Martian Mania

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The power of persuasion is a mighty thing. To be able to bend opinion and make people believe what one is saying is a trait not everyone carries. One of the biggest examples of the power of persuasion would be the night the War of the Worlds broadcast. It sent terror and panic through American listeners on an October night in 1938.

Whether it was intended to be a Halloween scare or just a simple radio play adapted from H.G. Wells‘ novel of the same name, one thing is for sure, listeners believed every word of it.

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When the broadcast begin it provided a disclaimer that the radio show was a drama. However, not all listeners caught this and thus was a catalyst to the mass confusion. Confusion was instigated by the fact that the radio network it was broadcast from, The Mercury Theatre on Air, aired their programs without commercials. So to listeners this felt like a live event.

Orson Welles is the man credited for causing fear to seep into American’s veins and paralyze them with panic. Welles was the narrator of the show. The focus of the show was that martians from outer space invaded earth and earth’s inhabitants fought to save the planet. The public’s reaction was sheer terror and the radio network received it’s share of backlash. Some people sued the network for the “mental anguish” or “personal injury” they claimed the broadcast caused. Although not all reactions were negative; some people praised the network for the quality of the program. There is even a monument erected in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey to commemorate the fictional martian landing site.

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We’re coming up on the 76th anniversary this October 30th. So just remember, the power of persuasion is a mighty thing; just a mighty as a martian’s ray-gun. ūüôā

 

 

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For a Charm of Powerful Trouble, Like a Hell-broth Boil and Bubble

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Oh Halloween, how do I love thee, let me count the ways! I felt the need to write a little blog ode to my favorite holiday of the entire calendar year: Halloween. Why it’s my favorite? Hmmm, good question. To quote dear Lydia in the movie Beetlejuice,¬†“I, myself, am strange and unusal.”¬†My affection towards the dark and strange started at an early age. And considering this is my mom’s favorite holiday as well, it’s only natural I developed a love for it too.

I’ve thrown many parties in honor of this spooky holiday. The music, the costumes, the food, drinks, the games and decorations are the best. I think this holiday gives people the opportunity for their creative side to shine. Even if someone doesn’t consider themselves creative, this holiday just drags it out of people.

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This month, I’ve been soaking up and taking advantage of watching all the horror movies that are being shown on television. I’ve always loved a good scare. Even though I’m the person that has the covers pulled up to their chin, pillow-clinching and adrenaline pumping because of watching the person being chased by the killer. Or even more nail-biting, when the movie is so silent you can hear a pin drop and the soon-to-be victim is curiously checking out what that “noise” was. Don’t do that, by the way. Simply exit the building and don’t look back.

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I also love putting on a good, vintage Halloween mix. I’m on a marketing committee for a local historic organization, Historic Nashville, Inc. and we recently hosted a Spooky Soiree. I took on the task of supplying our haunted mix. There are so many great vintage Halloween songs out there! Nothing like some old-school Halloween songs to listen to while mingling among party guests.

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I LOVE seeing what costumes people come up with. ¬†I’ve seen some great Halloween attires over the years. Whether it’s a spin on a phrase or pun or a classic monster, I love them all. Halloween is creativity at it’s zenith.

So with the “spook-tacular” holiday right around the corner, I’m going to be counting down. I’ll be flooding my Facebook news feed with lots of wonderful and delightful Halloween images. So join me on my Facebook page to revel in it, if you dare!¬†‚ėě

In the meantime, here are a few costumes of Halloween past I’ve adorned.

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They’re coming to get you, Barbara!

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So I know it’s not October yet and that I may be jumping on the Halloween train too soon, but this time of year is my most favorite! Right when the summer and fall season collide and we start preparing for all things that frighten us. That infamous line: “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” was repeated to me as a child by my oldest brother who loved to hear me scream in fright as he came towards me like a zombie.

One way I get in the Halloween mood is by watching some good ‘ole horror flicks. When I was younger my cousin and I completely rotted our brains out watching scary movies ranging from total classics like Frankenstein to the most D-rated ones such as Slumber Party Massacre. There was no scary stone left unturned when we raided the local video store renting every movie they had in their horror film stock.

