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To love me is to love a haunted house: Poet opens up about anxiety in heartbreaking poem
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‘We have got to talk about all those kids in those Goosebumps books.’
Brenna Twohy’s poem Anxiety: A Ghost Story starts so amusingly, and so lightly.
It talks about all the ridiculous things that happen in those teenage fiction novels.
But then she turns the story, performed at August’s National Poetry Slam, on its head and talks about the horror story of having anxiety.
‘When I tell you about the ghosts that live inside my body,’ she says.
MORE : National Poetry Day 2015: 10 poems you didn’t realise you knew
When I tell you I have a cemetery in my backyard and in my front yard and in my bedroom, when I tell you that trauma is a steep slide that you cannot see the bottom of, that my anxiety is a camera that shows everyone I love as bones.
‘When I tell you that panic is a stubborn phantom, she will grab onto me and not let go for months — this is the part of the story when everyone is telling you to run,’ she says.
MORE : Quiz: How well do you know these famous poems?
‘To love me is to love a haunted house. It’s fun to visit once a year but no-one wants to live there.
‘And when you say “tell me about the bad days”, [it] sounds like all the neighbourhood daring each other to ring the doorbell.’
It goes on: It is beautiful and haunting.
Watch the whole video, it brought a tear to the whole office’s eyes.
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Read the Love Letter Suzanne Somers' Husband Alan Hamel Wrote to Her the Day Before Her Death
Somers’ longtime publicist R. Couri Hay tells PEOPLE that Hamel "gave it to her a day early and she read the poem and went to bed and later died peacefully in her sleep.”
Alan Hamel wrote a beautiful poem to his wife of 46 years, Suzanne Somers that she read the night before she “died peacefully in her sleep” on Sunday morning.
Somers’ longtime publicist R. Couri Hay tells PEOPLE that Hamel, 87 — whom Somers had been married to since 1977 after dating for 10 years — “gave it to her a day early and she read the poem and went to bed and later died peacefully in her sleep.”
Written in all caps, the poem reads: “LOVE. THERE IS NO VERSION OF THE WORD THAT IS APPLICABLE TO SUZANNE. THE CLOSEST VERSION IN WORDS ISN’T EVEN CLOSE. IT’S NOT EVEN A FRACTION OF A FRACTION OF A FRACTION."
"UNCONDITIONAL LOVE DOES NOT DO IT. I’LL TAKE A BULLET FOR YOU DOESN’T DO IT. I WEEP WHEN I THINK ABOUT MY FEELINGS FOR YOU," Hamel continued. "FEELINGS… THAT’S GETTING CLOSE, BUT NOT ALL THE WAY."
"55 YEARS TOGETHER, 46 MARRIED AND NOT EVEN ONE HOUR APART FOR 42 OF THOSE YEARS. EVEN THAT DOESN’T DO IT. EVEN GOING TO BED AT 6 O’CLOCK AND HOLDING HANDS WHILE WE SLEEP DOESN’T DO IT. STARING AT YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE WHILE YOU SLEEP DOESN’T DO IT," the poem goes on. "I’M BACK TO FEELINGS."
Hamel concluded: "THERE ARE NO WORDS. THERE ARE NO ACTIONS. NO PROMISES. NO DECLARATIONS. WE ARE ONE. I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU, MY BEAUTIFUL SUZANNE, FOR ALL OF ETERNITY."
Somers died on Sunday morning, a day before she would have turned 77, her publicist confirmed to PEOPLE.
“Suzanne Somers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th. She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years,” Hay wrote in a statement to PEOPLE shared on behalf of the actress’ family.
“Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family,” the statement continued. “Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th. Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.”
Somers was best known for her roles on Three's Company and Step by Step .
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
According to Hay, a private family burial will take place this week, and a memorial will be held in November.
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The Evolutionary Reasons We Are Drawn to Horror Movies and Haunted Houses
Scary play lets people—and other animals—rehearse coping skills for disturbing challenges in the real world
- By Athena Aktipis , Coltan Scrivner on November 1, 2023 Scientific American November 2023 Issue
C hain saws roar, and spine-chilling screams echo from behind a dense wall of trees. You know you're at a scary attraction in the woods of Denmark called Dystopia Haunted House, yet everything sounds so real. As you walk into the house, you become disoriented in a dark maze filled with strange objects and broken furniture; when you turn a corner, you're confronted by bizarre scenes with evil clowns and terrifying monsters reaching out for you. Then you hear the chain saw revving up, and a masked man bursts through the wall. You scream and start running.
This might sound like the kind of place nobody would ever want to be in, but every year millions of people pay to visit haunts just like Dystopia. They crowd in during Halloween, to be sure, but show up in every other season, too. This paradox of horror's appeal—that people want to have disturbing and upsetting experiences—has long perplexed scholars. We devour tales of psychopathic killers on true crime podcasts, watch movies about horrible monsters, play games filled with ghosts and zombies, and read books that describe apocalyptic worlds packed with our worst fears.
