Welcome Everyone to a "NEW" addition to the "Soft in the Head" family “Soft in the Head Hauntings”! This blog will be devoted entirely to my love of Halloween and everything Halloween and the inner “trickster” that exists in all of us! I will debut new Halloween characters and their stories here, quirky stories from my childhood and funny and often “bloopers” of my everyday life road. I hope you will find some time to follow the "Haunting Happenings" here at "Soft in the Head Hauntings".....

~~~I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. ~~~

The Countdown Begins....

"From ghosties and ghoulies and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!" - Old Scottish Prayer

The "Ghoultide Gathering" October 2, 2010

Oct 31, 2009

Haunting Halloween Everyone!

A gypsy fire is on the hearth,
Sign of the carnival of mirth;
Through the dun fields and from the glade
Flash merry folk in masquerade,
For this is Hallowe'en!

Oct 30, 2009



Oct 26, 2009

My Witch-ey Daughter.........

My Daughter Casey and Her Witch-ey Best Bud Charlotte!

They had such a blast when they went to Salem, Ma. I think the picture definitely says in all. Casey is on the left and Charlotte on the right...I think that is an "old" love interest in the middle, lol!

Oct 20, 2009

The Great Pumpkin is Coming.....

Here Comes Big Orange!
This picture is actually what I have on my desktop and it makes me smile all the time. It isn't from the original animated Charlie Brown episode but it pretty much captures the whole idea of the "Great Pumpkin" and the essence of Halloween in "Peanuts-ville". Often I think back of Halloweens that have gone by and remember how my daughter would mark off on our calendar when her favorite Halloween specials would be airing. Of course the" real world" had to be navigated around these auspicious occasions! No one wanted to miss "The Great Pumpkin" no matter how many times you had seen it before. These were definitely the finer days of Halloween with my kids...the anticipation, the t.v. shows and the choosing of the most important treat for the occasion! I remember sitting at home alone waiting on the visitors who came knocking while the kids went out into the night with their dad, who by the way was also dressed up, in pursuit of that coveted sweet treasure synonymous with Halloween. When they would return to show us their bounty it was a scramble to keep their dad from stealing the best chocolate bars for himself.....the kids would always win! Often we would have warm cider waiting and a bowl of popcorn mixed with m&m's (the best way to eat popcorn). Dad would pop in a VHS of their favorite Halloween story, usually "Sleepy Hollow" and we would wind down the evening as a family. Traditions are hard to forget and often bring a smile and a tug at the heart. I love this time of year and dive into it with a new sense of purpose as I watch my grandkids dressing up and excited and the parents who were once those same young kids enjoy the moment and scramble to get the chocolate candy bars. I see "The Great Pumpkin" through their eyes now and it is still the same as it was with their parents. Time marches on but Halloween still creates a magic that never leaves, just grows......

Oct 12, 2009

It's Almost Here!!!!!

Who Ya Gonna Be??????
I remember when I was young that it would take me months to figure out who I wanted to be for Halloween. My friends and I would start setting our claims to certain characters very early so not to copy one another. After all it was VERY important to be one of a kind! My favorite costume was always the one I (actually mom) would make from odds and ends around the house.
It felt like I had been given a special wish when my mom would let me go through her costume jewelry and closet. There was this one Halloween that I REALLY wanted to be a gypsy...Gypsies were very big in the '50's. My mom had the most perfect skirt and tons (well I thought tons) of beads. She also had this very sparkly scarf that was often used as a shawl that she would wrap around my head. I looked so good! Dad came home from the "Five and Dime" with a small tambourine which was "JUST PERFECT" and I was ready to flaunt my stuff and collect a ton of goodies in the process! My bestest friend Marsha came over and much to my dismay she too was dressed as a gypsy. She had thought about being a witch but her mom talked her into the gypsy cause she had more funny clothes to chose from....Oh well so I guess now I had a caravan instead of the "Lone Gypsy"! It was great to see all your friends imaginations come alive on this auspicious night! Many created their own costumes but quite a few bought theirs. Remember the boxed costumes. They had everything! My brother loved "Zorro" from the Zorro on Disney! I remember going to the "Five and Dime" with my mom and seeing stacks upon stacks of costume boxes. Remember "Ben Cooper" and "Collegeville"? Halloween always sparks the greatest memories for me. We NEVER had fear of trick or treating. My parents would set a time frame and off we would go....with our pillow cases! You would see all your buddies or think you knew who they were...some of the costumes were amazing! There was never fear of anyone getting hurt or poisoned...Halloween was magical! My own children got to enjoy some of that magic when they were young. We tried to keep it alive. I still remember the smells and sounds of my childhood, I wonder if they do too. What is your fondest memory of "Halloween?"

