Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

This has taken a while but here's a selection of Ghostly Brides. I shall start with the skull-faced Edwardian 'beauty'. Even the flowers she carries are dead.
Here the setting in Highgate Cemetery and her translucency all add to the eeriness. 
 Another see-through spectre. It's the way she challenges you to follow her - and yet the floor of the ruin shines right through her. Chilling.
A ghost bride doesn't have to be white European to be be sinister - this one is both beautiful and disturbing.
Of course, there are other ways to be scary. This zombie bride would rip anyone apart.
 Dead brides are unnerving. Would she 'wake' if you got too close?
And the sadness of this deserted bride -is it contagious, could she pass on her desperate plight?
Another waiting bride - this time from the twenties. The peeling wallpaper tells its own tale.
It's hard to beat a graveyard for the habitat of the supernatural .This bride is already in mourning - who for, I wonder?
But this has to be my Number One. There is something so implacable about her. She would never stop chasing you - slowly.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Brides and burials

On Sunday I was walking around a churchyard in Itchenor looking at gravestones. They can be very beautiful and sad - like this one here. This is from Chicago - so young and so lovely.

They can also be quite unnerving. This extraordinary funerary statue is from Brooklyn.
Rather older, this one seems to be in a shroud - or some sort of Greek veil.
It doesn't have to be white marble to be eerie. Bronze will do just as well.
I think it is the idea that they are waiting that people find unsettling. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Wedding Woes

The convention is that your wedding day is 'the happiest day of your life'. I have found some bridal photographs that don't quite meet that ideal - sometimes deliberately.
Fashion shoot by Zhang Jigna

'Sad Bride' by Guilia
Others perhaps by accident. Did someone say something dreadful to her? 

Angry Bride by Cristina Valencia
Was this lady shocked by some terrible revelation ? 

 I don't think this one is taking it lying down.

I  can see revenge on the cards...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Reading the Banns

In the days when weddings could only take place in church, they used to announce the coming marriages for three weeks in a row. It was called Reading the Banns. It meant there was time for someone to raise an objection ( as happens in Jane Eyre).

There are a surprising number of superstitions about this. Some thought it was unlucky for the engaged couple to hear the banns -their future children would be cursed- so people would go to another church for those three weeks.

Up till the 1850s or so the Parish Clerk or the oldest man in the village would stand up after the last reading  and call out 'God speed them well'. The rest of the congregation had to say 'Amen' loudly to ward off bad luck .

In Perthshire they thought if the Banns were published in one Quarter but the marriage took place in another, it would be ill-fated. (The year was divided up by Quarter Days for things like paying rent)

 Quarter Days

  • Lady Day (25 March)
  • Midsummer Day (24 June)
  • Michaelmas (29 September)
  • Christmas (25 December)
It was very, very unlucky if a bell tolled for the death of someone on the same day as the Banns were read - especially if the corpse had been a married woman. They predicted the bride would not live longer than a year.

In the North of England ( where I come from)  folk would say the engaged couple had been 'asked', or in some places, 'shouted' when all three readings had taken place. In times past, there would be a great peal of bells to drive away any evil spirits. It was called the Spur-peal ( see Scots  spier or speer - to ask).

I suppose it comes down to the old idea of tempting fate - if you announce a celebration, some evil spirit might try to spoil it.
The Unlucky Bride