Halloween Party Essentials
Agatha Christie mentioned British futurist artist Christopher Nevinson's Unfortunate Witch (above) in Murder is Easy, a story set in Ashe Ridge — a strange village inhabited by peculiar people holding ancient superstitions, where revelries are believed to be held on Walpurgis Night and Halloween.
If you're considering your own revelries this Halloween, might I suggest a few items that could make your party go with a scream.
BOOK: Cecil Williamson's
Cecil Williamson's Book of Witchcraft — A Grimoire of the Museum of Witchcraft by Steve Patterson — out on Troy Books — provides a history of Cecil Williamson, founder of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall. The book also provides an account of how the museum began, and an anthology of Cecil's writing on witchcraft.
What strikes the eye is the quality of the Fine Edition of the book (above), which is hand-bound in burgundy goat leather with foil blocking, has lithographic printing on paper with a sewn binding, and a buckram slipcase to keep it in good order.
MUSIC: Kiitos (Eeva Kilpi) feat. IslajaThe sound evoked on the track Kiitos by German producer AGF (or poemproducer) is pretty bloody creepy to my ears, but it's also the type of music I might drift asleep to on a winter's evening, which may or may not say a lot about me.
FILM: Asylum - When Suits KillWe all love a good horror film for Halloween (or Christmas), Hammer or Amicus, the old British productions.
Peter Cushing, Richard Tood, Britt Ekland, Robert Powell and a whole host of wonderful British actors feature in Asylum (1972), a portmanteau horror film with four terrifying tales centred around an insane asylum. Robert Powell plays a young doctor who has to guess which of the inmates was the former head of the asylum.
In the first story, Frozen Fear, a man uses an axe to separate (from) his wife with the line: 'Rest in pieces.' He pays for it and his mistress ends up as the first inmate. In the second story, The Weird Tailor, we learn that, depending on the material used, suits can kill. Be warned. In Lucy Comes to Stay, a troubled Charlotte Rampling is haunted by a malevolent Britt Eckland who goads her into doing terrible things. Finally, in Manikins of Horror, Herbert Lom plays a mad scientist seemingly capable of creating killer dolls.
Why not watch it (below) or the whole Amicus Box Set? After all, you have nothing to lose but your mind.
Whatever you do tonight, remember the words of Mary Wollstonecraft: 'No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness which is the good he seeks.'
Cue echoing diabolical laughter.