Yes, it’s a benefit show for an up and coming business in my town, but it’s also a delightfully horrible evening. ‘Tis the season, after all, for lycanthropes and wraiths, not to mention the Devil––both imitated by a fool and as a very real presence on the dance floor.
I’ll be performing four tales tomorrow night at 8 pm on the lawn at the Sweet Beet Market in Bradford, NH, each story more unsettling than the last. Plus the origins of Halloween, going all the way back to the Druids of ancient England and Julius Caesar.
First, Rose Latulippe and the Devil, a French Canadian story deceptively scored with lovely Celtic harp music, even as Rose dances closer and closer to the elegant man with claws in his gloves. Unaware that her body parts are falling away, she just keeps dancing.
Next, The Storm Breeder, a classic New England ghost legend about how Jonathan Dunwell of New York received the hideous burn scar across his neck in the shape of a gripping hand. Wind, whiplashes, horse gallops and driving 12-string effects weave in and out of vivid characters in this tale.
In Eastern Europe they’re werewolves, in Russia, werebears, but in China, they’re werepanthers. In The Panther Boys, two fine young sons are cursed to take the skins of seven men of their village by turning to supernatural night cats. Kill they do, but the tale turns terrifying when their father realizes they must come for him next. This tale is told with creepy, wind-blown alto recorder and panther screams.
Last comes Treasure Trove, a tale from Russia’s serfs. It’s too dark and brooding even to begin to describe, other than there’s vodka, a funeral and hoof-prints of the Cossacks. That and it features a human devil.
HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror begins at 8 pm tomorrow night, Friday the 13th, at the Sweet Beet Market on Main Street in Bradford, NH. Food and hot drinks will be available. It’s an outdoor show under the stars, so bring a blanket, have dinner, find a good seat. No kids, please. These stories aren’t for them.
All ticket sales go to benefit the Kearsarge Food Hub. $10 in advance, $12 at the gate. Come support this young business and enjoy being horrified!