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William Castle Blog - Part 5

We Will Call Her Georgianna

At  one home, a candle dances in a shiny silver candle holder.  The heat of the flame catches the tiny slotted silver apparatus where a twirling Eiffel Tower revolves around and around. It is placed deliberately in front of a photograph framed in a polished silver bamboo frame.  The photo depicts a family.  A proud man and his three girls.

In another place, a beauty dances through the streets.  She stops in cafe after cafe.  She is sucking in the life of her favorite city in the world.  She is sucking in Paris.  You can hear music as she floats through the lively streets.  Her soft curls, deep, blue eyes, tiny waist make for a striking image.  She is as peaceful as a sleeping baby. As kind as any human being could ever be.  She is witty and smart and loving.  She is eternal.  Forever…

My baby.

The house that holds the votive candle seems empty today. Sad. Gutted. A lost house bathed in sunlight.

My other baby.

Two worlds–a foot in each. I belong nowhere and to no one.  I belong everywhere and to everyone.

Death does not make things crystal clear. Smudges block my view.

Laughter and tears and an abyss that drops down forever.

I stand on the brink and scream into that pit.  Don’t be afraid.  It’s called life.  Even after life.

I am a lucky man. But the sadness clouds my thinking.

I feel like I sit on top of a that pretty little silver candle holder, twirling and twirling and twirling.  Not understanding why I am back “From the Grave!”

Who is pulling my strings?

I honestly don’t know.

But today is sadness. And today is about remembering.  The perfect baby who came into our world and gave us joy, hope, love, life. We will call her Georgianna.

WC

Clear Nights, Full Moons and High Tides

Enjoying the full moon tonight?  I certainly am.

WC

A Warning From William Castle

William Castle Productions is back is business.  What does this mean?  There are many motion picture properties that I developed when I was alive, and never got to see to completion.  Now is the time to do so.

I have written two novels, one Young Adult novel and a children’s book for the ten year old in all of you.  Look for these soon. “Hollywood Horrors: Nightmare in Beverly Hills”  and “From the Grave!”

I am also working on a television series and hope to come out with an entire line of comic books in the hopes of scaring the wits out of you!

And that’s not all.  But it’s all my representatives will allow me to say at present time.  Oh, did I tell you that I am represented by the Gotham-Group in Los Angeles?

My offices will be located in Gordes, France and in Hollywood, California.

I have given you fair warning.  The dead will produce “From the Grave!”

WC

Werewolves, Clinical lycanthropy and my Sweet Vixetta

This early morning I awake suddenly, dreaming about werewolves.  I don’t usually have such vivid dream about werewolves.  No.  My dreams are the dreams of the tormented, the unaware, unsuspecting whose life and death turns on that small shiny piece of metal we call dimes.

All the dimes in the universe are no match for the werewolf.  We all know this.  But the werewolf is quickly becoming the most interesting of creatures to my mortal friends.

There are many stories about werewolves that intrigue us.  Not the least of which is the incredibly horrifying belief that comes from Scandinavia known as the Fennoscandian werewolf.  The tale is very different from the usual werewolf story.  This must be why it caught my imagination.  This gruesome tale involves old women—like the old ‘ seemingly ‘sweet’ grandma figure from Hansel and Gretel.  Oh yes, she was a witch and a cannibal but did we know that?  Oh, my Brothers Grimm and their lovely, little tales. The kids lost their way and her gingerbread house smelled so delicious, how could those sweet young children not be tempted to step inside.  I know I sure would have.  And perhaps this is precisely why I have always had nightmares.  The innocence of childhood would have caused me to become dinner for the witch—because I would never have been as clever as Hansel and Gretel. Oh, the stories we tell our young.  It’s no wonder that witches and cannibals fill their dreams.

But think about the diabolical terror that comes from the stories about Fennoscandian werewolves. I bet you never have. These old women have dipped their long nails in poison and posses a gaze so intense, that children become paralyzed when their sweet little eyes come into contact with this evil creature.  The kids are hunted, frozen in terror and fed poison.  Hanzel and Gretel sounds like a walk in the park compared to this dark tale from this Northern region of Europe.

