It Was The Best Ghost Story EVER

Photo A.M Moscoso

I ‘ve done a few posts about what my favorite Christmas films are- so what I’d like to share with you is how one in particular became my absolute  favorite and how it went on to inspire me in my own writing.

That film is  A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim.

I saw A Christmas Carol for the first time when I was a little girl. Very little. I was about five or six years old. So this would have been around 1969

I remember sort of catching bits and pieces of it, but the part I zeroed in on, the part that got my attention was when Scrooge came face to face with the  The Spirit of Christmas Yet-to-Come .

I was a scary movie buff by this time ( one of my favorite TV shows was called ” Nightmare Theatre” ) and it had recently brought me into the universe of spooky movies and  educated into the world of Ghosts, Witch Doctors, Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Mad Scientists and things from Outer Space.

So when Scrooge ran into this dark, faceless obviously merciless apparition I was impressed beyond words-enchanted and pulled into the story right then and there with my blanket over my head and my arms wrapped around my dog who was NOT into being squeezed to death by his young mistress judging by the way he desperately tried to get out of my arms.

Not to worry. I was not defenseless.

I just ran after him and dragged him back to the front of the tv with me. It took some doing because I refused to turn loose of my blanket and that was one strong little dog. He was fond of taking lungfuls of air. What can I say?

Anyway.

I was terrified and falling in love with this movie scream by silent scream on that Christmas Eve.

It was a magical experience and from then on not only had I become a life long fan of the movie I went on to read every single book from Dickens that I could get my hands on.

To this day I read those books slowly- I savor each word. I only allow myself a chapter a night so that I can prolong the experience.

A nod to that Christmas Eve when I discovered one of the best ghost stories on film EVER

Favourite Christmas film (Christmas Special 2017 Writing Prompt #21 answer)

Time To Make Merry!

It’s time to go into the weekend and start with the Christmas celebrations ( woo-hoo )

So this is what is on for tonight.

To read with a warm mug of eggnog and some Christmas cookies- a collection of Ghost Stories by one of my favorite authors M.R. James

Photo A.M. Moscoso

It’s not Christmas without Christmas music!

This nifty machine plays Cd’s, vinyl, it has a radio too.  Classic King Radio has been playing wonderful selections of Christmas Music along with their usual programming, you can go on line HERE and stream their holiday program too.

So I’m set- are you?

Photo A.M. Moscoso

I haven’t decided which Christmas movie to watch tonight

Christmas Carol

It’s A Wonderful Life

or

Arsenic and Old Lace

What We Do In The Shadows

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

All of these are festive movies that really celebrate the human spirit so I’m torn here. I know what you’re thinking- ” Just pick one Anita Marie, they’re all good!”

No. It’s not that simple This is the movie that will kick off the Christmas weekend. So it’s important to me that I chose the right one.

And of course- what is any festive occasion without your best friend by your side?

No matter how you go about starting your Christmas Adventure this weekend – savor it, enjoy it, make it yours.

AMM

The Lost and Found

 

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Have you ever gone looking for the abandoned?

Sometimes the abandoned are people, sometimes they are buildings and sometimes they are a few words carved into stone.

Here’s what I’ve found-  or maybe they’ve found me.

Abandoned.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.,M. Moscoso

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo: A.M Moscoso

Inspired by ” Poetic Faded Spaces “

While Waiting For Godot Advent Calander

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories

Though the practice is now more associated with Halloween, spooking out your family is well within the Christmas spirit…more HERE

 

My family used to tell a ghost story or two or three at Christmas- there was something about being full of warm food and good drink that brought out the devil of a story tell in our  midst and then would say just above a whisper-

” Remember that time we thought we heard that knock at the door, and then we heard it at the window and then we heard the basement door open-”

And of course one of us would say, ” I wasn’t there. What happened? ”

It wasn’t until I got married and hung out with my in-laws for the first time that I realized not all families sat around a tree and told stories about angry spirits and lost spirits and dogs and cats that followed you home in the snow and the dark and when you turned around there wasn’t a dog or a cat but a man in fancy clothes and a top hat standing there in the snow with no tracks- human or otherwise in the snow except for your own.

He would ask if he could come in and warm himself by your fire- and some of us would invite him in and other’s would not.

