Monday, May 08, 2006

Waverly Hills & Werewolves

This place used to be a sanitarium on a bluff above Louisville, Kentucky. My father's family live in Shelbyville, thirty miles east. They kept tuberculosis patients there and incinerated them after they died, their ashes dumped in the Ohio River. It's a long story on how I came to have these photos, but each is haunting in its own way. I use Waverly Fields as a setting in one of my longer stories, "Go Hungry," about a guy who inherits the werewolf gene from his dad and Huntingdon's Chorea from his mom. Is a supernatural or a human inherited disease worse? I implement the facts of the TB epidemic of 1934 as being "stopped" because of my character Napier's grandfather's werewolf clan killing off potential TB carriers. If I could actually type faster and not use one finger, I might have followed up the initial story as a novel, with Napier's family wanting to kill him because the Huntingdon's disease was making him change into a wolf when he had petit mal seizures and the Chicago media was picking up on werewolf sightings around Grant Park. I've always thought werewolf stories were cooler than vampire stories. Vampires are made out to be glamorous, and I compare werewolves to alcoholics. Imagine Ray Milland in THE LOST WEEKEND if he was trying to keep from killing a victim by locking himself in that Manhattan apartment and then throwing away the key. Aaaaooouuuuu....Wayne


Blogger Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

IMHO, I'd much rather be a werewolf than a vampire. I want to be an animal with the powers of an animal, not hang out with a bunch of undead self-pitying metrosexuals. Werewolves aren't as "cool" this epoch because an increasingly urbanized Hollywood interprets werewolves as slobbering brutes (see UNDERWORLD) and vampires as kung-fu art students in leather corsets. To be fair, vampire/goth chicks dress hotter than werewolf girls in all that flannel..
(My wife Bridget is rather snotty about werewolves and would rather be an Anne Rice vampire and is currently muttering "UndeadUndeadUndeadUndead" from Bauhaus' 'Bela Lugosi's Dead")
"The Company of Wolves" is my favorite WW film so far; in print, I like Ellison's "Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans" and this insight from John M. Ford in his short story "Shelter from the Storm":
"As with all the monsters of legend, the death and destruction of the werewolf requires some special effort. And once th elycanthrope, like the vampire and even the animated mummy, acquired a subconscious and a sense of tragedy, it gained a tragic flaw. Putting aside silver bullets (merely an instrument) we find that the secret ingredient is... love.....Whenever the end must involve someone who was emotionally involved with the werewolf's human persona... Very often it is this person who strikes the deathblow, and then watches, with deep sorrow or deep shock as appropriate, as the fangs retract and the hair does whatever it is the hair does..."

Word verification:
nvjpcy= envy felt by morons for idiots

Monday, May 08, 2006 5:25:00 PM  

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