I played an exotic gypsy on more than
one occasion! Even reprised the role
for a PTA Carnival!
Why has Halloween been so popular?  Why have I enjoyed it over other fun times of the year?
I recall as a child the eager anticipation as the trees turned to gold, scarlet, and brown beneath an October sky with a unique clarity and a deep azure color. The time of fall festivals, bags of candy, parties, hayrides, mad leaps into piles of crackling eaves, and lots of plain fun.
The inspiration for dozens of daring deeds and funny pranks from older adults and siblings and delightful shivers danced up spines as scary stories and stupid jokes were shared around glowing jack-a-lanterns.
There was the giggling excitement of heading to the local Woolworths or Ben Franklin to see the long rows of shiny boxes, each with a small window of hard cellophane revealing wondrous masks for fairies, heroes, and animals. The hard decisions that followed: would it be the exotic gypsy fortuneteller or the Little Red Riding Hood, or maybe the Monster, Clown, or a Spaceman this year?  
Every child readily over looked the shortcomings of the mandatory accompanying acetate satin costume (always for some reason with sparkles detailing the seams and adding details to the costume).  Too short or too long, what did matter? 
It was Halloween!
Halloween and numerous rites of passage lay ahead with each new turning of the season. 
Arcane knowledge and childhood rituals passed from generation to generation: look for the sacred light of welcome (the front porch light casting its feeble glow), look carefully before you cross the street, and always, always say “Thank you.”
Anticipatory huddles preceded the event on playgrounds, street corners, and in back yards.  Skills were shared in excited whispers, but ultimately it was a lonely hero’s journey to be faced in solitude. A rite of passage was learning to walk boldly up the forbidden zone of someone’s front porch, climbing nervously the steps illuminated by glowing jack-o-lanterns knocking on a door that stood ten feet tall.  
A soft childish knock, a stuttering “trick-or-treat!” followed by smiling faces, mock looks of surprise or fear at your dime store or homemade costume. The handfuls of goodies dumped into plastic pumpkins, paper bags, or mother’s second best pillow cases.  Squeaky voices excitedly calling “thank you!”   Children rushing back to the sidewalk to catch up with friends. Voices mingling in squeals of delight, as they compared their booty, and autumn joined in blowing chill kisses and swirling her colorful skirt.
Halloween is a distinctly American holiday. It’s taproots stem from ancient rituals and celebrations. The manner in which it developed was unique and reflected the “melting pot” s many cultures met and mingled.
As the celebration changed, one element remained at the core : the festival belongs to the land of the imagination: that rich, fertile soil from which all creativity stems and innovation flows.
Although every decade saw some threat to produce a “Year without a Halloween”, sanity prevailed and the joys of this special rite continued, changed perhaps by contemporary influences, truncated through modern fears, but it remains as a reminder that people – of all ages – need magic, mystery, and hours of simple fun.
The answer to my question was clear - Halloween was a holiday of the imagination, of play, and stepping outside the confines of the ordinary into the extraordinary. No wonder I have always loved it!

Origins of the Holiday - Halloween

I love October...the crunchy leaves, the chilly nights...and the drama and imagination of Halloween. I was one of those little kids that lived in dress-up clothes, tripped around her mother’s heels and should have won an Oscar at some point in Kindergarten for my stellar performance of Little Red Riding Hood.
I am also an American Celt...no I have no real language or the major customs, but there were a bunch of Celts in my family tree. Despite the lack of language and a loss of many customs...the blood runs strong in other ways. The poet is alive, the warrior, the dreamer, and...Face it...maybe even a tad bit of the schemer. There is also the mystic who can step out into a night and almost see the shimmering layers that curtain us from other realities, as they ripple in some cosmic breeze.
Halloween began as such in a long distant time. It was a night when someone would leave the door between this world and the next ajar. The recently dead, and perhaps other things, could come to call. Saucers of milk would be left out as an offering to keep the visit...friendly.
So enjoy the sigh of the wind and the crackle of leaves as you walk. Set out your autumn decorations and enjoy the "October country" as author Ray Bradberry called it.....but leave some milk out on the night. Just in case.
Now some history; to understand the roots of Halloween it is necessary introduce the Celts.
The term Celts refer to numerous tribal groups occupying Europe from about 800 C.E. who shared a common language group.  From the Steppes to Ireland they were the tradesman, philosophers, artisans, and warriors who dominated the landscape and successfully challenged early Rome.   They were the ancestors of the people known as the “Gauls”, the “Norseman”, and the “Britons”.  Although they shared a common language and fundamental religious beliefs, they developed in many different ways and practices varied. 
One common belief held by many of these people groups was that on a particular night of the year the separation of this world from the next changed.  
Like a curtain billowing in a breeze glimpses between the two co-existing realities were possible.  Sometimes, the recently dead could slip back into the world of the living to say goodbyes, give a blessing, or cause a bit of mischief.  
For the Celts, most of whom believed in reincarnation, death was but another part of existing.   Customs of leaving small gifts to not offend the returning dead (and bring about problems) often developed.  Animals were favored forms for the returning dead and so leavings milk out for dogs or cats became the custom in some locations.
All of this occurred at the turning of the year at Samhaim (Sow-wain).  Harvest time the world over share similar festivals marking the end of the growing season, the successful gathering of the harvest, and celebration before the onslaught of winter’s stark chill.  
Many of these Celtic customs came to America in early Colonial days, mingling with customs from the Dutch, the English, the Germans, and the Native Americans.  There was even an element of the Roman feast of Saturnalia in how America celebrated the night; roles were reversed and chaos celebrated. Many aspects of this initially agrarian based festival would remain important and be kept alive in remote rural areas well into the 20th century.  The greatest diversity occurs as locales become increasingly urbanized and more multicultural in the early years of the 20th century.
In Oklahoma, which did not become a state until 1907, there is distinct evidence of the old customs and the melting pot in action as customs from various times, and places begin to mingle and what emerges is the American Halloween.  Evidence of this is revealed by the various names over the years: fall festival, harvest festival, “huskin’ time”, “begging night”, “Nutcrack Night” (a term from Britain), Halloween, and even for the more negative, “Helloween.”



