If you use Facebook, you know that it’s impossible to escape the “Christmas in July” posts every summer from what seems like every mother and grandmother in your friend list. So, I was so grateful to hear that Drunk History was premiering a Halloween episode in July this year. FINALLY, some Halloween in July action! And the episode did not disappoint. The cast was hilarious, as per usual, but the stories were fascinating as well. Here’s what you missed in “Halloween”!
Allan McLeod Tells the Curse of Giles Corey
I was pumped– and I mean PUMPED– to see that the curse of Giles Corey was being talked about. Every horror enthusiast probably knows about Giles Corey, but his story is one that nevers gets old, especially when told the right way. “The right way,” in this case, meaning “when Allan McLeod is drunk AF.” Seeing Allan and Derek try to press each other was a bonus.
It’s Puritan New England and the Salem Witch Trials are in full swing. Giles Corey and his wife, Martha, were just munchin’ some popcorn and judging the ways Puritans decided if someone was a witch. And honestly, who could blame them when those methods included peeing into a cake that would be fed to a dog?
Of course, this criticism led to Martha being accused of a witch, and Giles, caught up in the course of the mania, aided the town in sentencing his wife as a witch. And when he tried to retract his statement, he too was accused of witchcraft. Then sentenced to be crushed to death (also eloquently called “peine forte et dure”… see, I can get it on the first try, unlike Allan). Giles Corey was hard as nails, though, and endured his punishment for two days — TWO DAYS — and rather than confessing to a crime he simply said, “more weight.”
What an icon.
Giles also laid a curse upon the town of Salem and Judge Corwin, who had both sentenced him and taunted him during his torture. Years later, Corwin died of a heart attack, and since then every sheriff in Salem has died of a heart attack or stroke. Is there any hard evidence to say the curse is real? Of course not. But the legend of Giles Corey is still one of my favorite witch-related stories of all time, and it should be yours too.
Tess Lynch Talks About Elizabeth Krebs
First of all, I am appalled that no one has ever, in my entire 26 years of life, told me about Elizabeth Krebs. Shame on my history teachers and shame on my fellow Halloween loving friends. Secondly, Tess Lynch is a fucking adorable human being and her enthusiasm about this story made my heart scream with Halloween-loving joy.
Halloween was different back in 1912, especially, I guess, in Hiawatha, Kansas. Hooligans in this town were notorious for committing atrocious acts on Halloween, including setting fire to outhouses, punching babies in the head, and tearing up gardens. And when Elizabeth Krebs’s prized garden fell victim to these hooligans, she decided something needed to be done.
The first time Elizabeth tried to throw a Halloween party, her plans flopped and her garden was still in ruins the next day. But in 1914, Elizabeth Krebs threw a huge rager for the entire town and successfully got all those neighborhood hooligans to celebrate in a fun way rather than in a destructive one. She invested an entire year of her time and resources for the party, but it ultimately changed the way Halloween would be celebrated right up to present day.
Elizabeth Krebs is the truest Halloween hero.
Greg Tuculescu Elaborates on Vlad the Impaler
Ooh buddy, Greg was toasted. I wonder if the headache he inevitably had the next day was due to the amount of alcohol he drank or the way he smacked the back of his head on the couch…at any rate, he covered THE Halloween story and origin of the vampire genre/craze, which was amazing!
Vlad returned to Wallachia to avenge his father’s death. He threw a big party for a bunch of boyars he was sure murdered his father, and at the end of the night, he had impaled 200 boyars. And, as a dramatic ass prince of an empire does, he gave himself a dramatic new name to christen his new habit: Dracula.
Vlad went on a rampage and began impaling people for basically no reason. He also started dipping his bread in the blood of his “enemies,” which instilled terror in Wallachia and began the myth of the vampire. And because he’s being such a terrifying little shit, Vlad’s brother, who had stayed behind in Turkey, joins in on an attack of Wallachia.
Vlad managed to win the battle when his brother and the remaining Turkish troops walk into a field of other Turkish soldiers who had been impaled. But ultimately, Vlad was booted from his seat on the throne because he was a sadistic dick. He was assassinated years later and his head was displayed on a spike to spite him.
Of course, we all know that Bram Stoker later picked up the story and let his creativity take the reins. Stoker’s fiction paved the way for the modern vampire genre we know and love today.
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