Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spooky Folk Song

Greetings Darklings,

For this week of Halloween, instead of posting a story, I thought I would post one of my favorite folk songs we used to sing when we were but young undeadlings.  It's called "Skin and Bones", there's also a You Tube link with a performance further down on the page, so check that out as well.  Enjoy and have a frightfully morbid holiday!

Happy Samhain, Halloween, Los Dias de los Muertos!

Xane and Dane Dravor

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spooky tales for you to tale

Greetings gals and ghouls!

Being that it’s a little more than a week before the best spooky day of the year, I thought I would post a few spooky tales that are meant to be told orally. (They don't translate well in written form.) That way you have a week to get them under your belt in plenty of time to thrill the kiddies and adults alike, while making you the center of attention at all those spooks balls and ghoul gatherings.

Storytelling in its original form is quickly becoming a dying art. It has been replaced first by radio and then by film and television. Those forms are all well and good but the personal connection between storyteller and audience has been lost. This is especially true with scary stories once told by campfires on cold lonely nights. The skill with which a talented yarn spinner could send chills down the spine of his listeners can not be matched and unfortunately has almost died out completely.

So come along with us and the crazy few that work hard to make sure this age old tradition gets resurrected from time to time. Take a step back to simpler times and spookier nights, when the storyteller and the imagination of the listener was king.

The Big Toe

A boy was digging at the edge of the garden when he saw a big toe. He tried to pick it up, but it was stuck to something. So he gave it a good hard jerk, and it came off in his hand. Then he heard something groan and scamper away.
The boy took the toe into the kitchen and showed it to his mother. “It looks nice and plump,” she said. “I’ll put it in the soup, and we’ll have it for supper.”
That night his father carved the toe into three pieces, and they each had a piece. Then they did the dishes, and when it got dark they went to bed.
The boy fell asleep almost at once. But in the middle of the night, a sound awakened him. It was something out in the street. It was a voice, and it was calling to him.

“Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?” it groaned.

When the boy heard that, he got very scared. But he thought, “It doesn’t know where I am. It never will find me.”
Then he heard the voice once more. Only now it was closer.

“Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?” It groaned.

The boy pulled the blankets over his head and closed his eyes. “I’ll go to sleep,” he thought. “When I wake up it will be gone.”
But soon he heard the back door open, and again he heard the voice.

“Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?” it groaned.

Then the boy heard footsteps move through the kitchen into the dining room, into the living room, into the front hall. The slowly they climbed the stairs.
Closer and closer they came. Soon they were in the upstairs hall. New they were outside his door.

“Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?” the voice groaned.

His door opened. Shaking with fear, he listened as the footsteps slowly moved through the dark towards his bed. Then they stopped.

“Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?” the voice groaned.

(At this point, pause. Then jump at the person next to you and shout:)


“The Big Toe” also has another ending.
When the boy hears the voice calling for its toe, he finds a strange looking creature up inside the chimney. The boy is so frightened he can’t move. He just stands there and stares at it.
Finally he asks: “W-w-w-what you got such big eyes for?”
And the creature answers: “To look you thro-o-o-ugh and thro-o-o-ugh!”

“W-w-w-what you got such big claws for?”
“To scra-a-a-tch up your gra-a-a-a-ve!”

“W-w-w-what you got such a big mouth for?”
“To swallow you who-o=o-le!”

“W-w-w-what you got such sharp teeth for?”
(As you give the last line, pounce on one of your friends.)

It’s Him!

The woman was the meanest, most miserable person you could imagine. And her husband was just as bad. The only good thing was that they lived in the woods all by themselves and couldn’t bother anybody else.
On day they were off somewhere getting firewood and the woman go so mad at her husband that she grabbed an ax and cut his head off, just like that. Then she buried him nice and neat and went home.
She made herself a cup of tea and went out on the porch. She sat there rocking in her rocking chair, sipping her tea, thinking how glad she was that she had done this awful thing. After a while she heard this old, empty voice out in the distance moaning and groaning, and it was saying:

“Whoooooo’s going to stay with me this cold and lonely night? Whoooooo?”
“It’s him!” she thought. And she hollered back, “Stay by yourself, you old goat.”