 

Some families, I learned,  turned on every single light in the house on and drowned out the glow from the lights on the tree and in the window. They played  board games where you learned about geography or card games you collected over the year because it was ” Magic ”  .

Then you could talk about Nature and Cows and what it was like to grow up on a farm.

I was lost from that point on-I really did not know what to do with myself over the holidays anymore.

I gave up on Christmas for awhile- the suburbs had eaten Christmas and spit out it’s bones  and not in a fun or amusing way.

The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future were not invited to these energetic Shopping Mall inspired gatherings. Not unless they were wearing Old Navy Clothes or your favorite College Football team’s logo somewhere on your person.

Mysterious Men in top hats with dark orange eyes were left on the curb to wait in the darkness alone- their stories falling like snow on an empty streets and dead ears.

But I played along because it was the polite thing to do and for as much as I missed hearing a few good ghost stories I wasn’t looking to scuttle the evening for everyone else.

Still, I’d look into dark corners or try to look through an overly bright window and I’d think about a friend or two- and wonder if I would ever get to spend  Christmas Night with them again.

I hope so.

I really do hope so.

Vilhelm Hammershoi

 

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #17 – Least favourite part of Christmas

The Loss Of Christmas Ghost Stories.

 

Thank You Hamish Macbeth

Photo A..M. Moscoso

This is Hamish Macbeth- I was lucky enough to become his Mommy  just before Halloween in 2014.

I almost named him Boris Karloff in honor of the season and one of my favorite actors but he actually responded to the name Hamish Macbeth- so Hamish he is.

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

2014 was not a good year for me for a variety of reasons- one being I suffer from depression and even though I had begun counseling and medication that stuff doesn’t kick in right away so I was struggling.

And why not throw the Holidays into that mess just to make things a little bit harder?

I was lucky. I had help swoop in just before the first fake trees hit the Mall.

The thing that saved me from really having a hard situation become an intolerable one was my  dog.

He was a  12 week old Chocolate Lab Puppy with ( then ) yellow cat’s eyes.

Hamish was this very serious little puppy when I first brought him home. But within a month his personality exploded and he became outgoing, friendly, engaging goofy and scary smart.

He just couldn’t get enough of the world and the people and things in it.

So I got to watch this little bundle of joy take to the world around him with unbridled enthusiasm and energy and curiosity- and I was lucky enough to be there when it happened.

So I went along for the ride an it was just before Christmas.

Here are some of Hamish’s first Christmas pictures- it just seems right to put this post and these pictures up now because I think Hamish is what the holidays SHOULD be about.

Puppies make Christmases perfect!

Hamish wanted in on the Christmas Wrapping fun, so my nieces wrapped him up- which he proudly wore until the tape got warm and the paper fell off.

My niece, my Mom and ” Baby Hamish”

Luis and Hamish- quite the handsome pair!

 

amm

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #14 – Best Christmas present

 

Who Put THAT In The Punch Bowl?

I have never got a bad Christmas Present in my LIFE which is a shame because I have given some crap gifts over the years.

The sad thing is- I didn’t KNOW they were lousy presents when I wrapped them and stuck them under the tree.

I have tried shopping from a list, giving something I made, paying attention to what was popular. I even paid to have someone wrap them and I STILL managed to screw it up.

Most of the time I  think it’s funny when  people give me  that ” Really Anita Marie? WHY?” look- but that’s when I write something strange or say something weird on purpose.

It’s not a lot of fun when it comes to the Christmas Gift part of the  holiday festivities.

This is the one time of the year where I wish I could, for once get on the same page with the people around me.

So now I give out gift cards- of course I got creative and would include some candy or something. But in the end it was a plastic gift card with Christmas Candy and it ended up being safe and not very festive.

I really do wish that presents wasn’t a part of this holiday- but it is and like every other year I guess I’ll try and maybe one Christmas I’ll get it right.

amm

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #13 – Worst Christmas present

How Sweet It Is

The

Christmas Morning I woke up to snow, the Mumps and a brand new lime green bike with daisies stamped on the frame and a gear shift

the Christmas Eve Dinner when I tried Bourbon Balls for the first time and fed the half chewed remains to my cousin’s champion Saint Bernard Show Dog

All of the Christmas Nights that were cold and dark and full wandering pale winter  ghosts, warm rich food and soft lights burning from our over decorated tree

racing out the frosted windows into midnight

to find

and bring back

the next

perfect

Christmas.