Sep 23, 2009

Giggles and Good Memories!

The Ghost and Mister Chicken
I can remember back in 1966 being dropped off at the small theater in Gresham, Oregon with my younger brother in tow to watch "The Ghost and Mister Chicken". Since I had already grown up with Don Knotts as my favorite deputy sheriff from Mayberry I was eagerly anticipating some serious laughter from this movie. Not only was it going to be a comedy but a "spooky" comedy!

What prompted this post was I was lucky enough to see the movie today on television. Of course it will never be the same as it was all those years ago eating "REALLY" good buttered popcorn and sitting in a wonderful old theater with my kid brother but it did tap into those memories and nostalgia took over. It sure does do the spirit good when such happy memories surface and a smile slowly creeps across your face and even stays for a while in reflection.....Thanks Don Knotts!

Aug 20, 2009

Favorite Old Ghost Movies.......

Okay I admit it I am an old movie buff....I am a charter member to "American Movie Classics" and I love the "Turner Classic Movies" as well. What is my all time favorites though are the early "ghost" story type movies, like "The Uninvited" from 1944 starring Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey. This movie still gets my adrenalin pumping and has my skin tingling in anticipation of being scared. There is no blood and guts or spectacular special effects it is just good old black and white movie magic, and it works! There was one old movie that starred Bob Hope that I loved, "The Ghost Breakers". It was a great funny ghost romp from the 1940's and then it was later made into a movie with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis called "Scared Stiff". Both movies were full of laughs and scary moments that kept you thoroughly entertailed. I enjoy old fashion ghost stories, ones without blood and gore...I just want to be scared not made ill! I felt very lucky to have grown up with the "old" Hollywood and the black and white movie genre. Black and white movies give one a feel of "spooky" without really trying.

There is one movie that came out in 1988 that I thought was an exceptional "ghost" story. It is called "The Lady in White" with Lukas Haas. This movie is full of our childhood fantasies of what Halloween and spooky pranks can do to our imaginations. It is tense and sad but yet it gives you a sense of peace at the end. It mixes the scariness of an old ghost story with the horrors of a true life monster that lives around us. Fantastic movie! Share some of your own favorites here. We all need to add to our "ghostly" movie lists!

Jul 27, 2009

And Where's Your Broom??????

Halloween Is Fast Approaching......

Soon, our streets will be crawling with terrors. Shadows will stretch across the landscape, masking the approach of ghouls and vampires. Clouds will part to reveal the moon, and under its pale blue glow innocents will transform into werewolves. Science experiments gone awry will give birth to Frankenstein-like monstrosities.

Suddenly, the crisp autumn air will be split by a hideous cackle. Shivers of fear run down your spine. Dogs bare their teeth, their fur rising on its hackles. The queen of Halloween, the scheming witch, has arrived to ensnare you in her web of magic.
But listen well, for it might save your life: the witch derives much of her power from the broom she carries; deprive her of it and you deprive her of her ability to terrorize.

In popular imagery, witches are often depicted silhouetted against the glow of a full moon, riding a broom across the sky with a black cat perched effortlessly on the end.
This representation, or variations of it, has been a part of our culture since the 1440s. But why? How does the broom tie in with the myth of potion-brewing hags?The origins of the association go back much further than the 15th century, into the dark recesses of history, when pagans worshipped openly across Europe. In this early religion, brooms were powerful symbols of fertility. In addition, before important ceremonies brooms would have been used to sweep out an area of worship, both physically and mystically.

By the Middle Ages, the pagan belief system had been all-but eliminated in most of Europe and the last remnants, persecuted by the church and branded as devil-worshippers, were the witches of popular mythology.