Soon she heard the voice again, only now it was closer, and it was saying:

“Whoooooo’s going to sit with me this cold and lonely night? Whoooooo?”
“Only a crazy man!” she shouted. “Sit by yourself, you dirty rat!”

Then she heard the voice even closer, and it was saying:

“Whoooooo’s going to be with me this cold and lonely night? Whoooooo?”
“Nobody!” she sneered. “Be by yourself, you miserable mole!”

She stood up to go into the house, but now the voice was right behind her, and it was whispering”

“Whoooooo’s going to stay with me this cold and lonely night? Whoooooo?”

Before she could answer back, a big hairy hand came around the corner and grabbed her, and the voice hollered”

(As you say the last line, grab one of your friends.)


An old lady got sick and died. She had no family and no close friends. So the neighbors got a gravedigger to dig a grave for her. And they had a coffin made, and they placed it in her living room. As was the tradition, they washed her body and dressed her up in her best clothes and put her in the coffin.
When she died her eyes were wide open, staring at everything and seeing nothing. The neighbors found two old silver dollars on her dresser, and they put them on her eyelids to keep them closed.
They lit candles and sat up with her so that she would not be too lonely on that first night that she was dead. The next morning a preacher came and said a prayer for her. Then everybody went home.
Later the gravedigger arrived to take her to the cemetery and bury her. He stared at the silver dollars on her eyes, and he picked them up. How shiny and smooth they were! How thick and heavy! “They’re beautiful,” he thought, “just beautiful.”
He took the dead woman. With her eyes wide open, he felt she was staring at him, watching him hold her coins. It gave him a creep feeling. He put the coins back on those eyes of hers to keep them closed.
But before he knew it, his hands reached out again and grabbed the coins and stuck them in his pocket. Then he grabbed a hammer and quickly nailed shut the lid on the coffin.
“Now you can’t see anything!” he said to her. Then he took her out to the cemetery, and he buried her as fast as he could.
When the gravedigger got home, he put the two silver dollars in a tin box and shook it. The coins made a cheerful rattling sound, but the gravedigger wasn’t feeling cheerful. He couldn’t forget those eyes looking at him.
When it got dark, a storm came up, and the wind started blowing. It blew all around the house. It came in through the cracks and around the windows, and down the chimney.

BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! It went. Bizee, bizee, BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! The fire flared and flickered.

The gravedigger threw some fresh wood on the fire, got into bed, and pulled the blankets up to his chin.
The wind kept blowing. BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! It went. Bizee, bizee, BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! The fire flared and flickered and cast evil-looking shadows on the walls. The gravedigger lay there thinking about the dead woman’s eyes staring at him. The wind blew stronger and louder, and the fire flared and flickered, and popped and snapped, and he got more and more scared.
Suddenly he heard another sound. Clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink, it went. Clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink. It was the silver dollars rattling in the tin box.

“Hey!” the gravedigger shouted. “Who’s taking my money?”

But all he heard was the wind blowing, bizee, bizee, BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! and the flames flaring and flickering, and snapping and popping, and coins going clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink.
He leaped out of bed and chained up the door. Then he hurried back. But his head had bearly touched the pillow when he heard, clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink.

Then he heard something way off in the distance. It was a voice crying, “Where is my money? Who’s got my money? Whoooo? Whoooo?”

And the wind blew bizee, bizee, BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! And the fire flared and flickered and snapped and popped, and the money went, clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink.
The gravedigger was really scared. He got out of bed again and piled all the furniture against the door, and he put a heavy iron skillet over the tin box. Then he jumped back into bed and covered his head with the blankets.
But the money rattled louder than ever, and way off a voice cried, “Give me my money! Who’s got my money! Whoooo? Whoooo?” And the wind blew and the fire flared and flickered and snapped and popped, and the gravedigger shivered and shook and cried, “Oh Lordy, Lordy!”

