halloween

Chris Schrier via flickr Creative Commons

Forget about spooky black cats, witches, ghosts and goblins; think about what happens to your pumpkin.

Halloween is indeed well-timed to the season of conspicuous death and decay. Forget about spooky black cats, witches, ghosts and goblins! Instead think about what happens to Jack 'O Lantern left to itself over the next several months…

Paul via Flickr CC

Where I grew up in Connecticut, children trick or treat on Halloween night, after dark, for as long as they possibly can.   I called my hometown’s clerk to double check: municipal government has nothing to do with it.

Yet in my current home of Portsmouth, the city website declares “the date and time for 'Trick-or-Treat' activities in Portsmouth this year will be Thursday, October 30th, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.”

: Map by Steve Bushey and Angela Faeth, with added notes by Taylor Quimby

In 1934, a weather observer stationed at the peak of Mount Washington recorded a, then record, wind gust of 231 miles per hour. As a point of reference, that’s in the same neighborhood as an F5 tornado.

Even on hot summer day, conditions at the peak can drop below freezing in a matter of minutes – which is just one reason more than 135 people have died in the shadow of Mount Washington since 1859.

And yet, Mount Washington isn’t just Home of the World’s Worst Weather--as a sign at the summit famously boasts--it’s also home to a weather station, where a team of researchers are able to safely live year-round.

Which begs the question: would the Mount Washington Observatory be the perfect place to survive a zombie apocalypse?

Listen to this radio story to find out:

Melanie Plenda for NHPR

Before riots overshadowed the festivities in Keene on Saturday, thousands gathered in the city's downtown for the annual spectacle of thousands of jack-o'-lanterns lining Main Street.

Click above to see a gallery of some of the pumpkins, which include corporate-sponsored carvings, political messages, and at least one marriage proposal. 

Author Adam Gidwitz shares the delightfully horrible story of “Ashputtle,” or as you might know her, Cinderella. It’s one of the tales from his new book, The Grimm Conclusion, his third volume of dark, vividly re-told stories that were originally collected by the Brothers Grimm.

Halloween is a perfect time for ghost stories and fairy-tales. Yes...fairy tales. But not the sanitized stuff of Disney Princesses,  but the grisly, violent, cautionary tales from which they were derived. 

Of course, scary stories are told best by Word of Mouth, so we invited author Adam Gidwitz to share the rather horrible story of “Ashputtle,” or as you might know her, Cinderella. It’s one of the tales from his new book, The Grimm Conclusionthe third volume of delightfully dark, vividly re-told stories originally written by the Brothers Grimm.

Christine Zenino via Flickr Creative Commons

Visitors to Salem, Massachusetts, have a surfeit of choices in Halloween season. They can take a “Tales and Tombstones Trolley Tour,” attend the Zombie Prom, Voodoo Ball, or a performance of “Dracula’s Guest.”

The real terror that coursed through the Massachusetts Bay colony from 1692 to ’93 was not the stuff of a night out with the family. More than two hundred people were accused of witchcraft by their neighbors. Nineteen were hanged. Another was pressed to death. Five women died in prison.  Historian Marilynne Roach examines the lives of individuals swept up in the trials through surviving documents, invoices, and objects. Her new book is called Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials.

Disheartened Jack-o-Lanterns
Jason Dean / Flickr Creative Commons

With pumpkin season in full swing, many Granite Staters are enjoying baked goods, snacks, and beverages flavored with this signature fall fruit.  And then, of course, there's the annual rite of pumpkin carving. Weekend Edition host Amanda Loder talked with The Heart of New England e-magazine's Marcia Passos Duffy about how to wring pumpkin flavor out of post-Halloween jack-o-lantern remains.

www.theoworlds.com

Happy Halloween!  Today, a brief escape from the coverage and aftermath of Superstorm Sandy…  with trick or treating delayed or canceled in storm-ravaged communities along the east coast, we at Word of Mouth are committed to celebrating the holiday in honor of those who cannot… as advice columnist "Prudie" puts it, if we didn’t celebrate Halloween, wouldn’t that be letting the storm win?

Gross America By Richard Faulk

Most everybody knows our country’s diverse landmarks and attractions – the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland – but not everybody knows about the Spam Museum in Austin Texas... or Leila’s Hair Museum in MissouriRichard Faulk is a freelance writer and editor.

slate.com

Last month while reading Dear Prudence, we stumbled upon a question that had to do with Halloween etiquette. It was a spat between neighbors, one side upset over the other’s Halloween decorations – which they claimed were too scary for their daughter.

virginsuicide photography via Flickr Creative Commons

New England's gruesome brush with supernatural hysteria did not end with the Salem witch trials in the 17th century.  Almost two centuries later came the great New England vampire panic.  Wait… what?  Abigail Tucker is a staff writer for Smithosonian magazine – she wrote about historians who are documenting cases when rural residents set aside their Yankee piety and feverishly exhumed graves and mutilated the corpses of suspected blood-suckers.  The panic is la

(Photo by Laughing Squid via Flickr Creative Commons)

Author Richard Asma explains why we're afraid of monsters.  And what to do when the zombie apocalypse happens (because it SO will).  

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: Americans are expected to spend nearly $7 billion on Halloween. If you're wondering exactly how, let's go to one street in Concord, New Hampshire, where families take the ghoulish holiday very seriously. New Hampshire Public Radio's Dan Gorenstein reports.