The “macabre” of “Danse Macabre” is actually Old French and is thought to have been derived from the Latin “Maccabaeus” (Maccabees) or the Greek form, “Makkabios.” But by the Middle Ages, “macabre” had largely lost its connection to the Maccabees, and few people today even associate the word with the “Dance of Death,” which strikes me as a shame. Halloween ought to be about more than cookie-cutter serial killers and lame pop-cult costumes (Gumby?). The truly “macabre” is the dimension of the deeply creepy and awesomely strange. It’s not just another mechanical “Boo!”

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2 comments on this post.
  1. Kay:

    “People who see that on your laptop will not interrupt your work.” Now that’s funny! (Not that other things aren’t, just that that sentence made me laugh out loud. Hopefully I haven’t awakened anyone, since it’s almost 1:30am…) I love your site, the research you do, the interesting way you present the history of words. Thanks!

  2. Simon:

    Maybe it was a really bad Frankenstein costume that happened to look like Gumby?

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