Folklore also held that witches avoided persecution by disguising wands, the focus of their infernal powers, as common and inconspicuous brooms. Brooms might also be used as a receptacle to harbor spirits. Obviously, brooms held no real power, but witches in fact used them as a symbol of their faith.

One pagan ceremony that remained in use through the Middle Ages, for example, saw individuals jumping up and down while straddling a broom in the belief that doing so would encourage crop growth. As well, since Halloween festivities were held during rainy seasons, brooms might be used to assist in vaulting over puddles and swollen streams.Of course, it has also become a symbol of Halloween. No doubt, many young hags will be armed with them come Halloween Eve, prepared to hex your home should you refuse them candy.


Jul 24, 2009

Give Away on Soft in the Head....

Meet "Celebrate" the Mouse.....
Pop over to my "Soft in the Head" blog and leave a comment to be entered for my little mouse "Celebrate". It is my "Customer Appreciation" month so I am giving two mice away! Without my friends, customers and followers "Soft in the Head" would still be an idea floating around in this eclectic brain of mine....

Jul 11, 2009

Do you Ouiji????

Known To Some As The Witch Board....
I honestly believe that anyone who has a thing for spooky and the spirit world has had to have used an "OUIjI" board at one time or another....While I was growing up they were a MAJOR taboooo and forbidden to ever cross the doorway into our home. My mother swore they were a direct link to Satan (who?)....now how would she know that unless....yea! My mom must have been caught using one by her mother and believe me when I tell you that my grandmother had a more powerful link to Satan than any Ouigi board ever could!!!! She was not a nice person! Any who, so have any of you ever used one. I have and they are a blast until you get some numb-skull that likes to push the little gizmo around instead of letting the"unknown" powers do it. My first experience with an Ouigi board was when I was at the ripe old age of 10 and I was at my friend Marsha's sleep over. Of course the board was actually her older sister Julie's but we borrowed it anyway. Now how many ten year old's do you know that really understand the happenings of such a device....not to darn many. All we manage to to do that night was scare each other into not sleeping and jumping at every little sound...Good Times!

I tried the Ouigi board a few more times during my uninformed youth with little or no result. It wasn't until I was 22 years old and at an honest to heaven seance that I was able to grasp the full impact of that silly little board. I left that seance with a new found respect for the Ouiji board and the "hereafter" from then on....I wonder if I should put an "Ouiji" board on my Christmas list and have a sleep over. After all my house is thoroughly and completely haunted! At least with their"invited" presence I wouldn't have to make extra snacks!

Jun 30, 2009

Are The Spirits Knocking at Your Door?.......

I think we all believe in a bit of the supernatural...Well I know I do! Heck my husband and I live in it! This old store that we call home is frequently visited by one spirit in particular, we call her Mary. Mary is of the singing variety of spirits, ghosts, spectres whatever....and we often are woken up to one of her strange melodies as she wanders around the old store in the middle of the night. I remember one time she came up behind me when I was doing laundry and started singing. Well I can honestly say that it took me awhile to peel my clothes off the ceiling! We've gotten use to her though and at times find her humorous. Our cats, not so much! They still avoid certain areas in this old place and spit and snarl at thin air...

I actually saw my first ghost when I was eleven. I remember lying in bed late at night, unable to sleep. I popped my bedside lamp on so I could read another "Nancy Drew Mystery". When my light came on I saw a woman standing at the foot of my bead. She was smiling and then disappeared. It happened so fast that I honestly didn't have time to re-act. That image has stayed with me for almost fifty years now.... Between Mary singing in my ear and that experience I had at eleven I guess you would say I am a HUGE believer in the nether-world and the supernatural. How about you?

Jun 20, 2009

Remember Saturday Matinees?

