A Halloween Mistory Solved by the Incredible Sluething of a Pair of UVa Students

So, there appears to be some strange goings-on at an abandoned house near my Grandfather's place in Buena Vista, Va. Pumpkins have been appearing, moving around, and disappearing, black cats prowling, and Ravens flying overhead - all in the weeks immediately preceding Halloween. Well, my Grandfather, being the inquisitive one, has challenged the family to solve the mystery and report our findings. Theresa and I, having consulted UVa's foremost paranormal expert Dr. Spookenstien and researching the history of Buena Vista, wrote this solution:

Randal and Theresa Miller

Daniel Hartson is usually a very obedient student. But after attending Elder Cottle’s Eternal Marriage class at Southern Virginia University, he has become desperate to get married. So desperate, in fact, that all the girls at his school have become weary of his multiple advances and he cannot find anyone to accompany him to the harvest ball. Undeterred, Daniel checks out a book on the dark arts from SVU’s library, and goes about learning a spell that will allow him to summon the spirit of one of SVU’s former students, so that he may take her to the ball.

Sally Crumpkin was the heir to the Virginia’s largest pumpkin empire, Crumpkin Pumpkins. She was a buxom young lady with curly orange hair and a friendly smile who attended Southern Seminary (SVU's predecessor) for almost a year before her mysterious disappearance in 1907. Of the school’s many activities, Sally enjoyed most the croquet matches she played with her friends, which was the very activity was doing the last time anyone ever saw her. During that fateful match, her friend struck her ball and sent it rolling down a hill and in a dark thicket of trees. Sally entered the forest after it.

The Buena Vista Witch was the town’s most feared resident since she first arrived in 1897. After a full 10 years of terrorizing the neighborhood, she concocted a plan to gain immortality. When she was ready to cast her immortality spell, she set up her cauldron in a dark thicket of trees, added various ingredient (including one large pumpkin) to the brew, and begun chatting. The spell was nearly complete when a small red ball entered her sanctuary, followed by a beautiful young redhead. The commotion proved disastrous: the witch mispronounced a critical part of the incantation, which altered the spell. Both the Witch’s and Sally’s spirit became trapped in the pumpkin forever.

Daniel Hartson carefully reads aloud the words from his book, keeping in his mind the image of Sally Crumpkin, whose painting he saw in the school lobby. As he finished the spell, smoke filled his room and the sky above SVU darkens considerably. Brilliant flashes of lightening are the only illumination seen for some time. Daniel faints from the smoke and his classmates run out of their dorms in a panic. When he finally awakes, the school had calmed down. Daniel was disappointed to see in his room, not a beautiful girl, but a large and ominous pumpkin.

Little did Daniel know, he had succeeded in summoning summoned Sally Crumpkin. Her spirit, along with the Buena Vista Witch’s, is inside the pumpkin that had appeared in his dorm. The BV Witch, who had already subdued Sally’s spirit, immediately used her magic to overcome Daniel’s will. Under her influence, he took the pumpkin and moved into the abandoned house that was once occupied by his foe. Once there, BV Witch began to gather her strength for All Hallows Eve, when she will escape from her prison. Meanwhile, because of Daniel and Sally’s mutual captivity, they are able to communicate and soon fall in love. If only there was some brave soul who could defeat the Witch and free the lovers from her spell before it is too late.

The End


I have created a list of friends blogs, many of whom have linked to this blog. If you would like me to link to your blog or remove a link I have posted, please let me know.


Do They Know It's Halloween?

I sure hope they do, or else they might think that Theresa and my costumes reflected the way we really dress. This year, we decided to dress up as the most frightening thing that we could think of: Emo kids! (For those who have not been to high school in the last little while, Emo is a horrible genre of music consisting of 20 or 30 something guys who still think they are 16 and whine-sing about their latest girl trouble. see Dashboard Confessional, Something Corporate). The idea just came to me on Saturday, and we just went with it. Overall, I thought our costumes were good, although I was a little uncomfortable in those pants!

So, newly emo-ed, Theresa and I set out last night and had a great time with a bunch of kids who definitely did know it was Halloween. At least I hope they knew it was Halloween, since they set up an elaborate haunted house, which would be strange if they thought it was easter. The house itself was great, but one thing that was missing was Daniel Harker, who was Theresa's 'ol haunted house buddy: when they went to one in Edmonton a few years ago, Danny H would alway cower behind Theresa, and then scream and scream when something jumped out at them. I actually think they had a TV in the works, where those two would travel the world investigating haunted houses, screaming and running around for an hour a week. Its a shame NBC dropped it at the last minute--too frightening for children, they said.