What ultimately happens to the kids caught by one of these werewolves is anyone’s guess and any writers tale.  But last night, it was at the heart of my very horrid nightmare.

My imagination has always been a blessing and a curse.  Shivers run up my spine as I think about the two little children from my dreams last night.  Oh yes, her long nails looked like claws, and the children tried so hard not to look into her beady  black eyes.  They tried to resist the gaze.  It was too late, when the young girl’s beautiful baby blue eyes drifted, for only an instant, over at this horrible creature, her lovely world shattered.  She couldn’t move, paralyzed,  trapped in her own hell, forever prey for this evil werewolf.

But in the light of day, another aspect of the ‘cherished’ werewolf myth (or is it a myth?) consumes my thoughts.  I am a storyteller and I love to understand what stories you enjoy and why.

With the success of the Twilight Series, I have come to understand why these creatures have fascinated young girls.  The ordinary man takes on incredible strength when he transforms into a werewolf—he becomes the epitome of man—the hunter. Strong, fast, quick—and hairy.

Yes, some stories appear about female werewolves—but they are few and far between and written, I believe expressly by women.  The female werewolf written by Stephenie Meyer is such an example. Leah Clearwater is a female werewolf.  I also believe there was one in An American Werewolf in Paris, Serefine and another in Buffy the Vampire Slayer–Veruca. And what happened to the series “Bitches,” that was piloted for Fox.  Wasn’t it about three women werewolves who hunt in NYC.  I can hear their pitch now, “It’s Twilight meets Sex in the City.”  Not a horror fans idea of good television.

But these feline creatures don’t seem to stick.  We don’t seem to want our werewolves to be women.

I’m afraid to sleep tonight because there is a story brewing in my brain that is much more horrifying than any imagined before.  It a story about a young woman who was born blind and deaf but later develops a heightened sense of hearing and of sight.  She comes to believes that she shape shifts into a wolf.  Eventually she is put away in a mental institution by her wicked and jealous step sister, with a rare but known condition called clinical lycanthropy. This beautiful woman is tormented by her thoughts, dreams, desires.  She is all wolf.  Strong, fast, muscled with a beautiful, thick coat of titian colored hair.   When she realizes she is the alpha female all hell breaks loose.

My beautiful Vixetta is hunted, dissected and tormented.

She needs the wild.  She needs my imagination to order to live.  She needs me tonight and my dreams, so tomorrow I can make her real—she can become my Pygmalion.  My creation borne out of the disturbed musings of a dead man.

WC

A Love Letter!

She was grace.  Is grace.  Will forever be grace.  She is the love of my life but sits day in and day out suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

I don’t understand why she won’t let go.  Her fierce commitment to survive has always stunned me.  She survived WWII bravely, in Holland, working with the resistance, a half-Jewish girl whose father wore the Star of David.

I fell in love with her before I even met her.  You see, I met her twin sister first.

“I wish there was someone at home as lovely as you,” I said playfully to my actor friend lucky enough to be dating this sizzling woman.

“As a matter of fact there is,”  she said with a glorious accent.  It was a blind date for Ellen, but not for me.

“I have a boyfriend in Canada,” she told me soon after we met.

“You mean, you had a boyfriend,”  I corrected her quickly.  I had guts.  You have to give me that.

“I guess you are right,” were her splendid words.

I am told she thought I was the ugliest man she had ever dated when she first laid eyes on me.  I don’t know how I got so lucky—for her to fall in love with me.

She doesn’t remember any of this.  She is a shell of her formidable self.  Yet she clings to life.

Does she  know that I am waiting for her?  I am here for her?  Is it possible she feels me, knows me, senses me?

I would not have been complete without her.  I could not have made the films I made if she were not by my side.

And she never took Hollywood too seriously.  How could she.  She was the salt of the Earth, the backbone of my wounded heart, the wise woman who took away my fears.

I am here. Always near.  Forever.

WC

Taschen, William Castle and the City of Art

I have come to realize that the catacombs of Paris exist with their orderly mass grave just like the dark salutation to death to passerby’s from the Gargoyles hanging off the flying buttresses of Notre Dame only and absolutely because Paris is art and art is life and life is ultimately death and decay.  Without the underbelly, Paris wouldn’t exist.