Suddenly the front door flew open, and in walked the ghost of the dead woman with her eyes wide open, staring at everything and seeing nothing. And the wind blew, bizee, bizee, BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! and the money went clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink, and the fire flared and flickered and snapped and popped, and the ghost of the dead woman cried, “Oh, where is my money? Who’s got my money? Whoooo? Whoooo?” And the gravedigger moaned, “Oh, Lordy, Lordy!”

The ghost could hear her money going Clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink, in the tin box. But her dead eyes couldn’t see the box. So she reached out her arms and tried to find it.
(As you tell the story, stand up with your arms in front of you and bein groping around you.)

The wind went, Bizee, bizee, BUZ-OOOOOO-O-O-O! and the money rattled, Clinkity-clink, clikity-clink! And the fire flared and flickered and snapped and popped, and the gravedigger shivered and shook and moaned, “Oh, Lordy, Lordy!” And the woman cried, “Give me my money! Who’s got my money? Whoooo? Whoooo?”

(Now quickly jump at somebody in the audience and scream:)


I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks selection and will pass along the chilling tales on a dark and creepy evening in front of the fire or a blazing jack-o-lantern!

Dane Dravor

Stories taken from: Scary Stories Treasury. Collected from folklore and retold by Alvin Schwartz

ISBN 0-06-026341-5

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And the Halloween madness just keeps going......

Hello Happy Halloweeners!

No I do not think you're weiners... sheesh.    Ahem

Here's another up date from our neck of the woods to yours.  The decorations have been flying and all the little members of the clan have been adding their wishes to the Samhain gift list.  Xane's poor fingers!  It is not easy making skeletons. Don't let anyone tell you any different.  Removing the bones, polishing them up nice and don't even get her started on the coffins!  Needless to say things are pretty busy around here. 

Oh and then there is the relatives to dig up and make presentable.  Grandma needed a lot more work this year than usual.  She's gonna look like a million when we get done with her!  There's the meade to uncork and the bread to bake.  Hey we don't have time to hang around here, we got stuff to do!

The updates:

 Zombieland - Saw it!  Loved it!  Will buy it on blue ray!

Cold rainy weather - check and we love it!

Graveyard all set and clean - check and check

List of activities for the holiday ready - check!

That's all the checkin' for this week!  How about a little history!


As with all holidays food is a big part of the festivities.  Halloween puts its own twist on eat, drink and be merry.  

Dumb/mute suppers were put out by homeowners to feed the dead as they passed back to the otherside and to garner protection for their homes from the otherworldly travelers.  Dumbcakes, fruits and other small foods were given to beggars to pay them for prayers for the dead to be said on Nov. 1st.   The tradition expanded and it became children in 'guises' that got the treats instead.  The tradition went on and was carried through to the new world, where we now enjoy trick or treat.  

This is the short version of this extensive history.   Please check these sites for more details!  Some of them will give you wonderful ideas for things to dig up for your own celebrations!
I would try to write out the whole history, but this site does an awesome job of summing up the history of Halloween.  Check it out. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Goodness and Jack o' Lanterns!

Hello fellow ghouls and fiends.    We have been a little lax around here about getting our blog posted to daily and well just beat us, okay?  The little knee biter and all that goes with him keeps all us Dravors pretty busy.. not to mention it is our favorite time of year and we've been out doing all those things we are supposed to sit down and post up here for people to read.


Xane has had her sights set on finishing up the decorating festivities and such.  Mostly that involves dusting all the things that sit out all year, straightening tombstones and making sure the spiders and lizards have had their yearly baths. 

This time of year is huge for family too.  Its our damn new year after all!  So spending time with the little munchie is a big thing too.  In that vein we are headed out into the world of the living to see some dead things.  Some zombified, dead things.   Zombieland is on the menu for today!  The littlest of our clan is dying to see it and we are going to all go out and oblige him!

Xane has also been creating some halloween ornaments that will be up for sale next week.  They are cute and some of the glow in the dark!  They will also be at an extra special price just for the holiday!

