THEY FLEW FROM VIRGINIA TO HEAR GHOST STORIES IN NH

After my Heartpounders II Halloween Horror for Adults show at the Warner Town Hall in NH last Friday, two women in their late twenties came up to me.

“We flew up from Arlington Virginia for this,” one said.

Sometimes people travel distances to attend my shows, but that’s pretty far, I thought. “For this show?” I asked, wondering if I’d heard correctly.

“Yup. Two rental cars and an airplane,” said the other. “This is such a pretty area.”

I was still wondering if they were visiting local family or something and had heard about the show. “You’re saying you flew up from Virginia just to attend this performance. That’s it.”

“When we were kids, you came to a Zainy Brainy store in Arlington and did a show,” said the first. “Our moms bought your recordings. We grew up listening to them.”

Zainy Brainy was an upscale toy store chain back in the age of cassettes. I’d visited a few, but completely forgotten about it.

“We loved the story about the man chased by the thunderstorms.”

The Storm Breeder. Wow, well, I’m moved,” I replied, wishing I’d told it that night. “Thanks for coming all this way. What are your names?” They introduced themselves and we shook hands and talked a little bit more.

“Do you live near here?” asked one.

“Next town over, in Bradford.”

“It’s really beautiful up here,” said one. “Well, thanks for the show. It was amazing.”

And after a few more words exchanged, they left.

Days later, I’m still impressed.

I have one more Halloween Horror Show for adults this season, a different one, coming up this Friday the 25th at 7:30 pm. at the Sweet Beet, 11 West Main Street in Bradford, NH. Hopefully you won’t need to come as far to see it. I’ll be telling The Storm Breeder, oddly enough.

It’s outdoors, so bundle up and bring chairs. BYOB. Hot chili, hot cider, donuts and apple crisp will be on sale before, during and after the show, all made by the wonder chefs at the Sweet Beet.

The show features horror tales from colonial America, old Russia, Confucian China and a new mystery story yet to be performed at any of my Heartpounders shows. Music on 12-string guitars, alto recorder and Celtic harp. They are not suitable for young children.

TICKETS ARE $20.

This is the third annual Halloween storytelling at the Sweet Beet. Hope to see you there!

 

HORROR TALES IN BRADFORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE ON OCT. 25TH

When Hanna and I first talked about it, there was no outdoor stage at 11 West Main Street, here in Bradford, New Hampshire, otherwise known as the Sweet Beet Cultural Center. At least that’s how I think of it. It’s not called that yet.

 

And so Pierre built me a stage up against the woods. It’s still there, three years later.

And when Hanna and I attempted our first fundraiser for the Sweet Beet—now a cluster of entrepreneurial ventures housed in the old inn, a rebirth of a time when our little town was a destination for horse and buggy tourists, but which inn has now been gloriously renovated by the Two Mikes (Mike Bauer and Mike James)—I said, “Well, if we can get around 150 people to show up at ten bucks a head, all the money is yours. Consider it my in-kind donation.”

That was Halloween 2017. Lo and behold, we had 150 crazy Bradford souls and other crazies from other towns show up, bundled in winter hats, gloves and blankets, eating chili, and generally settling in to hear the local storyteller tell some tales with guitars, alto recorder and harp.

Other than adding a mysterious new horror tale to this upcoming evening’s entertainment, I’ll be reprising my show of two years ago on Pierre’s stage this Oct. 25th at 7:30 pm. Please bear in mind that as a musician, performing outside in the cold is a challenge. Cold slows the fingers. However, it quickens the mind.

The Storm Breeder, a New England ghost legend. 12-string guitar.

The Panther Boys, a tale of lycanthropy from Confucian China. Alto recorder.

Treasure Trove, a deeply unsettling story from Old Russia. 12-string guitar.

And the new story, which shall remain as cloaked as a ghost. This will be its debut.

You’ve never heard it, because I’ve never told it.

 

Bundle up. BYOB. Hot food for sale. Braziers will be burning.

Odds Bodkin’s

HEARTPOUNDERS I +

Friday, October 25, 2019

7:30 p.m.

11 West Main Street, Bradford NH

TICKETS $20

A SAMURAI FACES FLYING HEADS

A former samurai who is now a Shinto priest, Kairyo knows all about the demons who appear after dark in the forests of Japan. If you stumble, the phantom dogs will attack you from behind. If you hear a baby’s cry near a river, it’s not a baby, no, you are being lured to your death by a wraithe that lurks in the water.

Of course, Kairyo has heard about the Rokuro-Kubi as well, demons who detach their heads at night to feed on field insects, mice and the delicacy of human victims, if they can entrap them.

It’s on a lost, stormy night in the mountain forests that Kairyo is late to the safety of a village, and meets the Rokuro-Kubi.

Four of them.

Come hear The Demon Heads, an old tale from Japan, and other tales of the supernatural at Warner Town Hall in Warner, NH, in an event to support the New Hampshire Telephone Museum.

Odds Bodkin’s Heartpounders II tales will give children nightmares and are not suitable for them. Acoustic music accompanies each story.

 

Heartpounders II

Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 at 7 pm

Warner Town Hall

Warner, New Hampshire

 

Tickets: $10 members, $15 non-members

ADULT STORYTELLING for HALLOWEEN…TWO Odds Bodkin SHOWS

HEARTPOUNDERS: HALLOWEEN TALES OF HORROR is Odds Bodkin’s adult storytelling evening with live music for 2018. Two shows remain:

Plaistow, New Hampshire on Friday Oct. 26th at 7 p.m. FREE TO THE PUBLIC

Cambridge, Massachusetts on Sunday, Oct. 28th at 5 p.m. Tickets: $15


Friday Oct. 26th at the Plaistow Town Hall GET DETAILS

Sunday Oct. 28th at Grendel’s Den (RECORDING EVENT) GET DETAILS

GRENDEL’S DEN IN CAMBRIDGE: NEXT SUNDAY/Halloween Horror for Adults

‘Tis the season for horror, just about everywhere. But you can refresh yourself with some fictional creepiness, replete with live music, with Odds Bodkin and his evening of tales, Heartpounders: Halloween Tales of Horror. A New England man chased by storms. Boys who turn to panthers. A Rocky Mountain ghost train nightmare. A tale from the angry serfs of Russia. And others. All with driving music.

