32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 14: The Horla!


For today’s kickoff, let’s go back to 1887, and a well-known short story by Guy de Maupassant, The Horla. The title character or being or thing is imagined to be an invisible creature not unlike a vampire that can possess and control the minds of men. Our protagonist falls prey to either its sway or the sway of its idea, one or the other. I was not aware until I looked it up on Wikipedia (which is always right), that “Horla” “…is not French, and is a neologism. Charlotte Mandell, who has translated ‘The Horla’ for publisher Melville House, suggests in an afterword that the word ‘horla’ is a portmanteau of the French words hors (‘outside’), and là (‘there’) and that ‘le horla’ sounds like ‘the Outsider, the outer, the one Out There.'”

We have two interpretations of the story for your perusal. The first is recent and is from BBC Radio, read by David Tennant. It’s from the series A Night With a Vampire, originally broadcast in 2010, when Tennant probably felt in advance he had to do something to make up for the Fright Night remake. I put it first because the idea of following Peter Lorre‘s version from Mystery in the Air…well, that would be cruel. Nobody does histrionics like Lorre. Enjoy.


Stuff You Need to Know: David Tennant, Ready to Do Battle With the Undead

David Tennant

Pop culture news. There’s a lot of it. So you need it in easily digestible chunks with all the bloat removed. And you don’t need it the instant it becomes known. Or if you do, this post isn’t for you. But for those of you who have lives but still want to be kept up to date and stuff, here you go. You’re welcome. You can subscribe to the Stuff feed solo or get this as a free email newsletter.

  • Well, at least we get two things out of this new Fright Night trailer. One, we get some David Tennant. And we look to him to at least entertain us if the entire movie just goes right to hell. And two, we get a bit of humor–the last trailer was straight up serious, which left me cold. The great thing about the original film was that it was a horror movie with enough comedy in it to keep it from going 100% dark. It was a nice blend. So if they can get some of this dialogue with this cast and an updated version of that feel, we might have a decent movie on our hands.

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    Remembering Sarah Jane

    Elisabeth Sladen

    As we discussed on the most recent Weekend Justice podcast and has been pounding around Twitter and the net in general: Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith, passed away this past week from cancer. She was 65 63. Sarah Jane, for the uninitiated, was widely considered to be the yardstick against which all other Doctor Who companions were measured. Sarah Jane appeared opposite both Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. She wound up returning to the Who universe multiple times, most recently and notably getting her own spinoff series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

    Last night after the sixth season of the new Doctor Who kicked off, CBBC aired this tribute to Sladen (embedded after the jump). It’s rather nice and sums up a lot of what has been said and needs to continue to be said: she was fantastic and she will be missed.