Dane is making some extra special handmade wonders as well.  Those are top secret though and shall not be posted!  Muahhh ah ahh a... yeah you'll just have to wonder about that one.

That's enough about us.  Now for something completely different....  A little Halloween history for ya kids!

The Jack O' Lantern

There are a few different historical stories that explain the origins of the Jack o' Lantern.  The earliest mention of Jack o Lantern, or Jack's Lantern, refers to the story of Stingy Jack.   An old Irish thief who tricked the devil into never taking him to hell.  This left Jack in a predicament when he died, as heaven wouldn't have him either.  The devil did give Jack an eternal ember from the fire of hell to light his way in the darkness between heaven and hell and sent him on his way.  Jack put the ember in a carved out turnip, his favorite food (that says something about him right there, ew) and went on his way in the darkness.  From then on the people of Ireland carved out turnips and other root vegetables to make these Jack O' Lanterns.  They brought them to North America with them and eventually the idea was applied to pumpkins.

There are also references to these lanterns or the idea of them being applied to the will-o'-the-wisps,
ignis fatuus, ghost lightThese bog or peat marsh lights are said to recede if approached and carry with them the story of Stingy Jack as explanation.

Either story gets you to the same conclusion.   Try to trick the devil and you're gonna end up carrying a stinky old turnip around with a flame in it.  Or something like that.

People used to carve and light Jack O' Lanterns to ward off evil spirits.  Now we carve and light them for fun.  They also serve the purpose of a light left burning for those souls that wander on Halloween night, when the veil is lifted and the dead walk among the living.

So, carve your pumpkins and light the way, while keeping the evil spirits at bay.
A pumpkins just the thing to make the long dead spirits sing.
Candle for a flame to catch
Becareful when you light the match!
The stars shine down from above
And even dead things need some love

So, carve your pumpkins and light the way, while keeping the evil spirits at bay!

~Xane Dravor 2009  

And, we'll see you next time!

Xane and Dane Dravor

Check out Xane's weekly articles on HandmadeNews.Org - This weeks article here!
You can order the devil you see above on our Artfire shop - just message us!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"The Appointment" and "Harold"

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a spooky story to post since my computer was sick, so I thought we’d make it up buy putting up a couple of short tales for you. And since we’re now in the haunting season, you might want to collect a few to tell to those Trick-or-Treaters at your home on Halloween night. So light some candles and pull your favorite little monsters around for, “The Appointment” and “Harold”.

The Appointment

A sixteen-year-old boy worked on his grandfather’s horse farm. One morning he drove a pickup truck into town on an errand. While he was walking along the main street, he saw Death. Death beckoned to him.

The boy drove back to the farm as fast as he could and told his grandfather what had happened. “Give me the truck,” he begged. “I’ll go to the city. He’ll never find me there.”

His grandfather gave him the truck, and the boy sped away. After he left, his grandfather went into town looking for Death. When he found him, he asked, “Why did you frighten my grandson that way? He is only sixteen. He is too young to die.”

“I am sorry about that,” said Death. “I did not mean to beckon to him. But I was surprised to see him here. You see, I have an appointment with him this afternoon—in the city.”


When it got hot in the valley, Thomas and Alfred drove their cows up to a cool, green pasture in the mountains to graze. Usually they stayed there with the cows for two months. Then they brought them down to the valley again.

The work was easy enough, but, oh, it was boring. All day the two men tended their cows. At night they went back to the tiny hut where they lived. They ate supper and worked the garden and went to sleep. It was always the same.

Then Thomas had an idea that changed everything.

“Let’s make a doll the size of a man,” he said. “It would be fun to make, and we could put it in the garden to scare away the birds.”

“It should look like Harold,” Alfred said. Harold was a farmer they both hated. They made the doll out of old sacks stuffed with straw. They gave it a pointy nose like Harold’s and tiny eyes like his. Then they added dark hair and a twisted frown. Of course they also gave it Harold’s name.

Each morning on their way to the pasture, they tied Harold to a pole in the garden to scare away the birds. Each night they brought him inside so that he wouldn’t get ruined if it rained.

