People and Places Strange and Ordinary

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?

^ 8 Comments...

  1. Paul

    Great post. The underground boating would lend itself well to a horror story.

  2. Linda

    Wow, that’s some powerful material there. Excellent choices!

  3. Gillsing

    Underground boating reminds me of From Death Til Now, which isn’t quite horror, but more of a supernatural mystery. Though I guess there isn’t that much underground boating either, so maybe I shouldn’t get anyone’s hopes up. Still, two men, a boat, and a cave. That’s all it takes to qualify, right? ;-)

  4. AcroRay

    I love the Sinclair dino exhibit card. My grandfather’s gas station was a Sinclair station for a while, and we had lots of kibble and little booklets featuring this exhibition in his leftover promotional stuff.

  5. Tink

    What? Really? You don’t know where Put-in-Bay is?

    Huh. Guess that’s an Ohio thing.

  6. Lucas

    Yeah, Tink has it right. Put in Bay is a small town on South Bass Island, which is located in Lake Erie, just North of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is a resort town through and through pretty much surviving off of it’s night life late spring through early fall. Not things you necessarily needed to know, but eh, why not. Love the comic by the way.

  7. Carmine

    The Strange Piramyd in Rome is the Caio Cestio Piramyd (in italian Piramide Cestia) builded in Roman Era near the acattolic cemetery in Rome.
    Sorry for my bad english. I’m italian.

  8. lovecraf

    Hey, your English is better than my Italian! Thanks for identifying the pyramid. Most postcards have some identifier on the back, but this one was blank.