mischief Night" and the "Devil's Night" which is less about the occult and lightweight vandalism.
But if you need some poetry for those nights, Poets.org suggests these:

The Vampire” by Conrad Aiken
The Apparition” by John Donne
The Owner of the Night” by Mark Doty
From a Train” by Lynn Emanuel
Omens” by Cecilia Llompart
The Haunted Palace” by Edgar Allan Poe
All Hallows Night” by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Bats” by Paisley Rekdal
Black Cat” by Rainer Maria Rilke
To Live in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Burlee Vang

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks.

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