Every Thursday on Twitter, those of us who post using the hashtag #AVTweeps play a little game called #AVHashtags. The point of the game is to combine something from popular culture with AV to create something new. For instance, past themes have included subjects like #AVaMovie and #AVaSong.

This week’s theme was #ScaryAVstory (that’s Scary AV Story for those of you who don’t speak hashtag), and as you can imagine there were a number of humorous entries. If you’re on Twitter and you have a few minutes, go run a search for that hashtag and read a few—you’ll get a good laugh!

In the spirit of that, today we’re sharing our own #ScaryAVstory.

Last year for Halloween I shared an AV version of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, even though technically Poe’s original is more appropriate to a dark winter’s night. You can click here to read “The rAVen.”

This year I thought I’d try again, while tackling what can definitely be a #ScaryAVstory: ambient light! (Cue Hollywood-style frightened screams).

I took a couple of stabs at it. The first is a re-working (and much shorter version) of The White Witch, by 19th/20th century poet James Weldon Johnson. (On a serious note, I realize that the original meaning of Weldon’s poem tackles much scarier and deeper stuff than fake ghosts and goblins, but it has entered what might be called a “Halloween canon” of poems with scary themes). My version tells the frightening story of Ambient Light:

Integrators, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
Trust not Matt White it has no strength,
Reject or control Ambient Light;
For in her glance there is a snare,
And in her smile there is a blight.

She even washes out the red,
A wall of windows seems unfair,
She even washes out the blue,
She streams like malice through the air,
And all about one’s head there floats
The golden glory of her hair.

Yes I have seen the great white witch,
And battled her within her lair,
And I have cursed her with my lips
Accused Ambient Light of not fighting fair;
Around my image twined her arms,
And dimmed it with her too-bright stare.

Integrators, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
O, integrators mine, beware!
Control or reject ambient light;
For in her glance there is a snare,
And in her smile there is a blight.

Now into the Halloween canon rides a rescuer—TecVision, immortalized in this knock-off of The Apparition, with apologies to John Donne.

When by thy scorn, ambient light, I’m thought dead
And that thou think’st thee free
To dim the image projected on me,
Then shall TecVision come to thy bed,
And thee, feign’d vestal, much worse off will be;
Then thy angled light will be rejected in a wink,
And they, whose eyes thou presence made tir’d before,
Will, if thou try, or for that matter, think
Thou will light e’en more,
Will find your light once more doth shrink;
And then, poor ambient light, rejected thou
By TecVision, will helpless aside lie
A verier ghost than I.
What they will say, I cannot tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; but since your pow’r is spent,
I’d say their words will cause you great torment:
TecVision made you a nonevent.

So there you have it: a spooktacularly scary homage … with an AV twist!

Meanwhile, for a list of some original spooky poetry, click here. And for one more by an old-time Indiana author, click here! And, last but not least, check out fellow #AVTweeps follower Leonard Suskin’s blog for a month’s worth of Nightmare Fuel!

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