Tag Archive: ghosts

Just Enough Scare

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

One of the things that I find fascinating about horror movies is how they explore the things that make us fearful.

Sometimes when I watch a scary movie I find I am scared because it hits close to home, explores a fear that I may feel deep inside or know that others feel.

HornsSome story lines just stay in my head and they pop out for no reason. One of these movies is Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe. In this story, Iggy is in deep mourning when his fiance is found dead after being brutally raped. Of course he is the obvious suspect and the whole town thinks he did it.

But after a night in which Iggy curses God for not protecting Merrin, Iggy discovers he has started growing horns out of the top of his head. Worse yet, people are telling him their worst secrets; they can’t stop themselves. So Iggy decides to use that power to find the real killer.

What makes this movie worthy is the exploration of good and evil within one’s soul, how looks can be deceiving. Ok, I loved that Iggy could start fights with a mere suggestion and seemed horrified at his new abilities at first. But it is also a reminder that good and evil resides in a person. How we get there is a thin line.

Another movie that comes back to me is The Others starring Nicole Kidman. She plays a woman awaiting the return of her husband from WWII in a big house on the island of Jersey with her two children. She has strict rules in the house because both children are light sensitive.

TheOthers posterThe thing is, she is beginning to believe there are ghosts in the house and that they are causing doors to not be locked and moving things around. When new servants come to the house they have secrets that they want to share but can’t quite do it yet. It plays on our deepest fears of what is really around us. The bumps, the sound, the appearance that something is not quite right.

For me, the jump scares make me more frightened than movies with slashers. You expect the horrible things that happen in those slasher movies, And while they touch on something realistic, the truth is they are over the top in their horror. What is is scary about these two movies named above is that they touch closer to what we live and what we see. Deep dark secrets or emotions held back can come to the forefront when we least expect it. What seems like something simple is a more complex problem and the answer is nothing that we expect.

Horror movies, strangely enough, explore the emotions. It is one way we process feelings of fear in various situations when we can’t do it any other way. Various themes within horror movies comes and go. We no longer explore environmental poisoning or nuclear changes to organisms. But we do explore that of mysterious strangers or strange poisonings or zombie apocalypse.

What might come next, most of us do not know. But it is still interesting to see what it might be.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Recently at a job interview, I learned an interesting tidbit of information.


At stores that sell DVDs and BluRAY, it is horror movies that are flying off the shelves. And then the interviewer told me that horror movies sell in greater volume in rural areas than in urban areas.


Image from Fishmuffinsofdoom.blogspot.com

Image from Fishmuffinsofdoom.blogspot.com

I thought about that when I was picking out a movie the other week for our movie night at home. The racks were filled with horror movies. Even a lot of the family movies had a horror element to them. ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie. Each one of these movies involve ghosts, zombies, vampires or some other element that we might expect from some old campy horror movie from the 30s or 40s.


It makes me wonder what are we so afraid that we have to explore it in our entertainment. I understand why zombie movies might be so popular. With the sluggish economy, people with jobs are being asked to do the work of three people and are so tired they might wish they were dead. Or people are afraid that they will become shells of the people they once were.


While that might be a mid-life crisis issue, I can see how people would think that. They wonder what happened to their passion for life, their joy in the everyday when it has been beaten down by the routine of daily life of going to work and coming home to deal with the family only to do it again the next day.


How can one find a passion for life when they are eating the same fried eggs (over easy) with the same raisin toast and the same green tea that they have had for breakfast for the last 20 years. Where is the joy when you are yelling at the kids or the husband for the clothes that hit the bathroom floor but not the hamper less than a foot away for umpteen years?


We need to see how to fight against it, how to rage against the dying of the light. No matter what our age, people want to see how a person fights against demons and other evil entities in order to survive. We want that secret.


Or maybe people just like watching gory movies and getting scared silly. I like my explanation better but I am sure some one out there reading this is saying “that chick thinks too much.”


Now this weekend, we did watch ParaNorman.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

The story is about an 11-year-old boy who sees ghosts everywhere. Even his grandmother visits with him because she promised to always watch over him. He is seen as weird and different, including by his own family although his mother tries to make life easier for her son.


Unfortunately, the anniversary of the witch approaches. The undead bodies of the seven men who tried and sentenced the witch will roam the town until the sun rises. To make things more tense, it has been left to Norman to settle the witch and help her find peace for one more year.


It is a family movie with some PG swearing that is dark and brooding. Norman is relentlessly bullied and tries to keep a low profile in order to be a part of the scene and not the center. When another bullied kid tries to befriend him, he brushes off the other kid, choosing to remain alone to protect himself.


I find it is a movie about regrets, of a past that needs to be fixed to solve the present.


