A Spooky Lead Up To Halloween


One spring morning, many decades ago, my Mom had handed me an edition of our local newspaper neatly folded to “frame” an obituary. She’d been wondering if the deceased had been a college buddy of mine.

The deceased’s name certainly was common enough so it could’ve been someone else… but… as I began to read, I could sense my eyes widening and jaw dropping. As surreal as this all was, the in-print particulars had left no “i” undotted; no “t” uncrossed.

Indeed, this was the same guy… we had been enrolled in the same broadcasting courses, worked together in the recording studio and eventually earned our degrees. And now… there I was reading the two paragraph final chapter to his all too short life. Short story even shorter… while my 27-year-young photographer friend was on a photo shoot assignment up in Canada, he had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Six torn off calendar pages later… in the days leading up to Halloween no less… there I was browsing, from A to Z, through a mall record store’s vinyl LP bins near closing time… so completely engrossed in reading liner notes I had barely noticed in my peripheral vision that someone was approaching me.

As it turned out, he was far from being just another nameless customer. His cheerful “Hi Tom!” amply proved that.

OMG… that oh so familiar, distinctive voice. It hadn’t been all that long ago when I had routinely heard it in my studio headphones. There was no denying who had just spoken, YET, all my sensibilities told me this could not possibly be happening. Cautiously glancing upward and leftward there, right before my very eyes, stood my reported dead friend… in the flesh?

Under the circumstances, the one and only thing I could possibly blurt out was, “You’re supposed to be dead!”

For a fleeting moment, I had wondered if I might’ve just joined him “on the other side”. I had read of near-death experience survivors who’ve unfailingly reported…

  • Stage One: Floating upward, out of body experiences.
  • Stage Two: Seeing a brilliant, white light at the end of a long, dark tunnel
  • Stage Three: Glorious, out of this world, Heavenly family/friend reunions.

Yet, my brief downward glance confirmed that my feet were still firmly grounded; that no EMTs were frantically trying to resuscitate my sprawled out on the carpet, lifeless body. No tunnel vision, either. Even the ambient lighting had never gone beyond that provided by the overhead, fluorescent fixtures. So, if I had, indeed, just died… just how, pray tell, had I managed to skip over the preliminaries… to arrive at Stage Three?

I could sense the puzzled, still startled look, frozen on my own face. My friend almost seemed to be enjoying how he was spooking me out… could not begin to contain his wide grin and chuckling. But this had been so typical of his sense of humor and, on this occasion, he still had his comedic sense of timing down pat. Well, eventually, he realized it was time to tell me all about how he had “died”.

Indeed… there had been a heart attack… BUT the person who had actually suffered it was the guy who had stolen his wallet. Since New York driver’s licenses of that era had been issued sans photo, the Canadian authorities only had a minimal physical description… so generic it could’ve easily described tens of thousands of men. The discovery that he was still alive had come far too late to “kill” his death notice.

As we parted company that evening, it had been our warm, 98.6-degree, firm handshake, which, ultimately, had proven that no ghostly apparition was he!

As I drove home… alternately glancing between the the nearly deserted road and crescent moon breaking through the clouds on the western horizon… I could not help but mull over all that had happened at the mall. I knew it would take some time for me to more fully shake those still lingering, unsettled feelings.

Well, the good part of this near death experience was neither my friend nor I had to even come close to dying to experience it… and while he hadn’t actually tricked his way out of death, he did get the treat of reading his own obituary.


Original WordPress
Posting Timestamp:
07/11/2016 @19:56






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Ghost Story


It went down late October; eve of holiday Hallow
Within weed field, forgotten; infertile; fallow
Dense devotees danced; their visages sallow
Backlit by the flickering, wick centered tallow

This coven raised praise, undying, to false deity callow
With countenance of orange; physique of marshmallow
Alas, rhyme ends abruptly; bard got hung from their gallows
Buried half meter deep; within his grave shallow




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What’ll Happen Tonight @ 23:59:59?


How apropos that, Stateside, our Halloween and Election Day are mere days apart.

What could be scarier than our electorate’s spooky entities, who don’t know what the real America stands for; namely, equality, liberty and justice for all. In their state of abject ignorance these hobgoblins and hooligans are sure to vote accordingly; so much so, that they’re hell-bent on re-empowering one Donald J. Trump, their, in title only, president; their zero hero from Hell.

These cultists cannot even begin to see him as the existential threat to Democracy that he is.

Truth is, science denier Trump has, SO FAR, willfully permitted Corona-V to go on a nine month (too) long, nationwide rampage. SO FAR, that psychopath has sickened 9.6 million Americans. SO FAR, that ghoul has the blood of the 237,000 COVID-19 dead on his hands. As for any of us who may, somehow, manage to survive the needless pandemic (of his own making), we will, eventually, face down a climate changed, uninhabitable world.

