October 2018: Happy Halloween! Here is a treat!

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  Costumes!  Spooky stuff!  Leaves crunching under your feet!  Syncretism!  Candy!

In honor of Halloween, the Illinois association of fundraising researchers asked for fundraising themed spooky short stories to run in their newsletter.   My co-worker and I co-wrote a piece that is an homage to a certain classic vampire novel…you can read our story here.

While writing the story, I re-read said vampire novel and I’ve decided that one of the under-appreciated messages of  Dracula is that it sucks to be the new guy at work.  Why is Jonathan Harker traveling to handle a real estate deal with a reclusive aristocrat in the Carpathian mountains?  Because no one else wanted to do it.    I feel like poor Jonathan Harker often gets the short shrift in film versions–he’s portrayed as naive and stupid, but really, he’s just a brand new graduate at his first law job who gets sent on a crappy assignment and is completely in over his head.  Quincey Morris would have tried to shoot his way out of Dracula’s castle, Dr. Seward would try to science his way out (yes, we are going to pretend that science is also a verb, just move along), Van Helsing knows what’s up and would just stake Dracula on the first night, and Arthur Holmwood wouldn’t be in the situation at all because he’s rich and doesn’t need to work.  Jonathan Harker just wants to do a good job and winds up on the worst business trip ever.

Oh Jonathan, you never stood a chance…
[Image Description: Jonathan Harker looks fearful as Count Dracula, wearing a flowing red robe, menaces him from behind]

If you want to revisit some classic horror this Halloween, I recommend Extraordinary Tales.  It is an animated anthology of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories, each animated by a different artist and read by a different narrator.  The narrators are fantastic and the animation is wonderfully macabre in different ways.  It is currently available on Netflix.

Happy October everyone!