The kids like it and I found it interesting to watch. I might watch it again just to see the little bits of good stop-action animation that I missed. Are there greater lessons to be taken away from this movie for the kids? Well, yes there are. But I will leave that to you to ponder.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Signs of Fall

Wordless Wednesday

Big Halloween Display

Osage Orange or Hedgeapple


Hanging Ghost


Combine in the Field


Bushes made into Ghosts


Unloading the Grain Truck into the Silo


Spider's Web

What signs of fall have you seen?

Wordless Wednesday

When is it too early to put out Halloween decorations? I am not sure. Some of these were taken last week, others this week. Nevertheless, there is something enjoyable about a good and safe scare.


Notice the flying bats


Notice the Mosquitoe Plant surrounding the ghost


Look at the figures in the TreeSpider's Web catches a pumpkin


Witchy Display


Ghostly Window


A display I saw on Sept. 29


Our ghoulie


Opening Act


Scary tree

Another flying ghoul farther back


Ghoulish gathering


Have you seen good home halloween displays yet?

What is it about ghost stories that intrigues us?

Picture by Earl 35

I love hearing people’s tales about bumps in the night and figures appearing. I am willing to watch Ghost Adventures and other shows like it for the chance to see or hear something. When people show me pictures with those orbs of light, I am hooked. I know what is there and I wonder who it is.

You might even say I get really gullible when it comes to these things. People can tell me all sorts of spooky stories and chances are I am going to believe them.

My husband is inclined the other way. There is not a ghost story he can’t poke a hole through. For him, ghosts are non-existent. And anyone who tells them can be found to be unreliable as a source. This is when being a journalist who needs cold hard facts is a bad thing.

I know ghosts exist but I cannot prove it. I have known them since I was a kid and the ghost in our house would knock stuff down. I have known they existed when I would see weird things out of the corner of my eye. I knew it when I heard my recently dead dog wag her tail on the floor of my husband’s closet where she always slept.

I heard the dog and I felt her presence. I told her that we were fine and she could move on to doggy heaven. Soon after, I no longer heard her or felt her in the house. I hope she is chasing all of the rabbits she can find.

A few weeks ago, Patty told a great story about seeing another bicyclist on the road. When she looks back for him, the man with the white bicycle is gone.   It sounded similar to the Resurrection Mary story in my neck of the woods but without the trip to the house. In her story was the sense that someone was looking over her, being a protective force.

Recently, someone told me a story about how they have working on restoring their house. There is a lot of sanding and floor replacement to do. Once they are done the house will be restored to total grandeur.

As this person is working on the back stairs, they happen to look up and there is a man sitting on the top half of the stairs. He is watching the work go on and says nothing. The storyteller asks him for advice as to how to get the old water stain out of the wood but there is no answer forth coming.

While I am in this house for a tour, I hear a noise and a light that I am pretty sure had been turned off  is on again. The storyteller feels as though the house is happy to be reborn, to have its past delights re-worked to shine once more.

Picture by Wallyir

Not all ghosts are bad, they simply do not want to leave the place where they have been happy. So they linger in their home or in a church or other places.

Is my house haunted? You betcha, it is by the former piano teacher of my town. I feel her every now and again. Sometimes when I am singing or need to pick out songs for choir, I feel her right there.

Just don’t tell my husband cause he will never believe it.

I was going to add one more picture to yesterday’s post until I ended up taking more than one picture. My favorite ghost came out better than I thought.

Hanging ghost with morning sun behind it

We might have a big head here

Side view

Nothing says Halloween like multiple skulls

The friendly vampire

And now for the shot of autumn flora…

Our Dogwood tree in its Autumn colors.

Fall and Halloween

Usually about this time I post pictures of my garden and show what is going is going on.

This guy is about six stories tall. Gorgeous!

The problem with that is nothing has really changed in my garden. The pansies are going in full bright yellow and the mums still look great. The cosmos finally, finally have buds on them but I will only take a picture once they bloom.

So today I am sharing pictures of great fall color in the area where I live. Plus I am including a few pictures of cute Halloween designs. I haven’t gotten a picture of my favorite ghost but will put that up later in this post when I do finally get it.

So to start things off this is my favorite tree at this time of year. Luckily, it lives down the street from my house.

Not so shimmery but still a beaut.

Around the corner is another beauty I saw on the way home from work the other day. It shimmered from the western sun that day.


This is one of the country roads I drive on to get back and forth to work. It is the long way home.

This is along the Iroquois River where some people have  nice homes. We also pass by one of the nurseries here.

Next up are some Halloween decorations.

Ring of Ghosts!

Are you in the spirit yet?

This was too cute not to snap. I will share another ghost picture as soon as I get it.

Tell me how you get ready for Halloween.