I did not see this when I was alive.  I see this now.

Paris is a city of art and of artists who aspire to greatness only to be outdone by the city in which they produce their art.  But their art could and would not exist if not for temptation, greed, unseemly eyes staring down upon them cheering them on like a bottle of vodka to an alcoholic.  Yes, the demons exist in Paris and plague all of us who consider ourselves artists.  High art is made and laughed at and finally worshipped.

Paris is time and patience and pain.

The Parisians love the absurd. How could they not?  They live richly and laugh tightly.  And love to be scared.

I strolled by a Taschen bookstore on Rue du Buci.  I leafed through many titles and stopped as I found “Le Cinema D’Horreur.”  I rolled my hand over the front cover—Jack Nickelson as Jack Torrence in “The Shining.”  I turned the book over.

A feast for my eyes.  I had never seen one of the scenes from any of my films look so artistic, so beautiful.  Joan Crawford clutching her axe in “Strait Jacket.” Her eyes wide with insanity, the veins in her arm bulging as she gripped her weapon.

I thumbed through the pages in the book.  Joan, yet again, this time in her asylum of hell wearing a white slip as the black and white stripes of the tight room close in on her.  Joan was desperate to push her way out of hell.

Horror as art.

This is why I am in Paris.  I crave art.

I fought to be recognized as an artist but was only considered a “B” movie director.  But I think now, finally, I can laugh loud and long.  I can laugh ominously all the way down the Rue de Seine.  I sold insurance policies and created Emergo, Percepto, Illusion-o.  I had punishment polls and ghost viewers.  I made art.  I made art for the masses.

And I’m not done yet.  Not by a long shot.

I cannot not mention the booksellers on the Rue de Buci at the bookstore Taschen who joyfully sold “Le Cinema D’ horreur” with the photos from my films.  They inspire me by their sincere appreciation of films made long ago, by a man trying to make art. They smiled at me even if they couldn’t see me.  I could tell that they, too, love horror films and one day soon will have books made about them.

WC

Finding My Voice in the Catacombs of Paris

I had been there before, a long time ago.  But one never forgets a place like this.  There are many ways to travel there; today I picked the easy route.  You see, I was following a family.  I was drawn to them like bees to honey or low flying Griffon Vultures to a smelling, rotting carcass.  Yes, that suits my story better, Griffon Vultures to a rotting carcass.

The last time I went down, I slipped into an isolated manhole cover and fell down through time and death.  I was alive then.  Yes, very alive.  I remember the fear I had conquered as I lingered in this belly of the beast. I was there to save my life.

My plan failed. But that’s a story for another day.

Today’s tale is another true one, and it is about me.  Dead as a doorknob, descending into the chambers filled with a million souls.

I followed a happy American family laughing joyfully as they stepped down the ancient steps, rounding further and further into the center of the earth.

They paused to consider the depth they were descending into.  But just for a second. They admired the ancient miniature city built into the limestone.

But just for another second in time.

I wanted to scream to them to really consider what they were doing.  They didn’t know the dangers that lurked below.

“Think about where you are and what you are doing!”

But they couldn’t hear me and probably wouldn’t listen even if they could.

Humans are funny this way.

They carried with them a sense of circus excitement, kind of like the adrenaline rush one gets right before you enter an amusement park ride.  No, my friends, this wasn’t “Pirates of the Caribbean,” nor was it “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.”  Dorothy, dear Dorothy, you are NOT in Orlando, Florida, and you are about to step from the gay city of Paris into the deep, desperate world of the dismembered dead.

They said a mass prayer for them before they were dug up, quartered and dissembled. Yes, these bodies, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers were once alive.  Their flesh covered bones protecting Godly organs that pumped iron-filled ruby, red blood through squirting arteries pounding heavenly in their lively bodies.  They were alive. They were alive once upon a time.

It’s been about three hundred years since they walked the earth with their bodies in tact.  Now they lay in pieces underneath the steamy, hot sidewalks of Paris, France.

They stank.  Yes, the corpses began to stink.  That was their crime.  So they were dug up and pulled apart and placed in a very orderly manner deep inside the earth where no one would ever have to smell them again.