I remember when my weekly allowance of 50 cents could take me into the pits of fear and imagination! I could hang out, for a couple of hours, with The Wolfman, Frankenstein, Mummy, Dracula and a cast of a hundred others. Haunted castles, houses and cemeteries became places of wonder and intrigue and of course the occasional death or body snatching. I grew up with a whole other concept of electricity, colored liquids and bubbling tubes and an ooze that could take over the world. High pitched screams, creaking doors and agonizing moans were not only expected but I sat in wait for them. Even organ music makes my head dance with the images of spirits spiraling through a vast decaying room in a dark and foreboding mansion or castle. Women were always the victims (boy how times have changed) and the prettier they were it seemed their IQ dropped. I miss the old tyme Actors that created these life long matinee friends. Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and BelaLugosi. It seems that they not only immortalized these monsters but they created pretty big shoes to fill. Thank God for the Steven Spielberg's of our generation who were able to capture some of that old tyme Saturday Matinee magic and create a world for our children to get lost in......I still look under my bed at night before hitting the sack, "how about you"?

Jun 7, 2009

Old Crone or Witch????

Age Has Its Advantages......

Many tales can be told of witches flying the night skies or turning rejected suitors to toads.... but what are witches really? Some say they are healers and friends of nature...Many perceive them as wrinkled and old and full of wisdom. I see them as all knowing using their learned wisdom to help the mis-guided to find their way. Do you know a witch?

In my travels I have met a couple and actually have two very dear souls in the family that are self proclaimed witches. My two family members are very active in their community and admired by many. They offer their wisdom freely and sell their cherished herbs to devoted customers. The picture I have here reminds me of them working in their beloved garden. I love talking to them but I'm always leery about saying I'm not well or I have some bone that is giving me trouble cause before I know it I am receiving some horrid concoction in the mail. Trust me when I tell you the whiff that oozes from the package is rarely inviting! Kudos to that old crone that lives near us all and is a good hearted soul. Halloween is coming and I can see the brooms being refurbished and set in ready for that MIDNIGHT ride!

Jun 5, 2009

Do You Cackle????

If You Cackle, Cackle With Pride!
If you honestly think about it a persons laugh can say an awful lot about the person and what their personality is like....A robust and loud laugh tells you that this is a person who loves life and isn't afraid to show it. A snicker says, I'm a bit insecure and not sure if this is a good time to laugh but it's really funny! Now what about a cackle???? I think all of us associate a cackle with a witch, or that of a hen who has just laid an egg, right? Well I am here to tell you I CACKLE and I am neither a witch or a hen...I just cackle. I am proud of my cackle, I have worked years to perfect it. Now I might have borrowed some of my "cackle" nuances from the experts like "the Wicked Witch of the West" and Snow Whites Stepmother, but I would say that most of it comes from me. Sometimes when I hear myself I begin to ponder...is there a bit of the ol' witch residing inside me???? I mean after all, I do have six brooms in my house along with three neurotic cats??? Hm-m-m-mmm? Maybe there is more to me than I know? What about you...do you cackle?????

May 31, 2009

Gotta Love The Pumpkin Guy!
In the past, the word "jack-o-lantern" was used to describe the mysterious and inexplicable floating light seen at night, usually in swampy areas. In the US they were known as "will-o-the-wisp", "corpse light" in England, "witch fire" in Africa, and "fox fire" in Ireland.

According to folk legend, having been turned away from both, heaven and hell, the jack-o-lantern light is a soul that is forced to wander the earth forever. It's dangerous to see one, because they can force humans to blindly follow them to their deaths or disappearance.

There is an Irish folktale that provides a good background for the origin of the name. There was a man named Jack who was hated by most of the villagers for his drunkeness and terrible attitude. He was drinking one night when the devil came to claim his soul, however he was able to convince him to have one last drink with him before going to Hell. After they finished drinking, Jack explained to the devil that he did not have the money to pay for them and quite cunningly convinced the devil to change himself into a sixpence and then to change himself back after paying. The devil agreed, but Jack picked up the devil's coined self and placed him into his coin bag, which had the shape of the cross on it. The cross made the devil powerless and therefore could not escape. When Jack died, Heaven did not let him in because he was far too greedy during his life on Earth. Hell also denied him because of his trickery, which infuriated Satan. Jack was eating a turnip when the devil threw him a lit coal. He picked up the coal and placed it into the turnip, creating a lantern for him to use as he wandered the earth. Therefore, jack-o-lantern means "Jack of the Lantern."

