Airbnb Listing for the Pit and the Pendulum

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We have a spacious one-room apartment available; it comes with a single bed and is located in a historic building shared with a quaint little monastic organization. This room is a basement room with an open floor plan, making it fully adaptable to your needs, and it’s also completely soundproof — while you’re here, go ahead and make some noise. In fact, scream all you want! No one will hear you. 🙂

This room is naturally cool in summer and comes tastefully accented with granite floors, granite walls and a granite ceiling. Even the doors would be granite, if there were any. If it’s cold outside, you’ll find the floors, walls and ceiling can all be heated, so you’re entirely surrounded with a toasty warmth you just can’t escape. Moreover, the living space is fully adjustable: walls can be moved as needed. We’d be more than happy to demonstrate this for you if you like.

The room also features a cavernous lower-level space, where you can stash your luggage during your stay. Feel free to explore this space as much as you want! This deep, perpendicular, hole-shaped storage area is fully accessible from anywhere in the room — just walk (very carefully) right across the floor.

Finally, the room also features a vaulted ceiling and one rather distinctive architectural centerpiece. It’s kind of like a huge chandelier or a mobile, but better. You’ll just have to see it.

Whether you’re planning on a week-long vacation or an overnight stay, we’d sure love to have you! Please be our guest for as long as you can.

If interested, call and ask for Torquemada.

**Room may have a small rodent problem. Ask for details.

Image Source / Public Domain

Prince Prospero, As Your Royal Event Coordinator I’d Like To Pitch You A Few Guaranteed No-Fail Straight-Up Genius Party Ideas

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“The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the ‘Red Death.'” — “The Masque of the Red Death”, Edgar Allan Poe

So here’s just a few of my certifiably brilliant ideas for a totally baller party. I’m thinking, since we need to get away anyway due to the widespread virulent plague, we should definitely hold it waaaay up in the mountains. Say, at an abbey — remote, secluded, such a great setup. We won’t have any trouble getting hundreds of people up those narrow mountain roads or anything. None at all. Also, everyone’ll totally be able to find it without GPS. It’s not like they can get lost. When did a party ever get lost in the mountains? It’ll be perfect.

Now, here’s what I’m thinking for the decor. We’ve got all different colors, we’ve got blue, purple, green, orange, etc. We go with just one color scheme in each room. Very trendy. Very po-mo. It’ll really bring out the whole environment. In the last room we go with all black, but just to change it up a bit, add some red light filters to really make it pop. So early-Madonna. People will go nuts. Also, they’ll definitely be able to mingle in there without knocking over the canapes or tripping on stoners or banging a knee on the end table. Not even remotely an issue.

For a centerpiece, I’m thinking we should go with one of those old-style grandfather clocks. Maybe stick it in the black room. Let’s see if we can get a mike in it, too, so when it chimes everyone can hear it. Maybe turn it up so loud that the live band has to stop whenever it sounds the hours. People will love it. It’ll be such a great conversation piece, trust me. Totally unforgettable.

Oh I almost forgot — the ‘pièce de résistance’, as they say. So, my second cousin’s roommate has this costume. It’s practically a museum piece. It’s fantastic. I’m thinking we have him appear suddenly in the crowd. Right at the stroke of twelve. Center of the room, so everyone’s watching. It’ll be a hit. Seriously, this costume is amazing. He’s won awards for it at ComicCon. It’s unbelievable. People will be talking about it for weeks. He’s just really gonna knock ‘em dead.”

Image Source / Tom, CC

Awwwfully Gothic Shelter Pets: The Rats From The Pit

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Image Source / Public Domain

We have a group of rats available for adoption, all rescued from a living environment best described as “a dungeon, but not the fun kind.” They’re currently being fostered by a volunteer while we look for their forever homes. These rats may seem like a quiet bunch, but they provide hours of entertainment. You’ll definitely want to keep your eye on them!

We’ve found that like most rats, these guys really love to chew. We used to wire the cage door shut at night, but they were all gnawing through that in seconds. At the volunteer’s home, they’ve managed to escape on several occasions and chew through the straps on her bras, the elastic on her shapewear and the links on her padded handcuffs.

In fact, it’s almost like these boys have learned to break through any kind of restraint. They’ve picked the lock on the volunteer’s bedroom door. They’ve released the parking brake on her Camaro. They’ve published her ATM code and password list on the internet. These clever little guys will just amaze you!

