Has it really been two years since I did one of these? Where has the time gone?
The Little Professor gives an assortment of late 19th and early 20th century horror stories online, which I hereby include by reference. (Le Fanu in particular is hard to beat.)
More-contemporary seasonal fiction: John Aegard's perfectly mixed mash-up of Lovecraft and Peanuts, "The Great Old Pumpkin".
Bruce Sterling's "A Plain Tale from Our Hills" is not seasonal, but, when you read to the climax, you'll see why it's appropriate for today. (It is also anything but a plain tale; it would be fascinating to pick apart all the ways in which the reader's mind is being messed with in this story.)
Further to the Lovecraftian theme, Ectoplasmosis links to Footnotes to a Species Once Called Humanity, some being dictated a little way up the Monongahela from here. In additional local color, Ectomo shares a warning of eldritch, tentacled things in the Market Square district of Pittsburgh. Can it be mere coincidence that the district association's website has gone dead?
You will recall that in March, some Serbian vampire hunters attempted to properly stake the mortal remains of Slobodan Milosevic, so as to prevent him from troubling the world in un-death as he had in life. (Via Warren Ellis.) By all accounts, half a year later Milosevic is still, thankfully, dead: once again, I ask, could this be coincidence? (ObBook: Vampires, Burial and Death.)
A colleague from the former Yugoslavia once delivered a drunken monologue in which he gave all the many reasons why one couldn't trust in or associate with the the Bosniaks, including in his list the self-evident wrongness of any culture which encouraged tolerance or even fondness for spiders. (The religious justification of this custom lies in this story about the hijra, but whether that's the reason for the custom is another issue.) While I don't think Chris at Mixing Memory has views on that question, he does find it important to ask: Do Infants Have an Innate Spider Detection Mechanism? And if Not, Shouldn't They?
Mind Hacks describes The Brain That Wouldn't Die as "another classic story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl in terrible car crash, boy keeps girl's head alive in neuroscience lab while looking for attractive new body." If you're not already intrigued, the fact that characters exclaim things like "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations and often lose themselves in error and darkness!" probably wouldn't be enough to sell it to you. Fortunately enough, it's now free on line, and available for viewing tonight.
Mind Hacks has something of a thing going about brains, linking to Alex Klochkov's wonderfully creepy and gross pictures from an abandoned Russian neurological laboratory. This not only covers your "BRAINS! BRAINS! BRAINS!" needs, but even your need for actual brains in vats.
Finally, Nick Bostrom's fable of the dragon.
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Posted at October 31, 2007 15:15 | permanent link