They don’t smell anymore.  No. Nothing is left to smell.  No small morsel of flesh has survived.  Just the calcium rich structure we call bones.  And millions of them, too.

It’s the order that strikes you first, the beautiful symmetry with which these bones had been placed.

At least that’s what struck me when I first came down here as a living soul.

The family was grinning. They enjoyed the macabre.  Obviously they found the site unreal. Otherwise they would have felt the somber mood of this tomb of a million souls. No, they were too playful.  They didn’t dare think about these people who once roamed the earth. No, they just stood mesmerized by the rows and rows of bones.  But these bones were once attached to brains and hearts and souls.  They loved and feared and laughed and cried.  Now they lay quiet underneath the Paris streets.

At least that is what the ‘alive’ ones see.

I see other things.  This time, as I wandered through the catacombs of Paris, I could see those souls who have not left their bodies.

I thought I would find some answers here.  I did.

Writers learn to be patient.  So do the dead.  Patience.  Peace will come, but not so quickly for some of us.  There is more to come.  More we need to do. More we must do.

I am evolving as a phantom and I am drawn to my history.  But pieces are still missing, like the femurs and tibias and skulls.  Something is missing.  My memory is missing.  I remember the movies I made and the gimmicks I employed.  I remember how to love and how to fear and how to laugh.

I also remember how to be afraid.

I am afraid now.  I fear for the family that I followed down deep below the surface of the earth.  And I yearn for them.

I don’t know why.

I follow their footsteps.  The smallest boy turns and looks through me.  It feels as if I am looking at myself.  He startles me.  He fascinates me.

And the tall one.  Handsome and lovely.  He has abilities he has no idea what to do with yet.  He has lessons to learn.  I could teach him.

But then I’m dead.

I feel sadness.

I walk with them, up the 83 steps to the surface of Paris.   I walk with them.  I walk with them.  I am patient.

Snow flakes as light as air falls on the family as they emerge from the darkness.

“Do you want some hot chocolate?” the father asks.

Hot chocolate and bones.  I need to know this strange family.  They need to see me.

Patience.

WC

A Kiss From Paris

I found the manhole cover I used 33-years-ago.  I leapt down into the bowels of Paris.  It was dark.  Pitch black.  But this time I didn’t need a headlamp.  I could see just fine.  This time I was merely a phantom.

Nothing had changed.  All the bones were still stacked neatly.  The femurs made up one wall.  The tibias another.  But it was the skulls that made the most horrifying image.  Thousands upon thousands of bodies had been looted out of the cemetaries arouond Paris in the 1700’s and then placed orderly underneath our dear city of lights.  The now empty quarries that once were filled with limestone had been dug out–building the world’s most beautiful city.  But this city underground was even more magnificent.

When I had walked these aisles of death as a live man, I was filled with remorse.  I remember that the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up.  But I couldn’t let anything get in my way.   I had a job to do.  I job that could save my live, or the lives of many, many others.  At least that’s what I had thought at the time.  You see I had something that didn’t belong to me.  Something with great power.  Something that should never see the light of day.

I knew it was coveted.  I knew that many would do unspeakable things to get it.  It even tempted me.

No. I must rid myself of this hideous possession.

It had been mere coincidence that I had found it.  Or had it?

I thought about this as I strolled the catacombs on this winter solstice eve.  On the night when the moon would hide behind the sun.

But I was not alone in the dark with just the bones from dead souls.  No.  I was anything but alone.

I haven’t really had much contact with other ghosts.  Not until tonight.  They seem to all be here.  They seem to cherish the city under Paris as much as the living cherishes the lovely little bistros and brasseries that thrive in the quaint alleyways of Montmatre or the Latin Quarter.

I had to get out.   Too many dead people.  I was not prepared to deal with them just yet.

I ran back the way I came.  I ran through sewer pipes and over giant fissures.  I fan like the wind through the land of death. I ran wild with the awareness that I wanted to be alive.  Oh I wanted to feel life again.   I wanted to feel real.

I emerged just when the moon turned orange.  The huge orb caught me by surprise.  It was cloudy in Paris, but I could see it.  It taunted me, as if to say, I’m beautiful and you are dead.

