As you all may know, the Vahalla Ladies love Halloween and everything that goes with it. In the spirit, we are reposting Bronwyn Kelly-Seigh‘s blog post’s from her series “A Nerd Girl’s Guide to the Universe” on www.talkingcomicbooks.com . Please enjoy your guided trip through Salem, Sanderson Sister style!
Welcome one and all to the Last Door on the Left – a travel agency for the adventurous soul. Have you always wanted to see the world beyond the wardrobe? Longed to wait for the train at 9 ¾? Pined for tickets to hear Plava Laguna sing at Phloston Paradise? Look no further.
Hello and welcome, wayward wanderers. We here at the Last Door on the Left hope that October finds you hale and hearty; full of vigor and good spirits! And speaking of spirits… Halloween month does put us in the mood for a little walk on the supernatural side. Perhaps a little Hocus Pocus is in order? A lighthearted trip to visit the Sanderson Sisters as they make their (questionably?) triumphant return to Salem might just do the trick (or treat!). So break out some neon and shoulder pads, sit back, and relax, as we put a spell on you – and your now time-traveling broomstick – and send you tumbling through the fourth dimension back to Massachusetts in 1993.
Of course, the story of the Sanderson Sisters really starts in 1693, but this time of year, do we really want to go anywhere without indoor plumbing? I thought not. Poor Emily and Thackery Binx, though. Left alone at the mercy of the local witches, three; Emily drained of life force and Thackery an immortal cat… one wonders where the adults were *before* there were sorceresses to lynch. I suppose an evening’s entertainment WAS hard to come by in the seventeenth century, and who didn’t love a public hanging back in those days? Especially one with an exciting resurrection curse!
Thackery landed on his feet – as cats are wont to do – and menaced and meowed his way into the twentieth century, always keeping a weather eye on the Sanderson House and the hex it contained. And an uneventful watch it was until Halloween night, 1993 – the very night we find ourselves peering in the cobwebbed and leaded windows – when three nineties kids enter the fray.
Savvy Traveller Side Note #1: Let sleeping legends lie. Now, I know – as dauntless patrons of the Last Door on the Left – there’s a little risk-taker in all of you. That being said, there’s playing with fire and then there’s willy nilly lighting any old black flame candle! Sometimes it’s as Freud (albeit a little ironically) said “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”, but other times a tome is a spell book that is devil-sourced and bound in human skin. Those, we recommend avoiding.
Still, once the cats – or witches – are out of the bag, it’s best to roll with the punches. I would avoid the fingertip lightning, if possible, though. That stings!! Teamwork is a handy ploy against the still sleepy Sanderson sisters, as they seem a bit rusty with the multi-tasking. When in doubt, aim for cunning (the ladies slept for 300 years and haven’t had a coffee yet. Who among us is at our cleverest first thing??) and there’s always the option of listening to the talking feline.
Savvy Traveller Side Note #2: Graveyards are friends, not food. Wait, what? Seriously, though. Hallowed ground will come in handy if you find yourself needing to run-slash-hide from fiendish enemies at any given point. It may seem a little counter-intuitive to search out a graveyard at night, on Halloween… or it may not! You intrepid souls, you!
Of course, the caveat to graveyard safety is the occasional raised zombie. If you can keep your head about you, though, you can usually count on finding a way to rid a zombie of theirs. Also, a little soul searching is apropos of the evening – even for the undead. Keep an eye out for an opportunity to turn the turned to your way of thinking!
Packing Pro-Tip #1: A killer Halloween costume. ‘Tis the season, and we’re big proponents of the “go big or go home” school of thought. Besides, there’s sure to be a costume party and no one wants to show up underdressed. Even if there’s just frolicking and running amok, fancy dress makes *everything* better.
Savvy Traveller Side Note #3: Slick storytelling skills will take you far. Some of the things you’ll see through the Last Door on the Left can be… a little tough to describe to the average person. You’ll need above average communication skills if you want your chronicle to be convincing.
Alas, occasionally, no matter what you say, people just won’t believe you and you’ll have to go it alone. It may be tempting to follow the traditional path and attempt to end the evil infestation by killing the enchantresses with fire. It is not, however, quite the foolproof answer we have been led to believe. And that foul-coloured smoke just might coalesce back into even fouler-tempered Sandersons!
Savvy Traveller Side Note #4: Avoid – AT ALL COSTS – any temptation to use the phrase: “What harm could it do?”. Famous last words for $1000, Alex.
Packing Pro-Tip #2: Salt, and lots of it. A circle of salt will protect you from many ills, and in a pinch, makes a great steak seasoning.
Soon enough – when the night is darkest, right before dawn – you’ll find yourself following a horde of children, mindlessly maneuvering their way to the pied piper stylings of Sarah Sanderson. Never a great sign, migrating children in this case probably means the sisters are brewing a nasty concoction with which to secure their youth, beauty, and immortality. It’s probably wise to start making carpooling plans for getting out of town (or at least back to hallowed ground).
Savvy Traveller Side Note #5: Sometimes time really is on your side. Even if nothing is going your way and the odds seem stacked against you, remember: all you have to do is hold on. This, too, shall pass. The sun WILL rise. And those Sanderson sisters are POWERFULLY allergic to November 1st!