When they were feeling playful, they would talk to him. One of them might say, “How are the vegetables growing today, Harold?” Then the other, making believe he was Harold, would answer in a crazy voice, “Very slowly.” They both would laugh, but not Harold.

Whenever something went wrong, they took it out on Harold. They would curse at him, even kick him or punch him. Sometimes one of them would take the food they were eating (which they both were sick of) and smear it on the doll’s face. “How do you like that stew, Harold?” he would ask. “Well, you’d better eat it—or else.” Then the two men would howl with laughter.

One night, after Thomas had wiped Harold’s face with food, Harold grunted.

“Did you hear that?” Alfred asked.

“It was Harold,” Thomas said. “I was watching him when it happened. I can’t believe it.”

“How could he grunt?” Alfred asked. “He’s just a sack of straw. It’s not possible.”

“Let’s throw him in the fire,” said Thomas,”and that will be that’.

“Let’s not do anything stupid,” said Alfred. “We don’t know what’s going on. When we move the cows down, we’ll leave him behind. For now, let’s just keep an eye on him.”

So they left Harold sitting in a corner of the hut. They didn’t talk to him or take him outside anymore. Now and then the doll grunted, but that was all. After a few days they decided there was nothing to be afraid of. Maybe a mouse or some insect had gotten inside Harold and were making those sounds.

So Thomas and Alfred went back to their old ways. Each morning they put Harold out in the garden, and each night they brought him back into the hut. When they felt playful, they joke with him. When they felt mean, they treated him as badly as ever.

Then one night Alfred noticed something that frightened him. “Harold is growing,” he said.

“I was thinking the same thing,” Thomas said.

“Maybe it’s just our imagination,” Alfred replied. “We have been up here on this mountain too long.”

The next morning, while they were eating, Harold stood up and walked out of the hut. He climbed up on the roof and trotted back and forth, like a horse on its hind legs. All day and all night long he trotted like that.

In the morning Harold climbed down and stood in a far corner of the pasture. The men had no idea what he would do next. They were afraid.

They decided to take the cows down into the valley that same day. When they left, Harold was nowhere in sight. They felt as if they had escaped a great danger and began joking and singing. But when they had gone only a mile or two, they realized they had forgotten to bring the milking stools.

Neither one wanted to go back for them, but the stools would cost a lot to replace. “There really is nothing to be afraid of,” they told one another. “After all, what could a doll do?”

They drew straws to see which one would go back. I was Thomas. “I’ll catch up with you,” he said, and Alfred walked on towards the valley.

When Alfred came to a rise in the path, he looked back for Thomas. He did not see him anywhere. But he did see Harold. The doll was on the roof of the hut again. As Alfred watched, Harold kneeled and stretched out a bloody skin to dry in the sun.

Author’s Notes:

The Appointment: This story is the retelling of an ancient tale that is usually set in Asia. A young man sees Death in the marketplace in Damascus, the capital of Syria. To escape his fate, he flees to either Baghdad or Samarra in what is now Iraq. Death is, of course, waiting for him. In some versions, Death is a woman, not a man. The story has been told in one form or another by Edith Wharton, the English author W. Somerset Maugham, and the French writer Jean Cocteau. The American novelist John O’Hara entitled his first book An Appointment in Samarra. Woollcott, Alexander; While Rome Burns, New York: The Viking Press, Inc., 1934.

Harold: Several tales in folklore and fiction tell of a doll or some other figure of a person creates that comes to life. In the Jewish legend of the golem, a rabbi uses a charm to give life to a clay statue. When it goes out of control, he destroys it. In Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, a Swiss student discovers how to bring lifeless matter alive and is destroyed by the monster he creates.
In the Greek fairy tale “The Gentleman Made of Groats,” or “Mr. Simigaldi,” a princess cannot find herself a good husband. So she creates one by mixing a kilo of almonds, a kilo of sugar, and a kilo of groats, which is similar to grits, and gives the mixture the shape of a man. In answer to her prayers, God gives the figure life. After many adventures, the two live happily.
The story “Harold” is retold from an Austrian-Swiss legend. Luthi, Max; “Parallel Themes in Folk Narrative and in Art Literature”, Journal of American Folklore 64 (1951): 371-82

We hope you enjoyed these tales and the extra foot notes I threw in from the author concerning their sources. Until next time, my little darklings!

