Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The thrumb of the nervous system at its work

This is partially related to the season: Halloween is in the air. I tend to research things that are either directly or indirectly unsettling. Last year, as I was writing a paper that dealt in large part with the Jack the Ripper killings, my dreams were plagued by thoughts of Victorian ghouls around every bend. This year, as I research some of the commonalities between nineteenth spiritualism and early wireless telegraphy, I am similarly left a bit frazzled. I've looked at lots of photographs such as the one below, and they're a little scary. Last night, after staying up to read about such things (while CSI was playing in the background, which probably didn't help), I seem to have had some kind of night terror. I awakened, shrieking in horror, and found that I was no longer in my bed, but standing by the door, frantically trying to open it and pointing to an unknown entity on the ceiling. When I realized it was a dream, I hoped my roommate had not heard me howling, and I sheepishly returned to bed. Later in the night, around 4 AM, Friedrich Kittler's Gramophone, Film, Typewriter mysteriously fell off the shelf with a thud that again awakened me and addled my nerves. Perhaps next quarter I will research ponies.


Holly said...

Just to reassure you - you are too old for Night Terrors...that is a phenomenon of the pediatric population. However, it is still VERY scary to have the sleepwalking experience and the book falling experience. That being said....."BOO!"

Jill said...

I'm a whimp, I can't even watch CSI, let alone research serial killers. I prefer to spend Halloween hiding under a blanket, and the "Sixth Sense" had me running up the stairs from the basement for a year.
P.S. The picture you posted isn't showing up.

James said...

I saw an exhibit on Spiritualist photos a few years ago at the Met (?). Did I go with you? I can't remember. It was pretty cool. Lots of photos like this and folks pulling ectoplasm out of their nose and stuff.