Tickets are $15. Buy dinner and drinks at settle in for a fun evening!

A live recording event.

BENEATH A WAXING MOON: Outdoors for Scary Stories

My guitars are ready. The stage is being prepared. Even the moon is waxing Friday, Oct. 19th at 8 p.m. at the Sweet Beet in Bradford, NH. It will be poking through the clouds in classic New England Halloween fashion. The weather looks good, too. Mid-forties. No rain.

Here’s a video preview created by Hanna Koby. Scary stories for adults. No kids, please.

Hope to see you there! If you know any NH or MASS folks, please spread the word!

TICKETS $13 in advance, $15 at the cemetery gate.

 

LIVE RECORDING EVENT: Halloween Tales of Horror in Cambridge, MA

Be in the crowd this coming October 28th at 5 p.m. at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square for a live recording event with storyteller and musician Odds Bodkin. An evening of adult Halloween entertainment.

We’ll be recording the event, so please don’t gasp in horror or fall off off your chair too loudly.

If you have New England friends, please pass the word!

TICKETS: $15

DETAILS

 

 

American Mythology: The Phantom Train of Marshall’s Pass

During the late 1800’s in Colorado, narrow gauge railroads crossed the Great Divide of the Rockies heading for Sante Fe and other parts west. In those days, nothing facilitated the Westward Expansion and what Americans thought of as Manifest Destiny more than the invention of the steam locomotive. The Iron Horse, as it was known.

Various folklores grew up around the railroads, including those of ghostly trains. Much as in earlier seafaring times when folklores centered around phantom ships—the Flying Dutchman being the most famous—where dead souls seeking vengeance chased the living, so too in the early Industrial Age in America similar tales were handed down about the captains of the locomotives. The engineers.

Whether these frightening accounts were actual events or not remains open to debate. Still, they are a part of American mythology.

The attached early map from the Denver and Santa Fe Railroad shows Marshall Pass (in the story, Marshall’s Pass) the topmost rail crossing of the Great Divide. It is at this Rocky Mountain pass that one of the tales I’ll be telling this weekend takes place.

It’s accompanied with a flat-picked score on a Taylor 6-string guitar.

 

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL

Friday, October 19th at 8 p.m. at the Sweet Beet, Bradford, New Hampshire.

An outdoor event. Bring warm clothes, chairs and blankets.

Freshly made hot food and drinks available for purchase.

 

Tickets $13 in advance, $15 at the gate

Avoid the Jikininki, Eaters of the Slain

Kairyo the samurai quickly left the slain on the battlefield. It was getting toward dark. Once night fell, the Jikininki would emerge from the forest to eat the dead.

It was best to not meet them. They were ghosts of the night woods.

That night he slept far enough away from the river not to hear the voice of the Kawa-Akago, the demon in the water. It used a baby’s cry to lure its unwitting victims to the shore as they searched for the lost child. It struck from just beneath the surface.

————–

A story excerpt from a Japanese tale of the supernatural.

Come hear it and three other chilling tales this coming Friday night, Oct. 19th, at 8 pm at the Sweet Beet Market in Bradford, New Hampshire. Music on two 12-string guitars, 6-string guitar and Celtic harp.

No children, please. An adult evening of storytelling with Odds Bodkin.

Special thanks to Hanna Koby, event producer.

Tickets $13 in advance, $15 at the gate.

FOREST DEMONS of JAPAN

The Demon Heads is a new story I’ll be debuting this coming October 19th at an outdoor Dark Tales of the Supernatural show for adults. It’s about a samurai turned Shinto priest who encounters a group of Rokuro-Kubi, particularly nasty forest demons from Japanese folklore. Creating this tale has been fun. A new tuning on 12-string guitar, historical research into the Battle of Odaihara in 1546, new character voices and vocal effects, and most especially informative, learning about how the fear of night demons kept many Japanese out of their own forests after nightfall.

The tale is truly shocking and horrible, perfect for an adult evening of tale telling. Along with three others to round out the nightmare.

Dark Tales of the Supernatural/Info and Tickets

HORROR TALES FROM THE DEEP VAULT/October 19th Outdoor Show

HORROR TALES FROM THE DEEP VAULT/October 19th Outdoor Show

I stopped performing Sedna the Ocean Mother because it’s just too unsettling, especially in the #MeToo era. Still, I’m going to do it. I haven’t told The Phantom Train of Marshall’s Pass in years because the flat picking on 6-string guitar is so fast. Still, I’m going to do it. I haven’t told The Infallible Doctor since I made the mistake of doing so in New Jersey shortly after 9/11 for schoolkids who, I only learned afterwards, had lost loved ones in the Twin Towers. Despite that bad memory, I’m going to do it. And I’ve never told The Demon Heads ever, so I’m going to debut it and see what people think.

Music on Celtic harp, 12-string guitar and 6-string guitar.

October 19th, 2018 at 8 pm, outdoors at the coolest new food and culture hub in New England, the Sweet Beet Market in Bradford, New Hampshire.

Hot chili, freshly baked breads, mulled cider and lots of organics to buy. Bring a blanket or chair, hat and gloves for this outdoor show by the cemetery.

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL

Tickets $13 in advance, $15 at the door.