by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
When I was about 7 or 8 years old I loved watching scary movies with my dad on the weekends. I was allowed to stay up past my bedtime to watch these old black and white films on the less popular stations that played them prior to Halloween. These classic films include stories about mummies, werewolves and vampires, all which had me peeking out of the sofa throw blanket each time a monster appeared. Far less intense than the graphic, gory horror films of today, most of the “fright” was created by scary music and “shadows” across the screen. Speaking of black and white films, the “shadows” caused more nerve wracking viewing than horror films of today because of the color difference. But that’s another subject for a future column.
Fairytales: When you think about the stories we have read to children, the benevolent sounding word “fairytale” conjures up a happy tale about princesses and little elves. However, when you recall some of the more popular ones like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, there is an evil Queen wanting to harm the lovely princess at every turn. What vivid imaginations those Brothers Grimm had! Recently our two grandchildren were visiting for the weekend and before bedtime they wanted me to read them a story. On our bookshelves are still ones that belonged to our now adult children and I let the grandkids pick out the books for me to read. This time it was Jack and the Beanstalk, which I haven’t read in decades. Do you recall the words the giant says, after his famous “Fe Fi Fo Fum” chorus? Paraphrasing, one line continues about “grinding bones to make his bread”! Yikes! My 6 year old grandson turned to me with wide eyes and asked “What is the giant going to do?” Quickly covering up the words that just spilled from my lips, I mumbled something about, “Oh, he is just trying to scare people and pretending he is going to be very mean so they don’t steal his gold.” For the rest of the book I read more slowly, changing wording when appropriate and less scary. Reflecting back to our childhood and words that were a bit frightening, there were many that brought images of monsters and scary beings to life. See how much “monsters trivia” you remember of these names of that made you shiver! Happy Halloween!
1. What actor starred in the films based on Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein?
2. Bela Lugosi was made famous for his repeated role as what monster?
3. Where did Lugosi’s monster hail from? Name the country and area.
4. What is the simplified name of the Pacific Northwest and Canadian monster called Sasquatch?
5. Who is the beast found in the Himalayan Mountains that is covered in white fur?
1. Boris Karloff; 2. Dracula; 3. Transylvania, Romania; 4. Big Foot;
5. The Abominable Snowman, also called the yeti (yet-tee).