Xane and Dane Dravor

Stories taken from: Scary Stories Treasury. Collected from folklore and retold by Alvin Schwartz

ISBN 0-06-026341-5

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween : A month of activities and history

The history of Halloween is a surprisingly long one stretching back to the ancient Celts and the celebration of Samhain.  This celebration of course carried over through countries and the ages and eventually came to America.  Where it is now the second largest retail holiday, only out done by Christmas.  Billions are estimated to be spend this year alone.  How's that for an economy booster? 

Here at home we follow more the ancient road to celebrations.  We celebration Samhain, with a mix of voodoo and a little Los Dias De Los Muertos thrown in.  Yeah we mix it all up and have a great old time.  The veil gets thin and we offer up all those nasty things we gathered through the year that we really don't want to hang on to.  The fires burn high and we drink meade until our long gone relatives are out and about making a mess on the lawn.  Yeah its a big thing to us.  HUGE in fact. 

In honor of this, I thought I'd post some of our celebration favorites and why they are related to this glorious fall holiday.

Apples and apple bobbing - We get this from the Roman celebration of Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees whose symbol was the apple.  The use of her fruit has been incorporated in various ways through baking and devouring the luscious fruits during the celebrations, which also happens to be when they start coming into season.  Then there is the apple bobbing.  A great game for little ones, under adult supervision, and those who don't mind getting their costumes soaked! 

The pomegranate!  Yes more fruit.  It is the time of harvest and the eating after all!   The pomegranate has a long history tied to goddesses and witches and spells and boosting good health, sex and abundance.  What better fruit to celebrate all that we have and all that we might have in the future.  The veil is thinning and our dead relatives are going to come calling, so why are we celebrating life and abundance?  Have you ever heard the phrase, "eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die?"  Well that's the general idea.  Have fun or what's all the living for anyway?

That's all for this time!  I'll post more factoids and interesting things about our favorite holiday again tomorrow! 

Have a spooky day and dust off those skulls, they look a mess!


Saturday, October 3, 2009


 It should be no surprise that we love Halloween!  Samhain.  The days of the dead.   All that.  We LOVE them.  The history, the tradition and the wonder of all things beyond the veil, so to speak. 

We have agreed to participate in a daily post about what we are doing to celebrate the holiday.   We do tend to do something just about everyday of the month of October to remember and celebrate believe it or not. 

We are a few days behind at posting what we are doing, so I'll get right to it.

October 1st - Scoped out all the Halloween shops around town.  Started looking at our decorations and setting them out around the old crypt.  Dane cooked the pumpkin to make the bread to have with our meade!  I am all a twitter about that...

October 2nd - Took the youngest of the brood to said Halloween stores and let him look over the bloody offerings.  He picked what horrible thing he will go as this year!  A zombie military soldier.  Could we be more proud?

October 3rd - Have already purchased movies for our night of a thousand screams.  Our version of the late night double feature picture show.  Kid friendly and we do not throw the popcorn.  That just makes the dust bunnies multiply.  We throw fingers, they can at least pick up after themselves.  So, we will probably preview the movies. 

Every day this month we are also having a 20% off sale with coupon in our shop.  It is off your total order and only one coupon per customer. Use the code Anabel Lee to get your discount.  You can find Skully Rose up there in our picture at our shop!  The sale is being advertised by the Ghouls Guild on Artfire.  We are also participating October 1st thru October 13th in all that madness going on at the Ghouls Guild Blog.  So check all that out!   

One more thing!  Xane's articles will be up weekly at Handmade News and this month's theme is all things Halloween.  So if you want to get your shop spiffy for the holiday check it out!

That's all for now.  We may not post what we do everyday, but we will post something Halloween related daily for the month of October.  We hope you all will TUNE in. 

Happy Halloween! 


Now where did I put those spare fingers.....