Darkening Doors: Macabre Pittsfield Walking Tours

The October offerings in the Berkshires have gained a formidable addition with Macabre Pittsfield Walking Tours, created and lead by writer and historian (and friend of the blog) Joe Durwin.

Because I couldn’t write it better myself, here’s the Durwinian description of the experience: “Embark on a journey through a downtown Pittsfield far removed from what we know today. A place of desecrated graves and skeletons in church basements, of rumsellers shacks, opium dens, and murders most foul…”

Indeed, the tour in its October 18 form (no two tours are the same) began on the Pittsfield Common, which was once a cemetery with a serious grave-robbing problem, and crept its way through the heart of the city.

Stops along the route included the site of the former courthouse, alleys that once led to houses of ill-repute, and the spot where the old rail-station delivered some of Pittsfield’s most colorful visitors — all brought back to life through impeccably researched stories of both fact and folklore. For one, medical students were apparently ruthless in the 1800s, particularly when it came to cadavers.

An added bonus of the tour is multiple stops also showcase the Berkshire Lightscapes project, which aims to illuminate downtown buildings and spaces in downtown Pittsfield through animated LED light systems. It’s a nice touch, especially when the topic turns to UFO sightings and alien encounters.

Word on the street is some kid-friendly tours are in the works for next season… though I’m also personally hopeful that these tours will continue in the warmer months. There’s nothing quite like scaring groups of tourists by the dozen.

Blogtoberfest Guest-post Contest 2021!

It’s time again to pen! The 2021 Blogtoberfest Guest Post Contest is now open.

As per tradition, prizes will be announced soon, and posts are accepted throughout the month — so get writing and send your entries to writerjax -at- gmail.com!

Winners will be decided by readers via an online poll at the end of the month. There’s no length requirement or limit, and posts need not be spooky. October is also the month of harvest, baseball, and Breast Cancer Awareness. It may be that you or your organization has an annual event this month that deserves a little publicity. Whatever the topic – if it says October to you, it’s fair game!

All content forms are welcome, from poetry to pictures, recipes to recaps, or video to voodoo.

Click some of the links below to check out past entries!

The 2021 Cringe-binge Line-up

I’m so, so pleased to see that other people are starting their October viewing early this year, and that the networks are providing what we need.

Every year, the horror, harvest, and hazy-evening programming seems to edge back a little more into September, thus lengthening the Blogtoberfest season by a few more degrees. To keep everyone abreast, I’ve compiled an early guide to the best binges television currently has to threaten.

Let’s ghoul.

Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween Highlights include Hocus Pocus, Decorating Disney: Halloween Magic, The Craft, and more.

Shudder’s 61 Days of Halloween Highlights include the premiere of V/H/S/94, the fourth installment in the franchise; Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Carrie, and more.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) October Horror Highlights include The Bad Seed, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Freaks, and more black-and-white psychological terror.

AMC Fearfest Highlights include the month-long ability to watch the Halloween, Scream, and Final Destination franchises in their entirety, and a Stephen King marathon on October 9.

Netflix and Chills Highlights include the premier of a new installment to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jaws 1-4, newly released There’s Someone Inside Your House, and more.

Huluween Highlights include the Into the Dark holiday-themed horror anthology, new Nic Cage romp Willy’s Wonderland, and horror-shorts Bite-sized Halloween.

SyFy’s 31 Days of Halloween Highlights include a new 10-episode run of Day of the Dead, inspired by George A. Romero; a Slumber Party Massacre remake, and a new Chucky tv show.

Call for Blogtoberfest Entries!

I always welcome guest posts at The Jump, but I take the collection thereof more seriously from October 1 to All Hallows Eve. The results have been varied and awesome, ranging in topic from witches to zombies to Neil Diamond.

Over the years, Blogtoberfest Guest Post submissions evolved into a full-on contest, with winners, prizes, and the bestowing of appropriate amounts of online glory.

Winners will be decided by readers via an online poll at the end of the month. There’s no length requirement or limit, and posts need not be spooky. October is also the month of harvest, baseball, and Breast Cancer Awareness. It may be that you or your organization has an annual event this month that deserves a little publicity. Whatever the topic – if it says October to you is fair game!

Prizes will be announced soon, and posts are accepted throughout the month, so get writing and send your entries to writerjax -at- gmail.com!