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Christmas is the traditional time for ghostly tales. (I've said that so often that I don't even bother to explain anymore; if you doubt please feel free to peruse my crypt for various essays that reference this. You're welcome.) And on the Lost Coast Christmas is the traditional time for my annual show at Old Town Coffee & Chocolates.

During the past several years since my human companions and I first began our December performances, the idea of macabre merriment has taken a firm hold, not only in Humboldt County but around the United States . It warms my ectoplasmic heart to see this return of Seasonal Haunting, and am happy to take credit for any small part I've played in its revival. The fact is that our Christmas show brings in as large or larger an audience than our Halloween efforts, and I'm tickled and quite humbled by that development.

 

 

This year I was again joined by Paul Woodland (of the local “Whippy Dip Radio Show”) and Howard Emerson (master of the Celtic wire harp). This year we were very happy to have musician extraordinaire Seabury Gould join us; owing to a personal family tragedy, he was unable to be part of our 2010 event. Although we continued on, his presence was missed greatly, and we felt very pleased to have the foursome back again for 2011.

The venue was as crowded as ever, and the audience most appreciative. Paul told his tales of growing up and family traditions in the Bay Area, Seabury lead some very untraditional Christmas songs of Santa doing the mambo and a Mexican Night Before Christmas, Howard enchanted all with his traditional carols on the harp. And I again brought out some of my favorite Christmas ghost stories; “The Faithful Ghost”, based on Jerome K. Jerome's story from his wonderful collection of Christmas ghost stories “Told After Supper”, the Hanukkah take of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (which I will be retiring temporarily, as I've found another Hanukkah tale for this year), the dark tale of the anti-Claus Nackles, from the story by Donald Westlake by way of Harlan Ellison, and “O Come Little Children”, one of my favorite stories, based on the tale by Chet Williamson. It was, as always, a delightful celebration, and a fine way to welcome in peace on earth and good will towards man (and spirit).

 

This year, unlike times past when I've left Old Town Coffee and returned to my crypt, I hurried across Eureka to the Nocturnum nightclub, for at 11:00 pm I had another Christmas event to host! My human friends Megz Madrone and Mystikque Violet Madrone, two local performers in the Humboldt Arts and Alternative Performance scene, asked me if I would like to MC their show “Naughtily Nice – A Dark Bellydance & Burlesque Revue”. It was to feature dance and performances set to a seasonal narrative for an adult audience.

Hmmmm…a Christmas show featuring dark imagery, belly dancing and beautiful ladies in various states of undress? Yes, I think I can find time for that…

 

The show was a great success. It began with me telling a horrific Christmas tale to a lovely pajamed lady sitting on my lap. When I sent her off to bed, her dreams of the Yuletide took form on stage. And what a collection of dreams they were! A jolly bearded Santa removed his red suit to reveal a lovely bejeweled lady wearing glittering stones and little else; two of Santa's naughty elves amused themselves creating a clockwork doll of exotic and eerie proportions; Rudolph took a grim revenge on those who'd mocked him in his youth, an exquisite Dark Christmas Angel performed a sensual dance of many scarves, and Jackie Frost came to dance in the chill winter weather.

 

It was a splendid time, and all the local performers – Silky Smith of Blue Angel Burlesque, The Glitzy Dames, Marjhani and Shoshana, among others - gave everyone some darkly delicious December memories. Everyone worked very hard, and I was delighted to see the event be so well attended and appreciated.

As I made my way cryptward, I thought of the traditional song that I used to close out the event; it seemed more than appropriate to the evening:

“When Christmas's tide comes in like a bride,
With holly and ivy clad,
Twelve days in the year much mirth and good cheer
In every household is had.
The country guise is then to devise
Some gambols of Christmas play,
Whereat the young men do best that they can
To drive the cold winter away.”

 

 

 

© 2012 Patient Creatures Ltd.