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So this post is dedicated to my top ten horror films that definitely give me goosebumps. I’ll count down from ten and lead to my number one favorite of all time. Note: there are more than ten favorites I have but these make the top of the list. Here we go:

10. Sleepaway Camp – If you haven’t checked out the Sleepaway Camp movies (there are more than one), go ahead and do so. The first one is my favorite though. It’s your typical early 1980s scary movie and it’s based at – yep, you guessed it, a summer camp. The ending is twisted so it makes up for some of the cheesy parts. Go ahead and sign yourself up for this one.
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9. Scream – Okay, before you roll your eyes at me, let me explain. This movie came out my freshman year of high school and I saw it in the theater. So it has a nostalgic factor for me. It may not be the absolute scariest movie I’ve ever seen but it’s “jump factor” (what I like to describe as what gives me the jitters and makes me jump out of my seat) is still a solid 6. Plus, one of the characters gives the ultimate advice: Don’t say “I’ll be back” because you won’t!
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8. Psycho – Alfred Hitchcock was the man. He knew how to crank out the thrillers and give us all a good fright. Plus, I love a psychological thriller. I watched a lot of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and films when I was younger so I’d say he helped plant the seed in my scary movie heart. I saw the 1998 re-make in high school too. But I’m still a bigger fan of the 1960s version.
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7. Bram Stoker’s Dracula – There are many versions that have graced the horror film genre. Really, it’s a tie between the 1992 and the original 1931 film with Bela Lugosi.¬†So number¬†7 has to play nice and share the spotlight. I saw the 1992 version at a young age and it definitely solidified my love for the dark and scary.
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6. Pet Sematary – This one comes with a bonus fact: I love Stephen King books and Pet Sematary is by far one of my favorite chillers to read. I’ll always proclaim the book is way scarier than the film. Like, sleep-with-the-light-on-and-bed-sheets-up-to-your-chin, scary. But the film does a great job and still creeps me out. Still, to this day, I have nightmares about Zelda (*shivers*).
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5. Freaks – This one definitely has to be in the top five. If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and do yourself a favor and become “one of us” and watch it. In my opinion, this one has to be seen by any scary movie fan. It’s pretty much expected. This movie proves that the 1930s could be just as creepy as any modern day flick.
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4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Okay, here’s another one that has to share the number list spotlight. I saw the 1974 version first during those years my cousin and I were rotting out our brains. It was one of those that was definitely on our must-see list. Then, I saw the 2003 version in college with a roommate. We were so terrified when we came out of the theater that we ran to our car in the parking lot, hearts racing from what we just saw. And then (lucky us) we lived in a house surrounded by woods and it was at night. Needless to say we ran into the house when we got home and turned on every light possible and probably kept it that way the rest of the night. Ah, memories ūüôā
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3. Alien – This film never gets old to watch to me. It’s a classic. I’ve always had a fascination with creepy things and space. And this one is the mother of all the sci-fi/horror films. Plus, Ripley is just my hero. Period.
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2. Identity – This one is very close to number one for me but didn’t quite steal my heart. But this is a great film. It may not have a scary monster like some of the rest but it certainly messes with your mind. I love a good mystery and this one has tons of twists and turns. I was quite surprised by the ending and those are my kind of movies.
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1. *Drumroll please!* Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my number one favorite…The Shining! The first time I ever saw this film I was about 13 and I’ve been a fan ever since. It’s so weird and it haunted me! Such a simple concept of a small family and a large hotel but the ultimate nail-biter flick. Jack Nicholson did a great job going, well, basically crazy. I even taped (yes, VHS taped) the 1997 mini-series but it didn’t carry the torch. And of course I read the book; which I devoured after watching the film.
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So there you have it folks, my top ten get-me-in-the-mood for the spooky season flicks. Now, excuse me while I go check out that noise I just heard in the kitchen….

