31/31 28 Days Later

carmillaToday’s story “Squire Toby’s Will” takes on near Faulknerian proportions: the rotting old estate, the family dispute, implicational inbreeding, and loud hints of beastiality.

Then in his dream this semi-human brute would approach his face to his, crawling and crouching up his body, heavy as lead, till the face of the beast was laid on his, with the same odious caresses and stretchings and writhings which he had seen over the old Squire’s grave.

Yes, that’s right, folks. This story has a grave humping dog.

And you were worried about your leg.

At any rate, J.Sheridan Le Fanu was one of the main originators of the vampire in its modern incarnation, and more importantly, the lesbian vampire film genre. Le Fanu wrote Carmilla, which was partially based on Coleridge’s lesbian vampire poem “Christabel” and history was made. Or actually, Hammer Studios adapted it with Ingrid Pitt, and history was made.

The second story is an audio version of The Upper Berth, a classic sea story by Francis Marion Crawford. I have a copy of this in an audio version of Classic Tales of Ghosts and Vampires, but here’s a free version from Literal Systems, an incredibly cool site with quality readings of public domain works. Like Quiller-Couch’s story, this one combines ghosts and ships, and you can’t get better than that, John Carpenter’s The Fog being one of those most underrated horror films of the 1970s. I mean, come on! He followed up a seminal slasher film with an old-fashioned ghost story. That took a lot of guts, which was why there weren’t any visible in The Fog. Anyway, The Fog rules! I’ll shut up about it now.

At any rate, I believe that Southern California is behaving in oddly Halloween like ways. For example, it was actually cold tonight, and the leaves are actually brown. Here’s to seeing out my last Samhain here properly.


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