Adoption fee: $30 each. We’ve also got cages, bedding, and toys for sale if you need them. Pick up a cage and we’ll even throw in a computerized titanium door lock with multi-factor authentication. You know, just in case you need it.

Can I interest you in this charming little property called the House of Usher?

“He was enchained by certain superstitious impressions in regard to the dwelling which he tenanted, and whence, for many years, he had never ventured forth….an influence which some peculiarities in the mere form and substance of his family mansion had, by dint of long sufferance, he said, obtained over his spirit—an effect which the physique of the gray walls and turrets, and of the dim tarn into which they all looked down, had, at length, brought about upon the morale of his existence.” — Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher

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Image Source / CC0 Public Domain

Let’s just take a quick jaunt up this paved causeway, where at the end you’ll see a sprawling country manor that seems to open its arms wide in greeting. Almost as if it wants to wrap them around you. Cozy, right? Shall we get a little closer?

Take in those fantastic casement windows — all original, I might add. And on either side of the doorway, over the windows, that pair of spectacular Gothic arches. Exquisite stonework there. What’s that? No, I don’t think they’re judging you.

The current owner is the last of several generations of his family to live here. I think you’ll find this house is, in fact, an excellent place for ending an ancestral line. Were you thinking of having kids someday? Not anymore.

Note the fine web of fungi encasing the outer stonework. Rather like hair, you know, especially over there where it frames the casement windows. Incidentally, the owner also has a fine web of fungi instead of hair, and a flying buttress protruding from his left eyebrow. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. It doesn’t itch or anything. You’ll see.

Step inside and let’s take a look at this elegant music room. Please note, however, that this is intended only for string instruments. The owner tried to bring in an accordion, once. Next morning he found the bag impaled by a detached cornice and the keys splayed out like teeth after a bar fight. So, just strings then. Just a suggestion.

I think you’re really going to admire the spacious library and its stunning hand-carved marble fireplace. It’s perfect for a winter evening spent curled up by the fire with the latest Stephen King. Or perhaps some Shirley Jackson. I think those are accepted. Moving on!

In the basement you’ll find a vault that could be converted to underground parking. Or you could just use it for storage. It’s lined with copper just in case you need to store, you know, volatile compounds. Or hey, something organic. Good for that, too.

This property comes with all its original architecture, furnishings and landscaping. Incidentally, there’s no need to water the landscape at present — it may appear dead, but if you look closely you’ll see the plants are actually thriving. The last gardener gave them the wrong mulch, but they seem to have recovered. Also, he hasn’t been seen for some time. Ignore the camellias tenderly gripping that little rise behind the hedge there.

You’ll also notice this house is quite solidly built. That hairline fracture in the outer wall can just be spackled over, no worries. Also there’s the matter of the tarn (but that’s definitely potable water in there, I assure you. Know any good pool cleaners?).

Other than that, though, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Just look at that antique statuary!

Of course you should know the owner is looking for a quick sale, but if you’d like some time to think it over there’s no rush. I’m sure the house will still be here. Waiting.

So shall I follow up with you on Monday, then?

Awwwfully Gothic Shelter Pets: The Black Cat

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Image Source / Public Domain

Meet Winky! He’s a big boy with a friendly heart who’ll trot around after you everywhere, like judgment. We love how he’s always winking at you — almost like you two share a secret! Winky’s a handsome black kitty with a single white chest patch that vaguely resembles a tuxedo. Or maybe a noose. Well, at least you’ll know he’s always dressed appropriately!

Winky tends to get really attached to people, like public censure. You may find him sitting under your chair, jumping into your lap or running between your legs while you’re walking. Try as you might, you just can’t get away from him! At night you may find him sleeping on your chest like the weight of your subconscious. Or you may wake suddenly in the darkness, to face the incarnate nightmare that you have no power to shake off — oops, that’s his butt! He’s got so many ways of getting your attention.

Winky’s also quite vocal, especially around dinnertime or in front of the cops. It’s almost like you can hear him saying “Hey guys, where’s my food?” or “The body’s over here!” Such a character!

Winky intends to be a persistent, unshakable, lifelong companion. However, he also likes his down time for rest and reflection. For this reason, Winky needs to be adopted into a quiet home with one resident and a guilty conscience.