Archive for November, 2009

People and Places Strange and Ordinary

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Wunda1 People and Places Strange and Ordinary

1962 Seattle kiddie show host Wunda Wunda, aka Ruth Prins

Back when you could find neat postcards for fifty cents or less, I amassed a sizeable collection. I had different interests, but one of them was the odd places that someone thought would make good postcards.

Horror, as I’ve said, is not confined to the cosmic and bloody ends of the spectrum. In fact, I’d argue that Lovecraft’s best effects comes from playing his cosmicism againstĀ  lonely, lost places. No one is performing blasphemous rites in Broadway theatres (well, maybe the people who thought Carrie was a good idea for a musical) and however much the narrator of “Pickman’s Model” shuns the subway, the critters never appear there.

Anyway, the postcards below are not horrific in and of themselves; it’s all in how you look at them. I think every one of them could be the springboard for a terrific horror short story, and next time I come up for air, I aim to prove that notion.

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Underground boating in Put in Bay, O., wherever that is.

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Wonder if it's called the Biofuel Palace today?

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Villa Borghese, Rome

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I have no freaking idea, but there is hand-written poem on the back which I share with you in all its oddly punctuated glory: "Tommy dear I'm sitting here with a glass of beer. Thats queeer. You say Im a bull but Im only a steer Thats queer"

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I've been to Bedrock - only person on the grounds, desolate as Death Valley. And Fred & Barney were off that day. But don't tell me this isn't scary.

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Sinclair Oil Co. exhibit at athe 1933-34 Chicago Wrold's Fair

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Ruined castle in Germany

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The Ute Pass in Colorado, part of the Lincoln Trans-Contonental Highway, "probably the best constructed mountain auto road in the West."

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"Typical Bath House Scene, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas"

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Chapel of the Ohio Penitentiary - great idea for a postcard, mailed Oct. 4, 1910

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Strange 'piramide' in Roma

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Cosmotron, Brookhaven National Lab, Upton, Long Island, N.Y.

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Civic Pride: Copper Mill & Acid Plant in Copperhill, Tenn.

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Via Appia antica - a nice lonely spot for Arthur Machen to wax enthusiastic over.

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Fox Secretarial College, Chicgo, Ill., 1938

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Advanced technology...but for what purpose?