(Overly?) Ambitious Plans for Halloween Week, and this Month’s Featured Reading

I might be too ambitious. Nonethesame, I have plans to post something each day during the final week of October. Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, you see, and the pandemic means a lot of folks will probably opt to stay at home, avoiding costume parties or other group activities. Even trick-or-treating seems like a bad idea this year. Maybe my ambitious plan will help keep Halloween Halloweenish in some small way.

2018-09-15 12.20.11(1) Right now, I’m thinking about what those seven posts might include. A new reading or two from my books is very likely. Some friends and I are currently working on a dramatic reading of an actual ghost-hunting chronicle, each of us working at home! Some of the “treats” might be a bit simpler: a book review of something ghostly, for instance, or my favorite recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds. I made a list of possibilities, but I wasn’t able to quite reach seven. There are still about two months, though, so we shall see.

In the meantime, September’s featured reading is “Curious Mesmeric Experiences in California.” This anonymous story is narrated by a character with exceptional hypnotic powers, abilities so powerful that he mentally connects with — and experiences the thoughts, the memories, the fury and the fear of — a man being hanged for murder. As I say in my closing comments, the tale has interesting parallels with Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” but “Curious Mesmeric Experiences in California” was written about a decade before Bierce’s famous work.

You can listen to this creepy tale while watching the clouds roll by at the Brom Bones Books YouTube channel. If you’d rather just listen to it — or download it and listen to it offline (perhaps while out watching the clouds roll by) — visit my Shall I Read You a Story? page. Scroll down to the readings under Entranced by Eyes of Evil: Tales of Mesmerism and Mystery.

— Tim

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