Been celebrating the 2013 OTIS Halloween Season with daily posts chronicling our visits to ghost towns, amazing cemeteries, a mirror haunted by Charles Dickens, an H.P. Lovecraft horror convention, old Halloween toys, strange candy, movies, and so much more. And that’s just so far. October hasn’t even started yet.
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Grave of Simon Whipple: I’m no Van Helsing, but I’ve seen my share of vampire graves. Mercy Brown’s in Exeter, Rhode Island. Sarah Tillinghast’s, just a couple of miles away in the same town. The Ray family plot in Jewett City, Connecticut. The Spaulding graves in Dummerston, Vermont, for those that count them as such. The crypt of the Richmond Vampire in Virginia. Heck, even Bela Lugosi’s grave in Culver City, California. But never once have I seen a vampire grave so clearly, well, labeled as Simon Whipple’s in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. See more…
The Tim Burton Exhibit: I’ve now breathed in particles off the leather outfit of Edward Scissorhands, been up close with all the characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve examined closely the warp and weft of the cape of the headless horseman. I’ve seen the eyeballs of Large Marge. I’ve peeked into the baby carriage of the Penguin and peered into the jaws of a sandworm. I’ve even seen the severed heads of Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker, although that’s surprisingly never really been on my list. See more…
Maine Giantess: I think the gender equality movement has gone about it the wrong way in their quest for fair recognition for women in the workplace. To break the glass ceiling, they didn’t need to educate against bias or unite for the cause. They just needed a taller woman. Like Sylvia Hardy, the Maine Giantess. This eight-foot-tall woman would’ve broken any ceiling, glass, plaster, or (shudder) mirrored…Read more.
Forever Marilyn: Right now, in one of the largest cities in the country, a six-foot-wide pair of white panties dominates one of the city’s most visible public spaces.That city is Chicago, that public space is Pioneer Court, and those six-foot-wide panties are wrapped around the gigantic metal buttocks of a 26-foot-tall statue of actress Marilyn Monroe. See More.
Vesuvius: The volcano is 4,202 feet above sea level and apparently “grew” out of the wreckage of a much larger, pre-existing volcano, Mount Somma, the remnants of which are still technically a volcano, as well. The complex is described everywhere on the Internet as a volcano within a volcano, but that sounds too much like dividing by zero for me to be at all comfortable with the ramifications of such a thing. See more.
Can’t see the cemetery for the trees…view from a Jewish cemetery in Queens, NY, that I visited the other day.
Mystery Stone of Lake Winnipesaukee: Made of either quartzite or mylonite, the Mystery Stone looks for all the world like a Cadbury Creme Egg in both color and shape, although it’s about twice the size. On its surface are carvings, the most prominent of which being a face, but it is also inscribed with a teepee, an ear of corn, a spiral, a circle, and other, more abstract symbols. Through its major axis has been drilled a hole that, like the rock itself, is small at the top and larger at the bottom. See more.
Venice and Don’t Look Now Church: Even with the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, the rows upon rows of souvenir shops, the cliché feelings you get gawking at and being gawked at in gondolas, you can still see the elegance and uniqueness of Venice without having to squint. It’s un-hideable. Still, there are crowds. And the only way to get out of them? Go find something out of the way that few people would waste time on during a more than likely once-in-a-life Venice experience. How about a filming location from a 40-year-old horror movie? Here’s me in front of the church from the 1973 Donald Sutherland film, Don’t Look Now. See more.
Capuchin Crypt: The Capuchin Crypt is a series of six small burial vaults arranged linearly along a single hallway and filled with human bones. Actually, more than filled, decorated with human bones. Actually, more than decorated, enthusiastically decorated with human bones. I get the feeling that whoever arranged these liked the assignment a lot. See more.
R2-D2 Mailboxes: I totally found the droid I was looking for. In a place where I wasn’t looking during a time I’d given up all hope of ever finding it. That’s right. This article is about honest-to-goodness U.S.-government-and-George-Lucas-sanctioned R2-D2 mailboxes. Get ready for about six zillion forced Star Wars references. Between you and me, I have a very bad feeling about this. See more.