Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A Haunted Halloween look at some fresh from the page frights
Granted,this isn't a very Happy Halloween for most of us out here on the East Coast but with the full impact of Hurricane Sandy behind us,we can still scare up some sinister spirits of the day.
For this year,I've gathered together a collection of fearsome folk that have ghoulishly graced the bookshelves and movie screens of yore with their chilling ways yet are not the first ones to be thought of when choosing a trick or treat costume. Each one has a bit of charm that allows them access to others but letting any of these frightening figures into your life is about as safe as ignoring "Danger,Will Robinson,Danger!":
MISS HAVISHAM: You might be tempted to feel sorry for this lonely lady from Charles Dickens' classic novel Great Expectations,whose sorrow over being left at the altar caused her such deep despair. Yet,keep in mind that no one forced her to become a living ghost dedicated to letting herself rot away,along the remains of her canceled wedding party.
Her main evil is spending the rest of her days training her ward Estella to be a hardhearted temptress and using poor Pip as the stone to sharpen her apprentice's skills with. True,Miss Havisham did regret her mode of revenge upon the world at last but her choice of redemption is definitely not recommended:
BRUNO ANTHONY: As noted in the Alfred Hitchcock adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train,Mr.Anthony does fancy himself as a "very clever fellow"indeed and can not understand why his new friend Guy won't do him the simple favor of killing his father for him.
After all,he helped Guy out by killing his troublesome wife for him,with the sort of understanding that didn't require Guy to actually agree to this plan.
Bruno is a pleasantly persistent person who can be a delight at parties, except when his true dark side starts to show:
MRS.DANVERS Another Hitchcockian tormentor was this horrifying housekeeper from Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca,totally devoted to the former mistress of Manderley so much that she was quite willing to encourage the new lady of the house into serious self harm.
Just her mere presence in the room brought chills to the spine and could make the most poised person feel nervous and awkward. Her loyalty to her previous employer would be touching if Mrs. Danvers wasn't the type of woman that despised all those who didn't live up to her harsh standards and deserved to be destroyed,in her not so humble opinion:
HARRY POWELL: This talkative fiend,from the 1955 film adaptation of Davis Grubb' thriller Night of the Hunter,claims to be a man of God but his actions are far from holy.
From preying on vulnerable widows to stalking a pair of children in order to claim their dead father's stolen money,Rev. Harry Powell's confident manner has helped him to pull the wool over many eyes ,except for a savvy old woman who knows evil when she sees it and isn't impressed by his fine singing voice either:
Best wishes to all for a safe and secure Halloween and just remember,whether it's book or film,the most terrifying place to be in tonight is within your own imagination. As one Jane Austen heroine can vouch for,too much scary reading can make you as ill as any overindulging in Halloween candy can in the middle of the night:
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