“The Devil-Baby at Hull House”—A 1916 Essay by Jane Addams & Some Cool Links on the Story!

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CEDF499C-885B-4F2E-B381-0A636341499DChildren in line near the retaining wall at Hull House, Chicago, 1908 (Wikipedia).

The Devil-Baby at Hull House*

Jane Addams, 1916

First appeared in The Atlantic, October 1926.
*Selected by Joyce Carol Oates for The Best American Essays of the Century (Houghton Miflin, 2000).

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The knowledge of the existence of the Devil Baby burst upon the residents of Hull-House one day when three Italian women, with an excited rush through the door, demanded that he be shown to them. No amount of denial convinced them that he was not there, for they knew exactly what he was like, with his cloven hoofs, his pointed ears and diminutive tail; moreover, the Devil Baby had been able to speak as soon as he was born and was most shockingly profane.

The three women were but the forerunners of a veritable multitude; for six weeks the streams of visitors from every…

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Take a minute today to love on your cat…

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08EEDA60-4EB3-4168-9940-F880E1AC6070.jpegMiss Ebony Allan Poe.

A little break today from working on the book, and ghost story research, to enjoy some sunshine, some Rocky Mountain PBS, and some laptime with Ebony Allan Poe (or “Ebby” or “Baggy”, short for “Baggy Butt”—a name she got for the profusion of long hair that grows on her hind quarters that reminded us of those too-low baggy jeans the rappers of the 1990s wore, which left their rear ends hanging out 😆). She’s kind-of gotten the nickname “crazy daddy’s girl” as she tends to be drawn more to me (crazy daddy) whereas our other cat is definitely drawn to my significant other (calm & quiet daddy).

We rescued this little long-haired mix as a kitten barely old enough to be on her own; she’d been found behind a local shopping center. (She had most likely been pregnant and had been recently spade.) Her cage at the rescue…

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Reblog: The Black Monk of Pontefract, Yorkshire—The True Story of England’s “Most Haunted” Poltergeist Incident!

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(Pinterest)

A decade before the world famous Amityville, New York, and Enfield, England poltergeist cases came to public attention, a little heard of, but acknowledged as Europe’s most violent haunting, took place in the town of Pontefract, Yorkshire.

Number 30 East Drive, on the Chequerfields Estate, East Yorkshire, stood on a corner at the top of a hill, close to what was once the site of the town gallows. Living at number 30 were Jean and Joe Pritchard; their son Philip, aged 15; and their daughter Diane, aged 12.

The poltergeist, later to become known as the Black Monk of Pontefract, began disturbing the Pritchard family in 1966 with a wide variety of paranormal activity. Water pools, lights turning off and on again, furniture overturning, pictures being slashed, objects flying or levitating, knocking sounds, objects disappearing and appearing again, foul smells, farmyard noises, heavy breathing sounds, sudden drops of temperature, and a mysterious black-robed figure, whose appearances became more and more frequent were all reported at the house.

The police, a local MP and the vicar were all witness to the extraordinary happenings which continued to plague the household, and all attempts to exorcise the presence were unsuccessful and met with mockery.

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The Pritchard’s House, 30 East Drive, Pontefract.

First Occurrence of the Poltergeist

The events began in August 1966 during the August Bank Holiday week. The family had gone on holiday to Devon leaving 15 year old Philip at home with his grandmother, Sarah Scholes.

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Name Dropping and A Middle Aged Squee

Exquisite Corpse

I’m excited.  Very, very excited.  I’m so excited, I could squee, except that it would be most undignified for a woman of my advancing years.

My story “Last Chance to See” will be appearing in “Devil Dolls and Duplicates”, an Australian anthology of reprint dark speculative fiction short stories.  It is scheduled for publication in February 2011 (and I WILL be reminding you in February to buy it, buy it, buy it!).

And why am I so excited?

It’s the company I will be keeping.  Not since “Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand”  have I been this excited.  The line up of authors has me doing Wayne’s World-like “I am not worthy” obeisances. There’s Kaaron Warren, winner of Ditmar and Aurealis awards.  There’s #1 New York Times-best  Sean Williams, whose short story collection “Magic Dirt” is on my bookshelf.  Lee Battersby, who has won even more awards than Kaaron…

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What’s on the Tube? An Urban Supernatural Creeper Starring Nicholas Cage—“Pay the Ghost” Is Based on a Halloween Story by UK Author Tim Lebbon

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Well, the poster sucks. I give the poster a half star! But this is a good film for a cool night with the windows open, and the wind going.