My first copy was purchased
at the college bookstore
on clearance.
Nearly everyone has enjoyed a Gothic tinged novel or movie at some point. In this season it is common for people to return to those familiar, and well trod, elements for a little thrill.  The classic motifs of the Gothic are well known, from the decrepit  castle or manor, the mysterious and tormented hero, to the innocent damsel in distress and the lurking supernatural patina (ghost, legend, or mysterious and unexplained element).  Have you ever wondered where those all came from?  A short little novel first published in 1764 by Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Oxford.  The part time antiquarian attempted to create something new based on the Romanticism of the period and in the process did just that by forging a template of almost all Gothic works for the next three centuries.  Even to this day, those elements of the crumbling spooky house, the mysterious threat, the multi-layered leading man, and the poor innocent leading lady are standards of the genre.   Minor elements and quirks may emerge but the formula worked well for Walpole and for Gothika (2003).  Checking the shelves at the local book stores and the marquee at the theater reveals it is still hard at work as well.


OCTOBER COUNTRY: The Shadow People

They are described as blurs of smoky darkness, columns of dark thick something, silhouettes of a man in top hat, silhouettes of a man with out a house, a man like dark shape.  Sometimes with eyes glowing red.  They have been reported, and allegedly caught on security cameras, in homes, businesses, and on the street.  Most agree they emanate evil.

Some suggest there has been a spike in reports since about 2000.  Others, suggest that the reported fondness of them for closets and similar spaces means they are merely the old bogeyman in a new set of clothes. Yet, most older tales of spirits utilize different motifs and archetypes.

Are they simply the dark, elongated and upright version of the ancient incubus, succubus, ghost, vampire, or demon?  Are they simply new creations produced in response to contemporary fears of a vague "something" that will come and get us?



The Overholser Mansion was the first mansion in the city and constructed by local land dealer and entrepreneur, Henry Overholser in 1903.

In the 1960's the mansion was offered to the state of Oklahoma, with all contents intact, as a historical site.

A rare glimpse into history as it was - no need to renovate or find similar styles of furnishings -  because it never changed inside and was maintained by the same family from construction til it was given over to the state.

Learn more here and plan to attend an event or take a tour of the grand lady of early Oklahoma City.   



On  "Coast-to-Coast AM" (10/1/2011) a called reported going to sleep and seeking faces coming at here as she tried to go to sleep.  They morphed into one another and then she felt something or someone wanting to 'get into her' and take her over.

I found this very interesting because of an incident reported to me from this last spring.  A woman lay down to sleep and as she closed her eyes attempting to rest she noticed a whirling dark black, yellow and orange mass evolving and from this emerged faces - clear, unique, and totally unknown to her!  She said it seemed that it was a doorway and if she kept focusing she would go through that entryway to where the faces were emerging.  Part of her wanted to in order to see what it was and if there was some psychic experience waiting there.  Another part of her held back and purposefully closed that door and shut out the faces...


A recent internet hoax played up the giants among us theme with some patently unbelievable images.  They suffer from the 'Godzilla Syndrome' - being so huge it is impossible to suspend belief long enough to wonder if they really did exist. 

However, through history, there have been alleged findings of larger than normal skeletons which might bear more study.  A list here.  

Giantism is not an unknown condition, as well, and some people groups tend to be very tall, slender limbed, and with fine features while others tend to be  shorter, sturdier, and heavier bone construction (Big bones run in the family, right?).

With recent research claiming all people with non-African genetic background are desceneded from the Net


In honor of the season author Ray Bradbury called the October country 'Mystorical' will present some strange and mysterious stories for your enjoyment.

1.  The Man in Their Dreams

Back in 2006 people started reporting dreams of a man's face and words.  One patient of a counselor sketched the face and another patient recognized it from his own dreams!

Others reported similar 'sightings' or 'dreamings'.   Although some argued it was all an elaborate hoax, others suggested tapping into a mythic common mind, or responses to suggestions.

Apparently, since the start of 2011 his appearances have peaked and occur strangely at the start of the month and appear to have no relation to media stories.

Is he a presentation of the "Shadown Men"?  Is he an alien targeting audiences for a message and eventual acceptance?  Is he a devil, demon, or evil entity seeking control and manipulation?  Is this what happened to Alfred E. Newman?    

I Write Like...

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Expanded and Revised Edition

Expanded and Revised Edition
Coming Soon!