Happy Halloween!!!

“For All-Hallow’s Eve” (poem from Crone’s Book of Magical Words): “When the white dog is outAnd trots all aboutUnder the cloudsThat are over the moon, And the hag with her broomRides high on the wind,And the cat on the fenceSpits even at friends, Then it is rightTo conjure a lightAgainst every spiritThat shadows the night. […]

What’s Old Is New Again

[Take a moment to imagine me emerging from my steaming laboratory, wild-eyed, Doc Brown-style.] I hereby announce this year’s Fall Cocktail: THE AUTUMN OLD-FASHIONED! Y’all, seriously. This tasty bev is the liquid equivalent of carving jack-o-lanterns among bonfires and crunchy leaves. As you likely are aware, the Old Fashioned is a drink that’s older than […]

Rabbit Hole: Artist Charles E. Burchfield

To me, the haunting watercolor paintings of Burchfield (1893-1967) capture a certain dark, late-October magic. Much of his work features fluid, distorted proportions that create an off-kilter viewing experience. They’re like van Goghs but with the lights off. From a 2005 article in the Village Voice: “Young painters should look at the work of Charles […]

The Adventure Is Over

Imagine wandering around Manhattan, near Union Square, and coming upon this storefront. You walk in and find yourself surrounded by an enormous collection of costumes, masks, fake spiders, wigs in all colors of the rainbow, plastic tombstones, life-size statues of superheros, and aisle labels like “ALIENS” and “VAMPIRES.” Oh, and did I mention it’s April? […]

R.I.P.

From Crone’s Book of Magical Words, by V. Worth (a spellbook I found in Salem): “To Dispel Sorrow When world and fateConspire to markYour life with linesAnd characters dark,Mold a tableOf earth or clay,Write on it allYou would cast away–All you regret,All that you bear,All that afflicts you,All that you fear–Break it and bury itIn […]

Salem Weekend

“Fall is proof that change is beautiful.” I read these words on a letterboard sign while driving along twisting New England roads today. I am up here on my annual October trip to Salem. Below is a glimpse of what I’ve experienced so far.

Update on “Overblown”

Breaking news! A decision hath been made regarding my very first inflatable purchase. It was a very close race. According to the results of the embedded poll, and factoring in the comments people added, the votes were pretty evenly split between the Pumpkin Reaper, the Eyeball Hand, and NO inflatable, with Pumpkin Reaper in the […]

Mood Music

HAPPY OCTOBER 1, everybody!! It’s finally here. I hope you can feel the magic of the season setting in. In honor of our most favorite month of the year, I hereby present to you this year’s Skeleton Key-approved Halloween Playlist! I hope it serves as a worthy sonic backdrop to your Halloween preparations. If you […]

So Many Questions

IKEA has designed a bizarre “Scandinavian snuggie” that I declare is this year’s best unintentional Halloween costume! Behold: FĂ„ltmal is perplexingly described as a “cushion/quilt that keeps you warm and comfy when traveling, relaxing in the hammock or cuddling up in the sofa.” But c’mon, IKEA, you ain’t fooling us. It’s almost October, and you […]