The custom of carving a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern is a thousand year old custom from Ireland. People would hallow out turnips, carve simple and sometimes scary faces, and used them as lanterns to light the roads for Halloween travelers. They were also used to scare away evil ghosts.

May 25, 2009

I Still Laugh.....

Remember Disney's "Sleepy Hollow"?

If you have NEVER seen this I would definitely run out and buy it, rent it or netflix it.....Growing up with Disney
was like breathing for me and I can still remember
the first time I watched this

and listening to Bing Crosby's narration and song. This short little
animated flick resurfaces my childhood memories with such magic and laughter!

We brought our own kids up with a tradition of watching this on Halloween while we drank apple cider and munched ourselves into popcorn comas. I am now hoping that I can share the experience and story of "Icabod Crane" and the "Headless Horseman" with my own grandchildren.

Enjoy a few images and Bing Crosby's song and go out and pick this up....or I will send the "Headless Horseman" your way....BOO!

May 24, 2009

Trick 'O' Treat!

The History of Tricking and Treating.....
Trick'O'Treating, like Halloween, can be traced back to All Souls Day, a long time ago. All the poor people would go out at night to people's homes begging and the people would give them treats called soul cakes. After a while of this happening, times changed and the children became the beggars. As they went to different houses, they would be given fruit, bread, and maybe money. Now, when the custom came to America, the children would be given candy to prevent the people from being tricked. It was tradition that if a person did not give the child candy, the child would play a trick on them, such as egging their house.

What is your fondest memory of going out on that eerie night? Did you go to Halloween parties or carnivals? Did any of you have a real "Haunted House" in your neighborhood and all the local kids had their own story to tell about it? Was Halloween a family event with everyone dressing up including good ol' mom and dad? Did you decorate your own home and play scary music? What kind of treats were your favorite and what kind did your house give out? Did you you use a pillow case for collecting your treasures on that auspicious night? Oh yes and the most important question of all "What was your favorite costume"? Com'on and share....

May 22, 2009

A "Giveaway Treat" and Welcome!

Win a "Cauldron Cutie" stump doll witch!
Congrats To "The Smiling Goat! You Won!

Become a follower of "Soft in the Head Hauntings" and leave a comment and your name could be the one drawn from the resident "Harry Potter Sorting Hat" on June 1st...I hope to see many new faces and some old friends! WELCOME to my corner of the "Halloween World"...

The Beginning........

Meet "Nightshade" the First of My Halloween Raven Characters and Her Sister Hemlock"!!

"Nightshade the Enchantress"

"Hemlock the Mystic"

A burning a candle inside a jack-o-lantern on Halloween keeps evil spirits and demons at bay.

If a candle suddenly goes out by itself on Halloween, as though by breath or wind, it is believed that a ghost has come to call.

Gazing into a flame of a candle on Halloween night will enable you to peer into the future.

If you hear footsteps trailing close behind you on Halloween night, do not to turn around to see who it is, for it may be Death himself! To look Death in the eye, according to ancient folklore, is a sure way to hasten your own demise.
The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween, and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was displaced, or had been damaged, it was considered to be an indication that the one to whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months.
If a bat flies around a house three times, it is considered to be a death omen.

A person born on Halloween can both see and talk to spirits.
Knocking on wood keeps bad luck away.
If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching you.
Put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night to meet a witch.

May 16, 2009

Ghost Stories Are The Best......

I can still remember, many years ago , sitting up well past midnight with my friend Marcia reading scary stories and eating popcorn in bed. We would huddle next to each other as if we were sharing the same skin, and not from the cold but from the newest book we had checked out from the library. It seems that when the weather began to change and the colors of the trees turned golden it was time to start reading the stories that made even the hair on a bald man stand up, those creepy, heart pounding and sometimes leg crossing ghost stories! My favorites were the "Alfred Hickok" and "Edgar Allen Poe" series. I remember lying awake all night after reading, turning every common household noise into a 300 page thriller! My imagination would run amok! Marcia and I swore we could hear hearts thumping, hands creeping and the proverbial ghost shrieking through the halls. I wouldn't change a thing! I loved being a kid, especially a kid whose fondness for all things Halloween has only enhanced her imagination the older she has gotten....BOO!