 

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #12 – Perfect Christmas

Holiday Chocolates, A Ghost and a Mirror

Photo A.M Moscoso

Last month I learned this great ghost story- it involved a chocolate shop, a mirror and a ghost with missing fingers.

The night I learned the story, it was chilly and it was just starting to rain and better yet the shop was closed at the time, so we were all lined up at the window peering into the darkness  towards the back of the shop where the mirror is.

I had my face right up against the glass- of course- and I was thinking to myself:

” I can’t wait to come back in the morning and buy a bunch of chocolates to take home with me.”

Here’s the funny party- I don’t like chocolate. Not even a little. I like milk chocolate and white chocolate ( yes, yes, yes, I KNOW white chocolate is not ‘real’ chocolate ) but as far as the traditional, dark, rich chocolate.

Ugh- I am not a fan.

But I had a plan.

A delicious one.

So the next day I went back and bought a big box of chocolates- and they weren’t little bite sized candies- they were generous sized pieces of chocolate with delicious creamy fillings. I went vampire on a few and drained the filling out, so I can vouch for the heaven that was hiding there in the darkness.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

I had my family over for Thanksgiving- and just before pie I pulled out a candy dish stacked with the chocolates

Just after the unwrapping and the moment my family began to sink their teeth into the chocolates I told them the story about the Haunted Candy Store and the ghost with the missing fingers.

They looked at the candy, they looked at me and back at the candy again.

They could have rolled their eyes around and thanked me for ruining the moment- but my family loves a good ghost story and I have been known for bringing up unsavory topics involving graveyards and missing body parts at dinners before so for the most part my story about buying candy from a haunted candy store wasn’t exactly earth shattering.

So.

They chewed, they were in heaven, I was in heaven.

We are all in heaven but for different reasons, as you can guess.

At the end of the evening though- when I was encouraging people to take some of the candy home ( I kid you not- those are BIG pieces of candy. Two people can share one piece and call it good ) I noticed some of us were calling the chocolates ” Ghost Candy.”

Next time I go back to Rogers I might snap a picture of the mirror- and maybe if I’m lucky, there will be a little handprint on it.

Maybe next time I’ll  ask if they have Lady Fingers.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Daily Post Prompt: Jolly

In My Bones

I’m going to confess something here.

One would think that I would gorge myself on spooky movies and books and music during the month of October.

But I don’t- I do a lot of writing and I actually get into my photography more and I do decorate but for the most part I indulge in ghost stories in all the formats that the modern world offers and my writing even takes on a darker edge during the Christmas Season.

It may have something to do with the fact that when my family gets together we used to end up telling ghost stories, or weird stories about the human oddities we all seemed to run into during the Spring and Summer.

I heard my first stories about demonic possession at a Christmas Party when I was about 8 years old and when I got back to school after Christmas break I went straight to the school library and got my hands on every single book that featured ghosts or anything scary.

And after I ran through those I started to write my own.

So in my world the Christmas Season- joyful as it is- is full of shadows and basements and attics and graveyards covered with snow and it’s haunted by people who will never come home again.

See what I mean?

So here are three of my favorite Holiday Movies that do a lot to put me in the Christmas – spirit:

One of the best Ghost Stories ever-  I think it’s a great movie to watch at Halloween to-

Dicken’s ” Scrooge ”

When I was a child and first saw that graveyard scene I nearly ran screaming for the safety of my room. It was the first and only time a movie ever terrified me. Needless to say, I was charmed by it.

So this movie has a place in my heart- and nightmares forever.

This is a recent favorite- it’s all about family and the train wreck that can happen when we fail to navigate our way through the world together. Plus it has Vampires and Werewolves so it’s awesome:

” What  We Do In The Shadows.”

On Christmas Eve I like to read ” The Raven ” Sometimes I even try to recite it from memory- which amuses my cats and dog to no end because they are my audience.

If I could have done it like this I’d perform it at every single holiday function I go to. As it is, I just pull up the clip and watch the Simpsons telling of  ” The Raven ”

It’s a classic.

It may be odd, it might not make a lot of sense and I’m sure there is something not quite normal about it, but when I watch my movies and I sit back and turn them over in my mind- and if it’s cold or dark or it’s snowing –

it feels like Christmas to me-I can feel it in my bones.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Christmas Special (2017) Writing Prompt #4 – It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas