Thursday, October 28, 2021

Vox explains why the Victorian mansion is a horror icon for Halloween

Trick or treat! I originally planned another post about Disney's Haunted Mansion for today's Halloween treat, but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to trick my readers with Vox's Why the Victorian mansion is a horror icon.

The Gilded Age left a legacy of decay on the American landscape.
Haunted houses are often depicted with similar features: decaying woodwork, steep angles, and Gothic-looking towers and turrets. The model for this trope is the Victorian mansion, once a symbol of affluence and taste during the Gilded Age - a period of American history marked by political corruption and severe income inequality.

After World War I, these houses were seen as extravagant and antiquated, and were abandoned. Their sinister relationship to the troubling end of the Victorian Era in America eventually led to their depiction as haunted and ghostly in both fine art and pop culture, and is now an unspoken symbol of dread.
Why write about a copy when I can go to the original?*

Since the Addams Family played a big part in making the Victorian mansion the archetypal haunted house in 20th Century America, I'm going to toast them with Morticia & Gomez: "The Addams Family" Inspired Cocktail | 31 DAYS OF #HALLOWEEN from Secret of the Booze.


2 oz. scotch
½ oz. simple syrup (infused with cigar smoke)
1 dash orange bitters

Add a lit cigar to a decanter and fill with smoke.
Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Strain into decanter and shake.
Strain over ice.


1 ½ oz. gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. raspberry liqueur
2 oz. champagne

In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and raspberry liqueur. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with champagne.
Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

*The irony is that neither of the Haunted Mansions at Disneyland nor the Magic Kingdom in Disney World is a Victorian Mansion. The former is an antebellum plantation house and the latter is a Gothic Revival. On the other hand, Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris is. Maybe I'll write about it next.

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