Dead Writers Party: Scary reads for Halloween
|Photo by Lin Pernille Photography|
This Saturday, the Loft is hosting its annual Dead Writers Party at Kieran's Irish Pub. Guests are encouraged to attend dressed as their favorite deceased wordsmith, and read from one of their works. So whether you're planning on attending the event, looking for an esoteric costume with which to woo your clever crush, or just desiring something terrifying to read under the sheets with nothing but a flashlight to keep you company, here are some truly terrifying tales to help celebrate the dark holiday. Read on... if you dare.
What it's about: René, a young man with perfect, pristine skin, is fated to follow in his father's footsteps as a member of the Cult of Flesh, a group that worships the body as a source of both pleasure and pain. René is sent to a school that teaches him to endure, and potentially enjoy, outrageous tortures.
Why it's spooky: Learning to love torturous anguish is ghastly.
Costume: If you go as the author, wear a dapper suit and a look of contempt for dictatorial regimes (the author, originally from Cuba, spent years in exile in Buenos Aires, Aregentina, returning in time for the reign of Fidel Castro where he was censured). Otherwise, a simple costume as a rare steak should do, or go as a body covered in scars and lacerations (paired with a smile of ecstasy).
Scary Stories Treasury by Alvin Schwartz (1927-1992)
Why it's spooky: Though the stories are a good mix of fun and fright, when paired with Stephen Gammell's illustrations, even the silliest of stories becomes chilling.
Unsettling quote: "When Alfred came to a ride in the path, he looked back for Thomas. He did not see him anywhere. But he did see Harold. The doll was on the roof of the hut again. As Alfred watched, Harold kneeled and stretched out a bloody skin to dry in the sun."
Costume: If you go as the author, all you'll need are a beard and a vest. To go as a character from the book, try a flannel shirt stuffed with hay, and some blood on your hands.
What it's about: A family goes on vacation with a complaining grandmother; meets a roving group of murderous thugs.
Why it's spooky: It's worse when the terrible things people do are for no good reason.
Unsettling quote: "There was a piercing scream from the woods, followed closely by a pistol report. 'Does it seem right to you, lady, that one is punished a heap and another ain't punished at all?'
'Jesus!' the old lady cried. 'You've got good blood! I know you wouldn't shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I'll give you all the money I've got!'
There were two more pistol reports and the grandmother raised her head like a parched old turkey hen crying for water and called, 'Bailey Boy, Bailey Boy!' as if her heart would break."
Suggested costume: If you go as the author, all you'll need is some cat-eye glasses, curly brown hair, and a string of pearls around your neck. If you go as a character, try to find a red sweater with a stallion on it to wear, or a yellow shirt with blue parrots to just carry around creepily.
"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner (1897-1962)
|Photo by Carl van Vechten|
Why it's spooky: That someone could be driven to murder by fear of embarrassment and the threat of loneliness, and then store the victim's body in their home is enough to scare anyone into paranoid celibacy.
Unsettling quote: "For a long time we just stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin."
Costume: If you're going as the author, you will need a mustache, pipe, silver hair, and the lilt of a Southern gentleman. Otherwise, carry a box of arsenic and a rose.
IF YOU GO:
Dead Writers Party
Saturday, October 29
4 p.m., $10 suggested donation
Kieran's Irish Pub
601 N. First Ave., Minneapolis