On Trump’s watch, he has flat-out refused to accept and articulate the three words, “Black Lives Matter”; has emboldened militant, racist cops, who gleefully crack open the heads of BLM protestors and BLM sympathizers; has ordered the teargassing and pepper spraying of these peaceable protestors, in flagrant violation of their 1st Amendment Rights; has figuratively danced in his blood splattered streets; has sadistically reveled in all the pain and suffering he’s wrought, up and down Main Street U.S.A.

Trump has done his damnedest to provoke Civil War-II, by winding up his toy soldiers; namely, his seething with preexisting hatred, domestic terrorists, a.k.a. Nazis, Klansmen, Proud Boys, Wolverine Watchmen, etc.; that last on the list faction recently FBI busted for plotting to abduct, torture and assassinate Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer; i.e., to punish her for her righteous, courageous, slow the spread of COVID-19, life saving, statewide lock-down and mask-up decrees.

Pre-pandemic Trump has kidnapped, traumatized, abused and caged asylum seekers’ infants and children; has flipped off a court order to reunite these families; has declared enemies of the people, the genuine article journalists, who’ve been justifiably critical of his deplorable words and deeds; has called for the devoid of due process, imprisonment of his (guilty of no crimes) political opponents. WTF will be next, coliseums where his bloodthirsty, mask-less, packed in, shoulder-to-shoulder devotees will gather to cheer on public stonings and executions?

Trump, Commander-In-Chief, no less, has badmouthed his own troops; called these selfless soldiers “losers” and “suckers”; has undermined their valiant efforts to rid the world of oppression; allowed autocrat Vladimir Putin to place bounties on their heads.

For his own political gain, Trump has accepted dictatorial régimes’ meddling and mucking up of what used to be our fair, free elections; he has sabotaged the United States Postal Service to slow down the processing of sent and returned absentee ballots; has refused to accept any voting outcome other than the one that will re-install him; has flat out refused to accept a potential Biden / Harris victory; has not committed to honor an American tradition that, up to 2016, has always resulted in the peaceful, orderly transition of power.

Seeing how all the above is far scarier than Halloween, America might as well move up Election Day to October 31st. However, factoring in how there will never, again, be another Election Day if Trump screws over the voters; if long before all the legitimate ballots have all been counted, opts to prematurely / wrongfully declare his victory at 23:59:59 tonight, WTF would be the point? Right?


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SoundTrack to a Spooky Saga ~ Bonus Vid of the Day

Somewhere within our world… at some point within the upcoming dead-of-the-night hours… there’ll exist the gusty, gale driven lightning flashes and thunder crashes that’ll further enhance Midnight Syndicate’s spooky track Darkness Descends.

However… even if our skies prove starlit, we mustn’t be lulled into any false sense of security. No… you see… this night’s ol’ Devil Moon… it’s waxing sliver… shall not significantly illuminate our perilous, winding wilderness path to nowhere…

At times, such as this, we must exercise due diligence… watch our backs and steps. The mere offhand whisper… the telltale kicked pebble or snap of a twig… could alert any and all nearby sorcerers, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, goblins and demons… perchance the Grim Reaper… maybe even Satan, himself… to our presence.

So my travel companions… do we now venture forth to discover who and what may await us? All that may or may not be enshrouded by the misty cloak of dank darkness? Let’s find out… shall we?

Follow closely… ever so closely… as we silently slip deeper and deeper into the vast unknown of the supernatural world…







A Bewitching Spell ~ Vid of the Day (Halloween Edition)

To fully attest to the relevance of our Vid of the Day’s bewitching, musical selection, I have the distinct honor of introducing Fleetwood Mac’s chanteuse, Ms. Stevie Nicks, who, in turn, will now introduce us to Rhiannon

“This song’s about an old Welsh witch.”

Considering Nicks’ artistry… her performance’s sheer, theatrical intensity… we can all expect to easily fall under her musical, mystical, magical spell…







Fortune Cookie Blog (Trick or Treat?)


Halloween can serve as metaphor; namely, never get tricked by sovereigns,
who emulate sorcerers, demons, ogres, zombies, vampires and werewolves.
To not heed this warning could result in their casting evil spells and utilizing
their razor sharp talons and fangs. To treat themselves they’d [1] spirit away
our sweet freedom, [2] drain our brains of decency, [3] tear asunder our cul-
tural/ethnic diversity, [4] suck our will to live, [5] spook us into subservience.






