Endless hallways, shadowy parlors, velvet-curtained salons, and foreboding galleries have long served as the spooky settings for some of the most famous gothic tales ever told.
But what was beyond the front door of the tale's intimidating mansion also bore a scary feel, too. Think of trees and shrubs and deep valleys and fog sitting in a dell. Ghosts are drawn to the outdoors, too, or so said the fabled fear writers of old.
Both Drama After Dark and Wicked Lit embrace the outdoorsy side of eerie storytelling. The autumntime events, which both take place under the sky and among the trees, don't solely focus on fictions set in an alfresco landscape, but placing actors beneath the moon and sky lend the tales told a timeless and eternal feel.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey is a one-night-only affair, and typically a sell-out, thanks to its crack cast of actors and its unusual setting: The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens. The Huntington is typically closed by sundown, so the chance to wander among its roses and by statuary, as thespians summon the spirits of the author of "The Raven" and the iconic illustrator, is a terrifying treat, indeed.
The date is Saturday, Oct. 24, and, yes, this is a return to The Huntington for the event, which went on landed in Rancho Cucamonga in 2014. Tickets? Draw your cape close and head this way.
Wicked Lit runs for several nights throughout October at one very atmospheric, history-filled setting: The Mountain View Mausoleum & Cemetery in Altadena. The playlets chosen for 2015 include "The Grove of Rashomen," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The System."
Produced by Unbound Productions, Wicked Lit roams the cemetery by dark, and attendees know they'll be changing locations during the course of the evening.
Consider how often we watch a fright flick indoors or take in a dread-filled play in the safety of a theater. Nature reminds us of the unpredictability of life, and the vast beauty, too, and it makes for a rather intoxicating, and offbeat, setting for a scary tale brought to life.