Gwendoogle Part CXXX – This is Halloween

GwendoogleAnswers served with expectations for the weekend

Trebez searched: Why did Kate Kearney enter a haunted house without me?
Because Kate Kearney is one of those gentle, considerate human beings who sees something dark and creepy coming down the way, considers calling for a hand to hold, and then realizes that there is no shade of this darkness she would want to force a friend of hers to walk through. She would rather creep through it alone, then even make you look at it.

I hate those freaking gentle, considerate human beings. Of course, we’re coming, too. (And yes, “we” includes my favorite shotgun…)

Kate Kearney searched: Is there a clause somewhere that says all entrants to a haunted house must be accompanied by sufficiently armed and/or paranoid friends?
The democratic system makes it rather difficult to get these kinds of regulations passed. The world’s population of sufficiently armed and/or paranoid friends keep emphatically voting for this sort of restriction. Every person with a chainsaw keeps voting against.

Jedinikina searched: My father wears a fedelo and tends to get his P’s and Q’s mixed up. Along with this, he is also hyppy and haper and a general menace to society. What clocker lockination should I use to keep him secured in my basement?
Apprentice Never Master cannot endorse locking any family member, friend, acquaintance, neighbor, lover, stranger, mailman, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, tinker, tailor, soldier, spy, or menace to society in your basement.

That’s just creepy.

And our crawyers don’t like it when we get leepy.

FliptheOtter searched: Which ghost on Hollins University campus would you like most to meet?
Hollins University has been on the top ten lists of haunted colleges for years. It’s easy to see why, when students can name a ghost that inhabits almost every building on campus. And oh, how we loved to tell the stories…

Some of the ghosts are old students who only show up in mirrors. Some of them are old students who murdered old professors but still like to play the pianos at her Alma Mater. Some are old students who just couldn’t quite give up the stage in the theater.

Personally, I’m very fond of the ghost that lives in West Dormitory. Her death was tragic (she failed her finals and couldn’t figure out how to go home afterward), but now she just refuses to let the closet door in room 205 stay shut. And sometimes she folds your laundry.

FliptheOtter searched: Which ghost on Hollins University campus would you least like to meet?
The spectral nurse in Swannanoa Hall.

Swannanoa is the English building, and there may have been people who swore that I haunted it while I was on campus. It wasn’t unusual for me to walk across campus at two in the morning to put a writing assignment in Swannanoa’s drop boxes. The campus cats, squirrels, and foxes usually made me jump in the dark. Stinky Stan the Skunk, with his white stripes that seemed to glow in the dark, actually made me run once. Or twice.

But if I had walked through the door and been met with a see-through woman in a white nurse’s apron who tried to feel my forehead for a fever…

I’d have screamed so loud, freshman would have wondered if I was a Tinker Scare.

(For those of you who didn’t attend Hollins University, who might need a translation: I’d have woken the entire campus)

Kate Kearney searched: What should I do for Halloween?
Dress up as your favorite movie character from the last year and go out with friends, or stay home and watch old Gothic stories.

Then celebrate again, two days late, with a Masquerade Meal where you all wear the most beautifully disastrous masks you can find, and eat discount candy.

Rarasaur searched: If asparagus could talk, what would it say?
My asparagus? Probably, “Good lord, woman! You’re throwing half of me away! I promise you, you’re breaking my stalks off much too high! Those are good to eat!”

Because I like to imagine that my vegetables are so appalled with me, that it actually overwhelms their idea of self-preservation.

BabbleBuzzard searched: Were fairy tales originally for children? And if so, why did we tell them such creepy things?!
This is the sort of subject that gets tackled in a Masters thesis, and a Masters thesis can sometimes be mistaken for a phone book. I’m going to try to answer this in slightly fewer words:

People are still arguing about it, but it is the generally accepted view that what we now know as Fairy Tales began as stories told around the fire after the children had gone to bed.

The idea of fairy tales that most of us held as children originated in 1812 when the Grimm Brothers published their collection of stories, Nursery and Household Tales. While most of us get a case of the Wide Eyes when reading their book, they had significantly cleaned up the stories they collected in order to deliver them to children. They had no problem including violence, and may have even built some of the violence up (especially when it was being dealt to the “wrong-doers” of the story), but they refused to include instances of pregnancy, premarital/extramarital sexual relationships, or incest. They scrubbed all of that stuff right out of the narratives.

The scrubbings continued by multiple authors over time, until Walt Disney started making movies and decided to use fairy tale characters (which were in public domain, and very cheap properties). Disney did a magnificent job of finishing the job, giving us princesses who danced demurely with talking animals, rather than the princesses who knew what a still-beating human heart looked like.

Kate Kearney searched: Can you list ten spooky things for me?
1. Cats that still manage to have shadows at midnight.

2. Hearing your name in a crowd, then not quite being able to remember the sound of it. But the longer you think about it, the more you believe that that echo hanging in your spine came off a scream.

3. The pale face watching outside the window that glows in the dark out of the corner of your eye, disappears when you turn to face it, but comes back suddenly when you look away.

4. The tapping at the window from the tree that’s grown to close, the creaking in the walls as the night gets colder, and the groaning in the floor that you swear you’ve never heard before.

5. That thing in your dream that is still real for too many seconds when you wake up.

6. Whatever is on the other side of the door, slowly pushing it open, even though you’ve stacked your bed, your desk, your chair, your bookshelves, and yourself against it.

7. The echo of a piano in an empty room.

8. Children’s lullabies in languages that you don’t know.

9. The unshakable knowledge that something is waiting around the corner.

10. Real silence.

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it. 

The question bucket currently has: 32 questions

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