October BlogCast ~ Unhappy Un-Halloween


Before we track through this month’s musical selections, my apologies to anyone who may’ve clicked by ISO my October 1st BlogCast… to no avail.

So, how could that happen… or, more to the point… not happen? In short… circumstances beyond my control.

To flesh that out… to blame were two so-called leaders shooting off their mouths about shooting off their nuclear missiles… as well as childishly trading insults… DJT calling KJU “little rocket man” and KJU calling DJT a “dotard”.

With the all too real prospect of us (their 7+ billion hostages) EITHER winding up buried alive within the claustrophobic confines of subterranean bomb shelters OR incinerated into piles of radioactive cremains… entombed throughout eternity beneath megatonnage of ground zero rubble… I began to ask myself…

Just WTF was I doing blogging at my desk within the confines of my home? Would it not be wise to freely take in and savor Mother Nature’s splendors before it was too late… perhaps for the last time?

Working towards that end, I took a LOA from WordPress to venture forth into my lifelong, homeland and hometown… to take the time to fully appreciate all things great and small… that ranging from my upward telescopic and naked eye viewing of the vast cosmos all the way back down to earth to view an out of season, blooming daffodil. Even things as mundane as observing my breath condensing in the cold, crisp, early autumnal air, hearing the hush of the full moonlit night and savoring the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee all took on an extra-special meaning.

I knew, at the very least, were I to “survive” a nuclear holocaust within some hellhole shelter, I’d be able to playback these treasured memories within the theater of my mind. Were I to perish in the split second of that blinding nuclear flash… my recent experiences might even “flash before my eyes” prior to my either attaining eternal life or having my atoms blasted into oblivion.

Well, at least for the time being, that nuclear holocaust has been postponed. For how long? Well, that’ll be left up to those two blithering idiots. In any event, and in spite of all the uncertainty, I’ve opted to end my six week long, vanishing act from WordPress. This being the last day of the month, I still have a bit of time to squeeze in (and make amends for) that missed October BlogCast, too.

One certainty, here… Halloween’s storybook ghouls, goblins, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks and zombies… even the devil himself… do pale in comparison to those two abominable monsters… i.e., DJT and KJU.

But whatever supernatural manifestations do wind up roaming the earth this dank, dark evening, these musical selections will certainly set the proper mood.


Beautiful Gothic Music [Piano] – The Cry of the Forest

Mike Oldfield ~ Tubular Bells (Exorcist Film Theme)

Tarja Turunen ~ Oasis

Midnight Syndicate ~ Born Of The Night

If you’ve liked what you’ve heard today, I’ll meet you back here on or before Thursday, November 23, 2017 for my Thanksgiving BlogCast.

For past programs, click onto my BlogCasts and Music categories.


Don’t Fear The Reaper


Although this fictional story can stand on it’s own two feet, to set the optimal mood, (time permitting) view the above video prior to reading onward.

Chapter One

Gavin yanks the 9-volt battery from his klaxon-like smoke detector, chuckling a bit while stepping down from his wooden, three-wrung, kitchen ladder. It’d been the lit 60+ candles atop his very own two layer, thickly chocolate frosted, devils-food birthday cake, which had set off that, at times, overly sensitive, perhaps malfunctioning device. His slight smile now crossfades into a deep frown as his sudden realization kicks in… namely… he feels his life is going up in smoke.

True, so far… as far as he knows… only the normal aging process is slowly but surely, unraveling his life. Yet, that’s but a small consolation considering there’s no escaping the inescapable truth… from the moment we’re born, the lifeless gray, grainy sands of time start relentlessly running downward… passing from the upper to lower chambers of the hourglass possessed by the ghoulish Grim Reaper.

Gavin can almost feel the swooshing draft of ice cold death as Mr. Reaper brandishes his scythe and “playfully” threatens to tap the top of his eventual victim’s noggin… can practically hear that ghoul’s unnerving, otherworldly guffaws accompanying his gruffly intoned, menacing, parting words, “Good-bye for now… but… I’ll see you soon!”

Chapter Two

Seven torn off calendar pages later… mere days following All Hallows’ Eve… several hours past dusk on this blustery night… we find Gavin arming his clock radio in order to wake up to music. Switching off the pale glowing lamp, standing tall before the curtain parted, raindrop beaded windowpanes, he beholds the fluttering maple and oak leaves scattering across the ground… hears the soft pine and cedar branches brushing against the window screens… witnesses the occasional breaks in the clouds permitting the sparkling starlight to shine through.

He shivers as he lets the curtains fall back into place. The sound of nine chimes emanate from the downstairs foyer’s grandfather clock. Slipping between the bed sheets, his body heat starts to ease the chill he feels all the way down to his bone marrow. Dozing off, his last conscious thoughts of the day still excessively obsess about his own mortality.

