"By the pricking of my thumbs" FP’s magical mystery playlist

We all like to have a bet on what will be this week’s sho-in, don’t we? There’s one song towering head and gory locks above the rest of them this week, and that’s Jarvis’s Black Magic. It’s a Ziggy-esque miracle of glam splendour and I urge, beg, nay, implore those of you who don’t know it to give it a whirl. Just make sure there are no fragile objects within reach which could be smashed by the glam rock poses you will be mysteriously compelled to strike…
We’ve not done spooky stories on the blog yet, have we? Sure you’ve got some spine chillin’ ones. Here’s mine: I was strolling through a Canterbury housing estate one Halloween evening (as you do) towards 6 o’clock. Normal, red-bricked houses. Pots of geraniums in the gardens. Surbubia in all its glorious banality. Not a soul around. I was suddenly aware of an awful sense of foreboding and began to feel very frightened unaccountably. I looked around and there was no reason whatsoever for the awful terror suddenly gripping me. My sense of street cred didn’t quite allow me to break into a run. But I stepped up the pace and got out of there very quickly. Enquiries with local pals very quickly revealed that the housing estate was built on a site where witches were burned in the middle ages. Ta-DAAAAHHH!
Now. Let’s. Have. Yours…..

25 thoughts on “"By the pricking of my thumbs" FP’s magical mystery playlist

  1. Sounds like you were about to be accosted by a dementor. The only thing you left out was the bone-chilling cold and the fog.

  2. I get to hear a lot of spooky stories from the kids at school but haven’t ever seen anything myself. My nan, however, used to be able to ‘heal’ people when she was younger. She would go into a kind of trance and walk around, putting her hands on the person who was ill: the strange thing was, as she walked you could hear keys jingling, when she didn’t have any on her. She calimed that the lady who helped her do this was the chatelaine of a convent and the keys were her keys. Brrrrrr….

  3. I like that Sebastien Tellier track. Wierdly it reminds me a bit of Aha’s living daylights, which I heard on the radio yesterday.. the minor chord orchestrals, the Glockenspiel and high pitched ah ha ha’s, probably.. Ellas B, B and B is definitive, I have it on her Rodgers and Hart songbook, a lovely album. Superstition is one of the few Stevie Wonder tracks I really like. No spooky stories, but my enjoyment of Bitches Brew was nearly ruined by a G.U. journalist’s assertion that he tried but failed to jerk himself off while listening to it. I’m sure that was just a piss-take but I for one find it pretty damn spooky. Please excuse the vulgarity.

  4. I am living in my fourth supposedly haunted home. Apart from one of them, the only feeling I’ve ever had is one of feeling welcome there. I’ve never seen a ghost.The best theory for hauntings I know is the one in Nigel Kneale’s “The Stone Tape”, one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen. His thesis there is that stone can record strong emotion almost like a tape recorder and that a replay can be triggered by some people.

  5. I’ve just remembered that I lived in a supposedly haunted house for a year. Apparently it was an old army lieutenant and his dog. I was living with my uncle, aunt and cousins. My uncle is an illustrator and it was his studio that was haunted, or so said the dude (I’m not sure what his title is. They only found out once they’d sold the house, as the new owners had a kind of exorcism thing. Interestingly enough, my uncle said that he never felt good in that studio, and quite a lot of negative things happened to him during that time (divorce, illness). One thing that makes me suspicious, is that it seems only the British see ghosts, just like only Americans get abducted by aliens.

  6. Morning. Kettle’s on. Anyone want a coffee? OK coming up. That’s a well scary story about your Nan, TK. Perhaps the original healer was the ‘Miss Chatelaine’ and she just wanted to stick around a bit longer to do good but needed a…mortal shroud (shiver!). Have you inherited any of her psychic capacities?—A colleague at work has lent me a S. Tellier CD and I’m looking forward to discovering it. He’s playing here in September and, on the strength of the fact that I also very much like that track (the A-Ha comparison is a good one) I bought a ticket. From the very little I have understood of, er, jerk-off procedures, it would seem that a regular and sustained rhythm is necessary. You can’t, CAN’T jerk off to Bitches Brew. Man’s a wanker. —I very much buy into that stone theory, Mnemonic. Here’s one from a guy who I studied with which would confirm it. His parents live in a really old house and they often saw a ghostly figure walking through the same point in a wall. They obtained the original plans for the house when it was built and…There. Used. To. Be. A. Door. There….—Ejay I’ve just spluttered cappuccino over the laptop – brilliant comment and so true. In fact some Americans come over to YooRop with the express intention of seeing a ghost. The British tourist industry thrives on this. The day the US army opens up sector 52 (was it?) of the Nevada desert and builds a theme park at Roswell, we’ll be jetting over there in our hoards. You mark my words…

  7. Probably an architect. I do the same thing myself, you’ve no idea how frustrating it is when a client just bricks up a perfectly good door opening you’ve spent ages planning. Interesting to hear the stone theory, I once did a project at arch. school involving stones, memory and boundaries, but I didn’t know about this idea of stones retaining memory, which could have added an interesting angle.