After the haunted house, we then headed for the Law School's Halloween party, but it appears the police forgot it was Halloween and had showed up to take the 'trick' out of 'trick or treat.' So we decided to just keep walking by. All and all, good fun. No picnic in the graveyard, but you can only expect so much, right?

The title of this post, by the way, comes from my favorite Halloween Songs:


The Stars Were Out In Full Glory At DC's 9:30 Club

In the first year of Law School, they scare you half to death, in the second they work you half to death, and in the third they bore you half to death. I heard this statement recently and have decided that it presents a very accurate portrayal of my life; so, while last year I must have been too frightened to post every few days, currently, with my job search, moot court, Health Law Association, and classes, there seems to be precious little time to share my life with all of you.

That being said, Theresa and I did manage to find enough time to drive up to DC and attend last night's Stars concert with the Cummings. For months, Theresa and I have been talking up this concert, so when the night finely arrived, Katy and Aaron must have had the impression that it would be the defining moment of their entire lives. Needless to say, we were quite nervous that the show would not be as good as we promised. But it was. There was just as much over-the-top theatrics and amazing music as we had described. One reason we love Stars is that the male singer, Torque, is much more of a diva than the female (Amy Milan, who showed off her amazing voice last night), and he certainly lived up to his reputation last night, over-acting like a drama-kid who never really grew up. At least he used a hand-made t-shirt that said "I 'heart' Menomena," apologized to the band he accidently insulted during his diva-spat with Pitchfork Media.

The Concert was actually broadcast on npr, so you can listen to it here. You might even be able to hear us cheer.

And to continue living up to our goal of only eating at restaurants that we cannot find in Edmonton (ie. no nation-wide chains), we all went to Ben's Chili Bowl, a famous little hole-in-the-wall establishment that serves amazing chili and plays old-school rap. The place, which is apparently quite famous, is frequented by movie stars, and, as of last night, us as well.


Law Student Beach Vacation Almost Ends Trajecally: Sources Say

Do law students even get vacations?! This is probably the question that came to your mind upon glancing at the post title above, and I am happy to inform you that yes, fortunately there are a few dates that UVa law has set aside as a break from studies. One of these breaks was last week, so Theresa and I, along with a troupe of four other law student families (ranging from 1Ls to 3Ls) pounced on the opportunity to catch a few sun rays and relax after what has proven to be a busy month of school in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. And let me tell all of you who chose not to join us, did you ever miss out. The weather was perfect, the water was warm, the beaches were not crowded and the company was brilliant (Since wacthing a couple of Brittish movies in the last little while, I have decided to pick up a little UK slang, so I use 'brilliant' in a general sense - without, of course, insinuating that our companions were anything less than intelligent).

The trip was not entirely without incident, though, and danger presented itself in the guise of powerful riptides which carried more than one of us off course and shark sightings that may or may not have be imaginary (and fueled by our watching YouTube footage of shark attacks). Fortunately, all of us escaped the treacherous ocean and the world was spared the misfortune of loosing any aspiring lawyers.


This Entry is Irevelant

Today was my second, off-brief round in the prestigious William Minor Lile Moot Court Compitition, and not only am I glad that it is over (for now), but I think it went pretty well. Not one to toot my own horn (although now that I am in America, I should probably get myself into the habit), but if I were asked to give an objected, unbiased recount of how I did tonight, I would have to respond in a police yet authoritative tone that I pretty much nailed that thing better than the Paslode F350S PowerMaster Plus air powered framing nailer. I was calm, well organized, efficient and tighter than a Vise Grip 10" Metric Quick Adjusting Wrench. It was a nice improvement over last week.

I do have to say, though, that the most awkward minutes in this competition are not those spent at the podium, but those that fill the time when the judges are deliberating, and the competitors must wait outside and try to feign a friendly competition, when all you really want to say to your opponent is something like "You call that a rebuttal?! I can't believe that you would even attempt to counter that amazing argument I made." I will however, note here that my opponent did a superb job in his rebuttal, as well as his main argument. My compliments to him.

And in completely unrelated news: I AM SO EXITED FOR THE NEW RADIOHEAD ALBUM. It certainly was a nice surprise to discover today that the new album, which looked to be delayed for another year will, in fact, be released in only 10 days. And that they are slamming another nail (with the Paslode F350S, probably) in the record industry's coffin is, like the album, priceless.