Gavin is heading off into the land of dreams but, considering his troubled state of mind, sweet dreams would be far from an apt description.

So… will this ONLY be a nightmare… or something more?

Chapter Three

Gavin soon winds up at the REM stage… tossing and turning while turning the tables on the horrifying Mr. Reaper. He’s actually relentlessly stalking his enemy. Perhaps recklessly so, he’s also gleefully firing up his alter-ego’s snarky, I refuse to be intimidated, devil-may-care attitude. His primary mission, on behalf of humanity, is to order the Grim Reaper to stand down… or die trying.

Even Gavin’s inside his head pep talk instructs and prods him onward…

What the Hell… why the F not? On the odd chance I might buy each of my fellow humans a few more years, would that not make my dangerous undertaking all the more worthwhile? Hey, at the very least, I might wind up making death far less scary for everyone.

A snap of the twig, which Gavin has just stepped on, almost seems to trigger a flash of lightning and immediate crash of thunder. The near blinding afterimage and high decibel rumbling reverberations have hardly begun to die down when the Grim Reaper stops DEAD in his tracks… crouching a mere ten feet away. Gavin, taking that as his cue, knows it’s now or never. He hails his foe, thusly…

Pssst… hey Reaper! Yeah… I’m talkin’ to you! C’mon over… this’ll only take five minutes, tops. What do I want? Uh… well… since there’s no way to put this delicately, I’ll just blurt it out.


Seriously… an image makeover is long overdue, pal. Think earth tones! Deep-Six that depressing, dreary, black hooded robe and replace it with… oh… say… a hunter green hoodie and a pair of stain and wrinkle resistant, khaki hued, cotton slacks. In your bloody line of work, easy to launder would be a plus and, lest we forget, cotton is “the fabric of our lives™!” Oh… so sorry… I guess that’d be in poor taste since you don’t dig life.

Let’s move on now to that anachronistic hourglass. Seriously, who the hell, in the 21st Century would ever choose to lug around such a bulky low-tech timepiece? Can’t your cell tell you what time it is? Do you mean to tell me you’ve not developed and installed the necessary software on your devices to keep tabs on the timelines of the 7 billion plus Earthly souls?

As for that nasty ol’ scythe of yours… do you really need to brandish such a formidable blade? If you really must resort to intimidation by threatening physical violence, how about studying martial arts? With Karate chops, the bloodshed would be next to none. In time, you might even earn your black belt. After all, basic black IS your favorite color, right? Am I right?

Think about it, Mr. Reaper… you could pass yourself off as a hip, professional, tech savvy, debonair, far less overbearing dude. Look, if you don’t clean up your act soon, U.S. Homeland Security is bound to flag you… move you to the top of their Terrorist Watch list! And once you’re on it… you’re on it for life. Hey, don’t roll your eyes… life isn’t a four letter word… well… OK… on a technically it is… but not in the sense of life being profane.

Let’s now move on to the inner you. Long story short, you’re worrying me sick. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, STAT! You’re nothing but dry, moldering bones; one has to wonder just what in tarnation is holding you together, anyway? Tar? Duct Tape? Superglue™? ‘The cadaverous look is dead, big guy! Even some catwalk models are starting to see the light… are going off their starvation diets! Key here is hydration and nutrition. At the very least, you’ll need to get in your daily eight, eight ounce glasses of H2O and triple your caloric intake.

Hey, ix-nay on those four-letter words, pal, I’m trying to maintain a family friendly nightmare!

Say what? You’re delighted that I’m worried sick? Rather than passing on my know-nothing knowhow I should just see the light and pass on? Screw the earth tones? You’re current image is exactly what you’re going for? You’re completely happy with THAT? OK, have it your way… as if that’s anything new, huh?

And away he goes… muttering obscenities… storming off into a dense billowing bank of dark, dank fog. Geesh, that guy sure has anger management issues! Hey! Did you see that? He just turned to whip me the finger! Look, he flipped me off again!

Well… there go five minutes of my life I can never get back! Of course… considering how PO’d I got him, I may be as good as dead already! Well, looks like I’ll just deep-six any of my future dealings with Mr. Reaper… well, at least until we meet again… in the end… in the end… in the end… in the end…


At daybreak, Gavin’s fitful sleep comes to an abrupt end as his clock radio awakens him to the sounds of a subdued cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s, Don’t Fear The Reaper… performed by the Harp Twins Camille and Kennerly.

As his mind momentarily zones out to the mesmerizing, melodic tones of their angelic harp playing, Gavin cannot help but wonder if he’s just awoken from a nightmarish dream… or was it something more?