And so begins Halloween in Denver, by Richard Brautigan, one of my favorite holiday stories of all time. It’s not a scary story, unless you’re afraid of sex and candy, but it does take the mask off of a hidden of Halloween activities: what the people with the candy are doing in the house in between handing out the candy. And it brings up an interesting question: are pumpkins all scorpios?
The History of Day of the Dead, as told by The Marigold Project, a “volunteer-run Mission district based nonprofit whose purpose is to preserve,promote, and share the rituals and practices of Day of the Dead in San Francisco.” It’s well-written, not long, and it gives you a much better understanding of the story behind what’s going on in the parade and at the park. For example, did you know it’s good luck to bite into the plastic skeleton hidden in the pan de muerto?
Finally, have you heard any of the classic ghost stories in San Francisco? There are some fun summaries on Ghost in My Suitcase, summarized from the San Francisco Ghost Hunt walking tour. There’s the haunted ghost ship complete with ornate rigging that has been documented by multiple navy members, the kind-hearted ghost at the Queen Anne Hotel who brings extra blankets and tucks in tired guests, or the stories that one of the San Francisco Art Institute buildings in Russian Hill is haunted because it’s built on a former cemetery. Or my personal favorite, about a man who used to live at the Atherton Mansion on California who died on a sea voyage to Chile trying to flee his controlling wife. The crew put his body in a keg of rum, scrawled the address on the outside, and it actually got delivered back to the mansion, to the horror of the kitchen crew and his wife.
Any other Halloween reads you care to share?