Based on the short story “Pay the Ghost” written by horror author Tim Lebbon (see “About the Short Story”, below) and published in October Dreams*—a Halloween-themed anthology edited by Richard Chizmar and published by Cemetery Dance books in 2000, the film, Pay the Ghost, stars Nicholas Cage in a frightening take on kidnapping, Pagan lore, and witchcraft all with an urban twist that is effective. I was fascinated and even scared here and there. Effects are well done; and even though the plot has been done before in a variety of ways; the supernatural elements work.

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

So, now that I’ve seen the film, I’m backtracking and starting the story!

Here are some links to info on the film and to…

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Current Read: 20th-Century Ghosts—A Collection of Award-Winning Ghost Stories by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King!) …

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Stephen King had a son?

Yes. In fact, King had two sons; and a daughter. Both sons, Joe (see below) and Owen (see: https://owen-king.com/ ) are writers. This post is about Joe Hillstrom King (aka. Joe Hill).2F079018-D3A8-4B46-818E-28CAAEAD7174

You’ll recognize the family resemblance in the photo below. But, damn, can Joe Hill write a mean ghost story!

The story goes he published this on his own without any influence from Stephen King which is commendable. So for, what, a decade? Joe Hill wrote on faith that his own talent would garner a name for himself.

And you know what? It did.

Hill is the very successful author of the novels The Heart-Shaped Box (scared the @%#* outta me); Horns (made into a great film starring Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe); a hauntingly clever take on the vampire novel, N0S4A2 (“Nosferatu”); and The Fireman (also made into a feature film).

I’m starting out with…

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What’s on the tube? The Void Works on So Many Levels. It Really Creeped Me Out… ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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9733F498-7994-4B49-9466-6DFB61107325These creepy, crazy-as-shit cult members terrorize a small town hospital in The Void. If you see the black triangle symbol…it’s too late. (IMDb)

THIS is the stuff nightmares are made of. A “Lovecraftian” film in many ways, with its homage to cult fanaticism and xenomorphism—The Void really delivers!

The trailer, a short review, and posters (you know how I love posters!) follow. Watch this film.

But leave every light on.

Review

I didn’t share it all, because I disagree with a lot of it. Many reviews, today, are uneducated and ill-informed; and feel “rushed through”…making use of silly, irrelevant buzzwords, like “gore fest”—which The Void is not. Oh, there’s gore. But The Void is much smarter than that.

But, I do like what Empire said here…

“The Void isn’t a horror that wears its influences on its sleeve. It’s a horror that proudly carves them into its claret-clogged chest. The…

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What?? Sorry Chapter 4…But you barely get 3 stars…

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I was disappointed. I’m a huge fan of the earlier films. But Wan has to direct it seems or something flops.

NO SPOILERS HERE.

Story should always be number 1. Character drives story. Well developed characters make for deeper more meaningful stories. Plot should be used to show character. &tc. This is writing 101.

Sadly, we’re so dumbed down in America we don’t think a horror film requires story—we have been conditioned to accept scares and thrills in place of quality. I wonder, in fact, if the majority of us even care. The $50 million+ this fourth Insidious film has brought in since its release in January 2018…fills the right pockets, and perpetuates the problem.

Sigh.

I think a story specialist (and I mean a real writer) should be required to approve any edits before a film is made final and released in this country.

This one has its moments—the…

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“More Dark”—A Short Story by Laird Barron

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On the afternoon train from Poughkeepsie to New York City for a thing at the Kremlin Bar — John and me and an empty seat that should’ve been Jack’s, except Jack was dead going on three years, body or no body. Hudson out the right-hand window, shining like a scale. Winter light fading fast, blending the ice and snow and water into a steely red. More heavy weather coming, they said. A blizzard; the fifth in as many weeks. One body blow after another for the Northeast and no end in sight.

We were sneaking shots of Glenfiddich from a flask. I watched a kid across the aisle watching me from beneath eyelids the tint of blue-black scarab beetle shells. He wore a set of headphones that merely dampened the Deftones screaming “Change.” His eardrums were surely bleeding to match the trickle from his nose. He seemed content.

Another slug of scotch…

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“Gaslight”—A Short Story by Jeffrey Ford…

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We first heard about the child one evening at The Monday Afternoon Club from old Matterson, last heir to an empire of sweatshops. We’d been going round in a circle offering up stories of the supernatural to pass a dreary winter’s eve. The ones we’d come out with so far were of a pedestrian nature — the haunted governess, the young woman who sees her father in an art museum in Italy at the moment of his death three continents away, the romance of certain old shoes — but then it was Matterson’s turn, and the poor codger seemed to be experiencing some bout of internal distress. Well into his fourth whiskey and passing wind like a bellows in Hell, he came out with it, and when he did, he gave an unfeigned shiver, as did we all.

The tale held us captive in the face of its teller’s over ripe departures from decorum…

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