Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Neil Gaiman's Hallowe'en Piece for the NY Times

Allright - I thought I'm over with being scared by mere texts of ghost stories. Not!
The last time I got goosebumps from reading was by Bram Stoker's Dracula, a book that is perfect for dark stormy days, a thick blanket and a pot of steaming tea, several years ago. Afterwards, I read Stephen King's short story collections, which amused me in a giggly way, but not really gave me any fright.

Then came the day (yesterday) when I opened Neil Gaiman's journal and clicked the link to his Op-Ed piece for the New York Times. It was morning, the day was quite sunny (alternated by occassional rains), but I was alone in the house. Hungry for Neil's writing (yup - I haven't had the chance to buy me Fragile Things), I rightaway devoured the article.. seems like a childhood memoir, I thought.. but then..

Well I'm not going to tell you everything. Go ahead, read and treat yourself some chills, here: Ghosts in the Machines - New York Times

PS. I'm tempted to copy a part of the article that chilled my spine (pasted below). However, I suggest you to read the whole article for a real treat, no trick!


Now I write fictions, and sometimes those stories stray into the
shadows, and then I find I have to explain myself to my loved ones and
my friends.

Why do you write ghost stories? Is there any place for ghost stories in the 21st century?

Alice said, there’s plenty of room. Technology does nothing to dispel
the shadows at the edge of things. The ghost-story world still hovers
at the limits of vision, making things stranger, darker, more magical,
just as it always has ....

There’s a blog I don’t think anyone
else reads. I ran across it searching for something else, and something
about it, the tone of voice perhaps, so flat and bleak and hopeless,
caught my attention. I bookmarked it.

If the girl who kept it
knew that anyone was reading it, anybody cared, perhaps she would not
have taken her own life. She even wrote about what she was going to do,
the pills, the Nembutal and Seconal and the rest, that she had stolen a
few at a time over the months from her stepfather’s bathroom, the
plastic bag, the loneliness, and wrote about it in a flat, pragmatic
way, explaining that while she knew that suicide attempts were cries
for help, this really wasn’t, she just didn’t want to live any longer.

counted down to the big day, and I kept reading, uncertain what to do,
if anything. There was not enough identifying information on the Web
page even to tell me which continent she lived on. No e-mail address.
No way to leave comments. The last message said simply, “Tonight.”

wondered whom I should tell, if anyone, and then I shrugged, and, best
as I could, I swallowed the feeling that I had let the world down.

And then she started to post again. She says she’s cold and she’s lonely.

I think she knows I’m still reading ....



  1. I like this:
    "It’s good to be a child again, for a little while, and to fear — not governments, not regulations, not infidelities or accountants or distant wars, but ghosts and such things that don’t exist, and even if they do, can do nothing to hurt us."
    Thats how i feel.. :)

  2. Thank you dear for sharing this! You know walau telat sehari, I had a horror dream this morning or last night...hahahah... Ada lagi kebetulan, gua jadian pas Samhain / All Hollows Eve :D

  3. Ooh yes, and it's so true, too, isn't it.

  4. aeeh ada yg lagi melambung :)
    (makasih juga, it's my pleasure!)

  5. tadi malem nggaberani buka..siang ini beraniin diri deh :))

  6. masuk Fragile Things nggak mbak?
    Si Oom mah kalo nulis nggak menakutkan..tapi MENGERIKAN..hehehe

  7. lhoo jadi kemaren kamu langsung baca ke punchline-nya? hahaha
    gimana? mencekam, bukan? *angkat2 alis*

  8. nggak lah, fragile things kan udah terbit & distribusi, dan ini cuma artikel di koran dalam rangka hallowe'en. udah baca smoke & mirrors kan? yg snow, apple, glass keren bangettt (aku juga suka yg ttg father christmas.. creeeepy)

  9. lapor komandaaan,aku sudah bacaa.KEreeeeen, dasar si OOm dah.Pendek dan menusuk.

    Jadi inget episode Oprah tentang penyebab ketiga kematian remaja di amerika adalah bunuh diri. Di episode itu juga diceritakan ttg web site2 yg mendukung dan memberi alternatif cara untuk melakukannya.
    now..THAT'S SCARY

  10. hellooooow... Ta.. ceritanya Neil oke juga menyambut Halloween. Tapisiiiy, cerita setan emang paling laris sampe sekarang.. Buktinya di Indonesia.. rating film yg paling tinggi adalah semua yg berkenaan dengan spooky-spooks.. yuhuuu... film "Denias, senandung diatas awan" jarang diomongin.. ah... semua lagi ngomongin film KUNTILANAK gituloooooh...julia esteller...

    Makasih Tyas.. udah kenalin Neil Gaiman ...

    Ta... hugs & kisses

  11. Ipiiihhh *kangeeennn*

    Di Indonesia kebanyakan cerita hantunya slapstick sih :P

  12. Seraaaaammmmm :-ss. Untuk gue yg serem yg hape:

    But then she did get back to each of the people who had left her a message. By phone, at first, leaving cellphone messages that sounded like someone whispering in a gale, muffled wet sounds that never quite resolved into words.

    Eventually, of course, she will return our calls in person.

  13. nah iyaa ini jg sereeem (masa gue baca ini merinding lagi haduuh)
    mungkin gue lebih bisa relate to yg internet ketimbang yg hape, makanya lebih serem ama yg ttg blog itu.. hiyy