But then I caught sight of life, of hope, of love…I exhaled deeply.  A lover’s kiss could still affect me.  I sat near the River Seine and watched the sun come up.

Here is a little something for you.  From me.

WC

Paris, The Winter Solstice and The Full Moon!

What am I to think?  Paris is covered by snow, Christmas is coming and winter is almost here.  The Winter Solstice should be spectacular tonight with a lunar eclipse.  But most can’t see it because of the awful weather.  But I can feel it.  I feel it in my old,dead bones.

It makes me a bit crazy.  Wild with excitement, actually. I am anticipating great things for the new year.  I don’t know what that means to you.  But my awakening is going to be complete.  I just know it now.  But first, I have things to do.  Unexplainable things.

I’m in Paris.  Came up from Provence for the Holiday.  I’ll tour the catacombs and see who I can haunt.  It’s a scary place filled with bones of thousands upon thousands of souls.  It is also filled with people like me.  The undead.  We lie in wait.  I know I need to be here now.  I know my destiny awaits under the city of lights.

I promise to crawl out from beneath the city when Christmas comes.  I will watch as everyone rushes around trying to make the season the happiest time of the year.  But I will be watching the sad, the lonely, the hopeless.  My heart aches for them.  They need our protections.  Life is too short my friends.  Do what you can to repair broken relationships, mend old scars and fill your days with an open heart.  And look to the moon and think about things to come.

I know so many of you think that only werewolves change during full moons.  But think about how life is dictated by that round orb hanging in your sky.  Teenage girls are mad for werewolves. I hope they take a moment and fully comprehend the power of the moon.

And this moon will be unreal.  Surreal.  Perfect. A full moon that hides from human eyes.  What happens to the werewolves.  I can’t wait to see.

And as for the catacombs stay tuned.  I will report on all my sightings.

WC

Gold At An All Time High!

I made my way into a neighbor’s home.  I don’t know if they could feel my presence.  But something made me stop by.  I hung back in a corner and watched.

A middle-aged man began to look through drawers and old boxes. He was pulling out old gold chains, broken gold charms and watches.  He placed them carefully in a plastic bag. But before he did, he examined each one carefully, looking for special markings.  Once or twice a smile crossed his face.  He teared up a little as he looked at one of the objects and then placed it back in the drawer where he kept it. When he was finished he hefted the bag in his hand, as if he were weighing it.  The weight was surprising.

He crossed the room and descended the stairs into the kitchen.  He took out a small box and placed the plastic bag inside it.  He stuffed the box with old newspaper so that the bag and its contents would not rattle around.  Then he carefully sealed up the box and tied it with string for added security.  He seemed pleased with the job.  He then took out a pen and wrote something on the box.  I tried to peer over his shoulder as I was intrigued, but I couldn’t make out the handwriting.

Must be a doctor.

Then the man retrieved his coat from the hall closet, grabbed his little parcel and exited the front door, destination unknown.

I followed the man through the windy streets of Provence.  He headed into a little pawn shop.  I watched from the window.  A little boy looked back at me as his mother dragged him forward.  He smiled.

Did he see me?

Or perhaps just he just saw the smoke emanating from my lit cigar.

The man inside the store unwrapped his package  as the pawn broker weighed each piece of gold carefully.

Money was exchanged.

My neighbor exited the store and seemed melancholy.  It didn’t last long.  Soon he was entering a boutique selling lovely French perfume.  He took his time until he found exactly what he was looking for.  The perfect scent.  He paid the shop keeper and waited for her to wrap the gift.

It looked beautiful–a gift for a queen.

I felt a rush of emotion.  I understood too well what this man just did.  He sold his scraps of old cufflinks, his dead mother’s old worn necklaces and charms and traded them in for cash–cash he would use to buy his loved one a gift.  A Christmas gift.

Times are hard right now.  Gold is at an all-time high. When we are in love we would sell our souls. This was only gold.

I thought about The Gift of the Magi and only hoped his sweetheart wasn’t buying him a jewelry box  in which to put his precious golden trinkets.

To love!  And  to surviving hard times during the cold hard winter of our lives!