On episode #133, hear Emerian Rich talk about Fluxx, Monster edition
Fluxx is a card game where the rules keep changing and the excitement never stops. You still start out simple: draw one card and play one card, changing the rules as you go, while collecting up different cards to combine into the goals. Changing Goals will keep you on your toes as well, and Action cards are still shaking things up! Monster Fluxx takes classic monster movies and TV shows and adds them to the basic Fluxx deck. With the prominent monster presence, this deck is designed to introduce new players to the Fluxx system and has it has just four main card types.
Find out more about this awesome game on Episode #133, coming September 3rd.
Pat-a-pan, a Spooky Holiday Carol? by Emerian Rich
My favorite holiday song is a French Christmas Carol called “Pat-a-pan” written by Bernard de La Monnoye and first published in 1720. Written way before “The Little Drummer Boy” (circa 1941) it has the same sort of concept. A young boy playing a drum in celebration of the birth of Christ.
“Willie, bring your little drum, Robin bring your fife and come!
And be merry while you play, ture-lure-lu, pata-pata-pan,
Come be merry while you play for the joy of Christmas day.”
Often played as an instrumental due to the awesome drum and flute parts that can be highlighted without vocals, “Pat-a-pan” is most well known by the Mannheim Steamroller version here:
I fell in love with this song in high school choir where we learned the French lyrics which meant nothing to me. Its haunting melody and renaissancy sound always made me feel as if there were some underlying tale, like it spoke of a story without using words. Very few songs can evoke feelings in just the music – without lyrics.
You might be wondering what this has to do with horror. It’s hard to imagine such a benign song conjuring evil images, but one year when playing it around my husband I found out. The ultimate scrooge when it comes to Christmas music, my husband quirked a brow and said, “I kind of like this one. It’s spooky.”
I had to know more!
You see, his vision of “Pat-a-pan” plays out a bit differently than the “Willie, bring your drum” message that La Monnoye thought up. Instead of little Willie and Robin rallying the town into Christmas spirit by playing their drum and fife, his version features another little boy.
Patapan is a little ghost or demon boy who runs around up in the attic. I’m not sure of the extent of evil he perpetrates, hubby wasn’t clear on the deeds, but he was sure nothing good could come from it. The thought of the evil minion “pat-a-panning” around up in the attic makes my husband happy (as it would any self-respecting horror addict).
So, I play this shared favorite faithfully every year and grin at my husband’s dark imaginings. I’ll never share the actual lyrics with him and burst his happy twisted bubble—ever.
Now, listen to the instrumental version again and conjure the image of a pasty-skinned, shadow-eyed boy in an old school uniform, haunting your attic.
For those of you curious about the English lyrics, my favorite vocal version is by Mindy Gledhill below.
Have a spooky connection to a holiday carol? Tell us! We can’t wait to share it.
jenn vix, andy anderson, cure, halloween costumes, baycon, san mateo county fair, facebook quizzes, addicts on the street, sumiko saulson, anne rice, christopher rice, supernatural, mad max, wicked women writers challenge, master of macabre contest, dungeon san francisco, where’s jack?, jack the ripper, matt gunter, spooky, entertainment, sam roberts, torture room, history of san francisco, gold miner, murder, terry west, turning face, horror addicts guide to life, james newman, pembroke sinclair, chantal boudreau, consumed, d.j pitsiladis, t.s.charles, david watson, shadylight, kimberley steele, suicide forest, jeremy bates, belfry network, cemetary confessions, the count, morbid meals, dan shaurette, blood black truffles, lovers tarot, sparky lee anderson, allure of horror, lovecraft, new years day, dawn wood, c.a. milson, defago, horror music, jesse orr, grant me serenity, paul, satan, black jack, sandra harris, kbatz, only lovers left alive, marc advice, sarah, ventriloquists, dummies, dolls, possessed, kristin battestella, fates and fangs, vampire, novella, series.
