Thursday, October 4, 2012

Spooky tales & harvest time


Cover of "Harvest Home"
Cover of Harvest Home
October…
This morning, while reading through a few of the blogs I follow, I read a very enjoyable post from the blog Eagle-Eye Editor. (http://eagleeyededitor.wordpress.com) The writer asks the readers if we believe in ghosts and then proceeds to write about a strange experience that could be something of a ghost tale, or at least something hard to explain. After that, she mentions her enjoyment of the spooky stories of L.B. Taylor, Jr. Since I had not heard of this author previously, my curiosity has been aroused, and I will check his work out. And there is no better month than October to get the spooky stories of ghosts and all-things-weird up and about!

This also led to another thought this morning as I was enjoying my pancakes (with Michigan blueberries!) and coffee. I thought about why I love October so much, and part of the answer was right outside our sliding door. No more than 100 feet out is a golden cornfield, standing patiently, waiting to be harvested. Much farther out, all trees are colored rust, or yellow, or deep gold. Until now, they were rather plain and unobtrusive. Even the slant of the sun has realigned itself throughout the days, and the shadows of late afternoon seem different. The air is clear and good, summer’s heat and humidity gone.
The word harvest seemed to trigger something about October and the tales that are so good during the month.

Perhaps one of the spookiest stories I read years ago was Harvest Home by Tom Tryon. Written in 1973, the book is certainly not new. A TV movie followed and was quite good, mainly because it is a good story and the cast was excellent. Bette Davis portrayed the strange Widow Fortune. It’s a creepy tale of a family from New York who chuck that lifestyle for a quaint and bucolic New England small town. What they discover, as the tale unwinds, is that things aren’t what they seem. I would recommend a visit to your library to locate this book. A search at Barnes & Noble or Amazon might yield results as well. Either way, Harvest Home is an excellent October read—before all of the Halloween and other standard fare is offered up later on.

I’ve always loved stories such as this one, and I believe that there is no better month than October—harvest time—to enjoy some all over again. I just pulled my old copy of Harvest Home from its spot on the bookshelf and shall be re-reading soon. And, thanks to Eagle-Eye Editor, I’ll begin my search for L.B. Taylor, Jr., and add him to my October reading pile.

It’s a great month to read those cool tales that keep us looking over our shoulders and wondering what that movement in the shadows was….MLA

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