Saturday, 1 November 2014

For all hallows day – a ‘haunting’ experience or a fascinating word?

I looked up the word ‘haunting’ in my dictionary and found it could refer to many different things. For instance, the most obvious is a ghost-type haunting, which, I guess, we have all heard of even if we don’t believe in that sort of thing.
Then there is the disturbing, provocative meaning of the word, such as in a ‘haunting melody’. Another meaning is when we say someone is possessed or jinxed – they may be ‘haunted by’ someone or something. Then again there is the expression we use when someone looks very worried or troubled by something – they may look ‘haunted’. My last offering is to use the word haunt when we mean a hideaway or den or even a normal place that we regularly return to.
All these words say ‘creepy’ to me - at least in the context of writing thrillers. Especially supernatural thrillers…
Even the notion of a haunting, sorrowful tune can be pretty sinister if it’s used in the right scenario. As for ghost haunting – well, we all know that can be scary, if handled properly… Haunting by other supernatural beings such as a demon/devil can be made to be pretty Spine-chilling too – witness the terrifying ‘Exorcist’ (for its time a brilliant movie) but these stories can equally be a lot like an old ‘b movie’ and they can be steeped in stereotypes and cliché.
Even the ‘haunt’ as a familiar place can be made to feel eerie with the addition of one or two strange and unfamiliar things. Even as I am writing this a few ideas have tickled my imagination and I am a little excited at the prospect of getting to my regular haunt ( in front of my PC) to jot a few words down!
So it’s all Hallows Day… An appropriate day, I think, for pondering haunting words and themes??

So do you ever pause to think of intriguing words and allow them to whisper in the ears of your muse?


  1. I love words. I love learning new words and using the words I've learned. About ten minutes ago I described a Joni Mitchell song as haunting.


  2. Yes Joni Mitchell can be very haunting... As many other singers can too. Thanks for the comment, Janie.

  3. Haunting is a great word! I often don't stop to think about the way a word sounds or what it means or why it came into existence. Love the post.

  4. I love looking up the meaning and origins of words. Hope you had a great Halloween.

  5. Haunting was a great word to use for this exercise. You have a word for Guy Fawkes Day? Maybe fireworks :)

  6. probably gunpowder plot? Thanks for commenting Carol.