  8. I seem to be completely impervious – too busy delivering impromptu lectures on the semiotics of Allgäuer Käsespätzle, I suppose – but both Mrs Abahachi and some of the cats have a habit of seeing stuff that isn’t there. We had this for about a year after we moved into our present rural cupboard – odd footsteps, muffled voices, cats suddenly staring at empty doorways or purring at nothing. It culminated with the Frau being woken in the middle of the night with sound of horrendous, throat-tearing coughs from the bathroom; was all set to rush to my aid when she realised that I was fast asleep beside her. She had a word the next day with a friend who does mysterious things with earth energy (yes, we do live in the neighbourhood of Glastonbury, it’s full of that sort of thing) and the noises ceased. Found out that the bathroom used to be the back bedroom in the days of outside toilets, and a previous inhabitant died of emphysema…

  9. Woooah! Chillin’. So glad you spared us the detail of the slime-like phlegm you found on the bathroom mirror. Don’t think I could’ve handled that….

  10. Afraid I haven’t inherited anything from nan, apart from her cold fingers (plus point: great for making light pastry!), her height and her big round Welsh bum. From pater’s bonkers ma, I have my crooked nose. Mum’s nan, the gifted one, had a very strange near-death experience when she was a small girl. She and her sister Lilly were only a year apart in age and shared a bed. They both caught somthing infectious and potentially fatal back then, can’t remember exactly what. Anyway, nan was very poorly and had a very vivid dream that she was on one side of a five bar gate and Lilly was on the other. The field Lilly was in was lush and filled with flowers and Lilly begged her to come over the gate and join her. Nan was scared and wouldn’t and Lilly began to walk slowly away from her, all the while begging nan to come. When she awaoke, she found Lilly had died beside her shortly before. My dad saw Jesus standing by his bed once when he was chronically sick too, but doesn’t like to talk about it. Unsurprisingly.I think there might be something in the stone recording events theory: on the Bailgate here in Lincoln, there is a pub, The Lion and Snake, built over the old Roman forum. One of my pupils’ parents used to run it and their cleaning lady saw Roman soldiers walking through the walls of the basement, the floor bisecting their calves. Naturally, they were walking on the level of the old Roman forum. A friend’s friend used to run the same pub many years ago. One night they had closed up and were heading upstairs for the night when the fruit machine, which they’d just turned off, started going again. The landlady switched off the plug again and again started upstairs. Halfway up, they heard it going again: slightly spooked, they both ventured back, this time pulling out the plug. At the top of the stairs, it started going for a third time. The landlady’s friend refused to go back down, so the landlady grabbed the collar of the dog, who got to the connecting door and then refused to budge, growling with his ears flattened. She pushed open the door, only to see the figure of a woman in a long crinolined gown disappearing behind the bar and then vanishing as she descended through the trapdoor into the basement. Now that’s a good story!

  11. So did the woman get her fruit juice in the end, clearly they should have let her finish before turning it off. So rude.

  12. Amazing Lilly story – thanks for that. Kind of takes the sting and fear out of dying. And I love ‘grey lady stories’. There’s a good one about out local castle -the lady of the manor was reportedly thrown down a well by priests who tried to convert her while her husband was away on the crusades. Her ghost rides round on a white horse. Never seen her but not through lack of trying…And I too have cold fingers!

  13. It’s all those years in our Oberland finishing school, m’dear!There’s a couple of ghostly ladies at Tamworth castle, near where I grew up, one a nun who hit the wicked landgrabbing scion on the bonce with her gjostly crozier after he stole the lands from her abbey and a lady on the battlements, whose knightly lover fought Sir Lancelot (hmmm, o-kaaaaaaaaay) in the Ladymeadow below and threw herself from them when he was killed. Love all that hokey stuff!

  14. I remember The Stone Tapes, scared me too. Once, on Halloween, I went to get some washing from the washing machine in the cellar (which is accessed from outside). I unlocked the door to find the hose of the tumble drier (which was turned off) slithering around all over the floor. Gave me a nasty turn … turned out to be my neighbour’s polecat which had slipped in under the door and found a nice dark tunnel to hide in. Managed to catch it with the aid of goatskin gloves and a cat carrier! Took me a while to get over that one.

  15. Amazing! Dumbfounding! Words fail me to describe my ahnsniosmett! Rocky Mountain News with a REAL news article on Diane DeGette’s opponent?!Best of *ahem* God’s Providence to Mr. Lilly’s campaign.

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