Here are some other favorites that didn’t make the list but definitely give me the chills and thrills:
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? – Joan Crawford, the ultimate villain!
House of Wax – Paris Hilton or not, this movie scared me!
The Strangers – Two thumbs up to this modern day thriller. Jump factor is WAY up there.
It – Um, one word: clowns *also a great book.
Resident Evil – Jovanovich does a great job in her role and the zombies are pretty frightening.
Silent Hill – Creepy. Just creepy.
House of 1000 Corpses – A film I watched by myself. In that same house surrounded by woods. Big mistake.
Puppetmaster – This is a old favorite. And yes it’s as cheesy as the title.
Angel Heart – I didn’t realize Robert DeNiro had tapped into the horror genre until I saw this film.
Se7en – My number one favorite psychological thriller.
Poltergeist – That old man was scary!
Friday the 13th – An old favorite indeed.
Donnie Darko – Not scary but weird. And I like weird.

 

 

 

Autumn Love

photo by: Crashing Nightingale

photo by: Crashing Nightingale

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The colors, the change in the atmosphere and everything it invites is intoxicating. It has always been my favorite and I think part of it is because my birthday is in September. It is towards the very end of summer, right before the first day of autumn and I feel it kicks off my love for the season. October is such a beautiful month and Halloween is my favorite holiday. And then November keeps the intoxication going as the last of the colorful leaves fall elegantly to the ground. I recently took a stroll through my neighborhood with my camera to get drunk on the beauty I was witnessing outside. Below are the photos I took. Enjoy ūüôā

Feel free to share what your favorite time of the year is and why.

photo by: Crashing Nightingale

photo by: Crashing Nightingale

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Phillips General Store and Antiques: An antique lover’s playground

 photography by Crashing Nightingale

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Phillips General Store & Antiques¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Vintage catalogue that was showcased in the store’s earlier years.

One of the things I love is anything unique.  What I love even more is if those things that are unique carry history behind it as well.  This is what one can find at Phillips General Store & Antiques. The store carries an array of vintage items and rare antiques.

Nestled in the cozy town of Bell Buckle, Tenn, the Phillips General Store & Antiques building comes with it’s own history. The business is owned by Billy Phillips who purchased it from his antique dealer mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Phillips after he graduated high school. The store began its career as a dry goods business in the 1890s. The store operated until the mid-1950s and was closed up until Mr. and Mrs. Albert Phillips purchased it in 1971.

“We bought the building and it’s contents for $750 in 1971. When we opened it back up, it had all the clothing from the original stock. The showcases, rolling ladders and counters are all original to the building,” explains Mr. A. Phillips as he points out the antique clothing displayed around the store.

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The “apothecary corner”

As a shopper makes their way around the store, one can tell a lot of thought and work is put in displaying all the antiques. Different sections of the store are decorated with similar items or colors. For example, many sections are dedicated to the various holidays. It is easy to find exactly what a buyer would need for any holiday setting or special occasion. Some areas are decorated according to the color of the item. As you maneuver in and out of the different settings you can find yourself admiring antiques that are dedicated to individual colors such as green, red, black or white.

“Billy decorates, no one else is involved. He has travelled around the country working on set designs for gift shows,” states Mr. A. Phillips.
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Vintage photos and that have found a new home in the store.

Currently the store is showcasing many items celebrating Halloween. Antique witches, devils, pumpkins, black cats and goblins are the main attraction upon entering the building. It is a Halloween lover’s dream as there are so many vintage and rare items for the spooky holiday. 19th century photographs are mischievously adorned with construction paper cut-out witches hats. Vintage Halloween costumes hang above the displays and show a time when yellow and black were the traditional Halloween colors.

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Spooky décor for that perfect Halloween party.

Phillips General Store & Antiques is the kind of place you could lose time in while exploring all the rarities and oddities. ¬†Every inch of the store showcases another very cool item that you suddenly find hard to live without. It’s the place where items from long ago have found a new resting place and are waiting to be discovered by you.

http://www.tnvacation.com/vendors/phillips_general_store_antiques/
http://bellbucklechamber.com/

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