Irish Ghost Stories contains stories that tell of spooky goings-on in almost every part of the country. They include the tales of the Wizard Earl of Kildare, the Scanlan Lights of Limerick, Buttoncap of Antrim, Maynooth College’s haunted room, Loftus Hall in Wexford, and an account of how the poet Fancis Ledwidge appeared to an old friend in County Meath. The country of Ireland is full of old castles with secret rooms, and while some of the stories are obvious figments of lively imaginations, there are other tales that cannot be easily explained.
While many of these stories are quaint hearsay and exaggerated truths, they are fun to read. The location and historical details are interesting and probably mean more to those who live in the area. I especially like to read these aloud during a fireside gathering. They lend themselves to a storytelling sort of atmosphere and are fun to share.
My favorite tales are:
“Murder Hole”, which is a door on a high floor with no outlet but a 50 foot drop to your death.
“Devil’s Horse”, which tells of a late night customer at a blacksmith. When the blacksmith is done, he’s paid in gold and the customer’s cloven feet walk away. After the customer is gone, the blacksmith finds what he thought was gold, is glass.
This book also tells of ladies in white, banshees, and all the fun stuff ghost lovers have come to enjoy.
For episode #107, our very own David Watson will be reading Wm. A Yandell’s “Cross Back.” “Cross Back” is a chapter from William’s novel, coming out next year. It is a story about a doctor who is investigating if people can return from the dead and describe their experiences. He uses convicts and the terminally ill, bringing them back from the other side.
HA: What is your most recent work for sale and what is it about?
William: Coming soon is Containment Breach. It is set in the near future, in a world of diminishing freedom. A genetic scientist has created a new life form. He is following the work of another scientist who he believes has made the same discovery, then mysteriously disappeared. This has given him a good reason to hide his discovery. He is brought in by the military to now help fight the creatures his predecessor has indeed created who are now killing every human they can find.
HA: What was the spookiest night of your life?
William: It was actually a day where I was at a chess tournament at a downtown university. Between matches I would go up to the roof to clear my mind before I would meet my next opponent. After getting on the elevator I noticed someone had pushed all the top floor buttons before getting off. Deciding I did not want to go through this I hit the button for the next floor and got off. As I went to push the button in the floor lobby to catch another elevator, I found the button did not work. I decided to take the stairs only to find the door locked. I found myself locked into a 6 ft by 15 ft elevator lobby with only a window on the closed for renovation 12th floor. After pounding on the steel fire door and trying to get the elevator doors open for about a half an hour I opened the window. Looking down only to find the next level roof to be about six floors down. Being a Saturday I knew the first time someone might be one the floor would be Monday, it got really spooky. I finally got the attention of a police man who did not believe I was anyone but a college student performing a stunt. Once I crawled out on to the window ledge he got the campus maintenance to take the elevator up and check on where I was. When those elevator doors opened I was out of that room in a blink of an eye. No one could explain how that could have possibly happened, only that it did.
HA: How do you create stories? What is in your writers tool kit?
William: I use a spiral note book once a story forms in my mind. I will sit down at a coffee shop or even a fast food place, typically late morning, to write out the story outline. I then take off with the outline on the computer. My first computer was an Apple 2E which I got handed down to me and I have used one ever since.
HA: What era do you feel most at home in?
William: I like the near future, it gives me the most liberty. I prefer to take our world and twist it up so to speak.
HA: Who is one person you’d like to meet, living or dead, and why?
William: Nostradamus, he could see the future and I would love to understand him.
HA: What is your favorite horror flick?
William: The first Halloween flick, it was not predicable. You did not know what was going on and the ending was fantastic.
HA: If you were to battle a hoard of zombies, who would be your dream team fighting next to you?
William: All terminators, even the early Arnold version. Artificial intelligence drones are one of the scariest things to me, like zombies they never give up and lack moral pause.
HA: What is the most horrifying costume experience you’ve ever had?
William: I went to a costume party in a high rise and got in the elevator with a women who was terrified of clowns. Of course I was dressed as a clown and as soon as the door closed she started screaming. No matter what I said she was in full freak out. I got out of the elevator as soon as I could and left the building and did not go to the party. A couple of days later I talked to my friend who said, “Was that you? Her husband had the cops come upstairs to find you.” She called after to apologize for her husband calling the police and for flipping out on me.