Scary

PumpkinRot

So this week's feature wasn't exactly buried under an inch of dust and parchment mites, but it speaks to the best part of this time of year: telling scary stories. Back in January, Word of Mouth looked into how these stories have made the jump from summer camp and slumber parties to the web.

: 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:

Virginia Prescott / NHPR

It was a sparkling fall day with trees ablaze in Francestown, New Hampshire.

Senior Producer, Maureen McMurray and I, met historian Eric Stanway on the town green in Francestown just as the bells of the white clapboard community church pealed noon. From there we then followed him to a small beach at Haunted Pond; a lovely, shallow pond rimmed with summer cottages, birches and pines -- the picture of serenity despite the number of people who met their ends there. Listen to the spooky story below.

Alyssa L. Miller via flickr Creative Commons

The telling of the scary story is as old as the campfire. Now, they’ve made the jump from summer camp and slumber parties to the web. The internet’s hunger for new, sharable content has sped up production of scary stories and urban legends. A bewildering number of web-forums, messages boards, and specialty websites are dedicated to sharing stories that have been passed around so often that no one knows where they came from, and which maybe, possibly, could be true. The genre is called “creepypasta,” a silly-seeming name for some of the scariest stuff on the web. Our guest Will Wiles, wrote about "creepypasta," a genre he calls the folk literature of the web.


Zach Nugent / NHPR

Whether told by a campfire, or at a childhood slumber party, everyone loves a spooky story. Today on Word of Mouth we explore our ‘creepy’ appetite. And the macabre continues with the true story of the battle over Richard the III’s remains.  Although he reigned five centuries ago, his burial site has sparked a modern-day war of the roses among Britain’s Richard-files. Also on the show, the Black Ice Pond Hockey tournament celebrates its fourth year at White Park, and producer Zach Nugent sat on the bench to bring us the sights and sounds. Listen to the whole show below or click Read More to listen to individual segments.


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?

We asked a variety of people, including Laura Knoy, Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, and some adorable kids whether they think Edgar Allan Poe's work still stands up as "scary." Here's the full version of what they had to say about that...