It’s Halloween!

It is that time of the year for ghost, goblins, witches and yes vampires…..but mostly it is the time for lots and lots of candy.

This year there will be something special…and I am not talking about the virus or related stuff.

No matter how you plan to spend Halloween night amid a pandemic, Mother Nature plans to deliver the appropriate setting. For the first time since 1944, a full moon will rise over all US time zones on Saturday, reports USA Today. Halloween only sees a full moon every 19 years, reports Smithsonian, meaning US time zones won’t experience another until 2039. This will be a blue moon, the second full moon of the month, which only occurs about once even 2.5 years, per Smithsonian. Dubbed the hunter’s moon—in reference to traditional efforts to hunt game at night to prepare for winter, per CNN—the moon will appear smaller than usual as it nears the farthest point in its orbit around the Earth, so mind the shadows.

One of the most popular characters for Halloween is that of a vampire… let’s look at the vampire thing….

Back in the early days of the American spot we had our witch trials and the deaths of people accused of witchcraft…..but did you know that the US had its “panic”?

It was a scene only Dracula and his blood-spattered ilk could love. In the late 18th and early 19th century, New Englanders were gripped by a vampire panic. In desperation, they began dismembering suspected vampires in hopes of driving off the terror and death that threatened to upend their lives.

It all began in some unfortunate New England villages, as tuberculosis (then called consumption) ravaged entire families and communities. This bacterial lung disease, which spreads easily among family members, has horrid symptoms, giving feverish sufferers an ashen appearance and sunken eyes. In some cases, blood would drop from their mouths.

It was a slow, wretched death – almost as if the life was gradually being drained out of them. It earned the name “consumption” for the way it caused dramatic weight loss. So severe was the epidemic that it claimed around 2 percent of the region’s population from 1786 to 1800 and eventually killed perhaps 25 percent of the East Coast’s citizens.

Nothing to worry about right?

Well maybe not so fast…there seems there was a vampire that ran rampant in Croatia……

Long before the CW’s The Vampire Diaries and Twilight rode the heartthrob vampire trend to ruin, before Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were baring their fangs in laced-frilled adaptations of Anne Rice novels, and before Taika Waititi was doing a hilarious send-up of the entire mythos with What We Do In Shadows, vampires were part-and-parcel of a far more ancient set of terrifying myths and legends. Their deep-sinking, sexually symbolic fangs have captured imaginations and tickled suppressed libidos since Bram Stoker’s original 1897 novel took those myths and popularized them. His work, written as a series of letters and journal entries, opened the gateway to an entire universe of blood-slathered movies, books, TV shows, games, and questionable cosplay.

Is there a good reason for the vampire legend?

But where did the myth of vampires come from? Like many myths, it is based partly in fact. A blood disorder called porphyria, which has has been with us for millennia, became prevalent among the nobility and royalty of Eastern Europe. Porphyria is an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to produce less heme — a critical component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues. It seems likely that this disorder is the origin of the vampire myth. In fact, porphyria is sometimes referred to as the “vampyre disease.”

Consider the symptoms of patients with porphyria:

Now that the vampire legend has been presented….how about another character of legend….the Werewolf?

We hear a howl. “Werewolf?” asks Dr. Victor Frankenstein. “There wolf,” replies Igor, adding, “There castle.” Young Frankenstein just never gets old. And neither does the legend of the werewolf.

A lot of what we think we know about werewolves is actually the product of Hollywood’s fertile imagination, including the “rules” of were-dom. In 1941 Universal rolled out The Wolf Man, starring Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, the poor schmoe who, once bitten, is forever to be subject to dramatic, hirsute transformation into a ravenous killing machine. (Well, it is 1941, after all, so it’s not all that horrendous. The makeup effects are kind of cool, though.) Eventually the character would even meet Abbot and Costello (along with Frankenstein’s Monster).

There is my round-up for this day……

Happy Halloween!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

6 thoughts on “It’s Halloween!

  1. I don’t celebrate it, but some families around here have made a big effort decorating their houses. They have been rewarded with high winds and torrential rain, so I am guessing Halloween will be a washout in Beetley.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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