This paradox is now being resolved by research on the science of scary play and morbid curiosity. Our desire to experience fear, it seems, is rooted deep in our evolutionary past and can still benefit us today. Scary play, it turns out, can help us overcome fears and face new challenges—those that surface in our own lives and others that arise in the increasingly disturbing world we all live in.
The phenomenon of scary play surprised Charles Darwin. In The Descent of Man, he wrote that he had heard about captive monkeys that, despite their fear of snakes, kept lifting the lid of a box containing the reptiles to peek inside. Intrigued, Darwin turned the story into an experiment: He put a bag with a snake inside it in a cage full of monkeys at the London Zoological Gardens. A monkey would cautiously walk up to the bag, slowly open it, and peer down inside before shrieking and racing away. After seeing one monkey do this, another monkey would carefully walk over to the bag to take a peek, then scream and run. Then another would do the same thing, then another.
The monkeys were “satiating their horror,” as Darwin put it. Morbid fascination with danger is widespread in the animal kingdom—it's called predator inspection. The inspection occurs when an animal looks at or even approaches a predator rather than simply fleeing. This behavior occurs across a range of animals , from guppies to gazelles.
At first blush, getting close to danger seems like a bad idea. Why would natural selection have instilled in animals a curiosity about the very things they should be avoiding? But there is an evolutionary logic to these actions. Morbid curiosity is a powerful way for animals to gain information about the most dangerous things in their environment. It also gives them an opportunity to practice dealing with scary experiences.
When you consider that many prey animals live close to their predators, the benefits of morbidly curious behavior such as predator inspection become clear. For example, it's not uncommon for a gazelle to cross paths with a cheetah on the savanna. It might seem like a gazelle should always run when it sees a cheetah. Fleeing, however, is physiologically expensive; if a gazelle ran every time it saw a cheetah, it would exhaust precious calories and lose out on opportunities for other activities that are important to its survival and reproduction.
Consider the perspective of the predator, too. It may seem like a cheetah should chase after a gazelle anytime it sees one. But for a cheetah, it's not easy to just grab a bite; hunting is an energetically costly exercise that doesn't always end in success. As long as the cheetah isn't starving, it should chase a prey animal only when the chances of capturing it are reasonably high.
If it's best for gazelles to run only when the cheetah is hunting, then they benefit if they can identify when a cheetah is hungry. And the only way for a gazelle to learn about cheetahs is by closely observing them when it's relatively safe to do so. For example, if the surrounding grass is short and a cheetah is easily visible, a gazelle feels safer and is more likely to linger a while and watch the cheetah, especially if the gazelle is among a larger group. The age of the gazelle matters, too; adolescents and young adults—those fast enough to escape and without much previous exposure to predators— are the most likely to inspect cheetahs . The trade-off makes sense: these gazelles don't know much about dangerous cats yet, so they have a lot to gain from investigating them. Relative safety and inexperience are two of the most powerful moderators of predator inspection in animals—and of morbid curiosity in humans.
Today people inspect predators through stories and movies. Depictions of predators are found in stories passed along through oral traditions around the world . Leopards, tigers and wolves are frequent antagonists in regional folklore. We also tell stories and see films about monstrous fictional predators such as ferocious werewolves, mighty dragons, clever vampires and bloodthirsty ogres.
Indulging in stories about threats is a frighteningly effective and valuable strategy. Such tales let us learn about potential predators or menacing situations that other people have encountered without having to face them ourselves. The exaggerated perils of fictional monsters create strong emotional and behavioral responses, familiarizing us with these reactions for when we have to deal with more down-to-earth dangers.
Children are often the intended audience for scary oral stories because these stories can help them learn about risks early in their lives. Think about the key lines of Little Red Riding Hood:
“Grandmother, what big eyes you have!” “All the better to see with, my child.” “Grandmother, what big teeth you have got!” “All the better to eat you up with.”
The tale teaches a young audience, in a safe and entertaining way, what wolves look like and what certain parts of a wolf do. The story takes place in the woods, where wolves are typically found. It's scary, but told in a secure space, it delivers a valuable lesson.
Our fascination with things that can harm or kill us is not limited to predators. We also can be morbidly drawn to tales of large-scale frightening situations such as volcanic eruptions, pandemics, dangerous storms and a large variety of apocalyptic events. This is where the magic of a scary story really shines: it's the only way to learn about and rehearse responses to dangers we have yet to face.
Most people were feeling pretty uncertain about the future in 2020. COVID had thrust the world into a global pandemic. Governments were restricting movement, businesses were closing, and the way of living that many were used to was screeching to a halt.
But some of us had seen something like it before. Less than a decade earlier meningoencephalitic virus 1, or MEV-1, was wreaking havoc. It spread with terrifying speed and without requiring close contact in subways, elevators and outdoor public spaces. Society's response to MEV-1 foreshadowed what would happen in 2020 with COVID: travel stopped, businesses closed, and people started stockpiling supplies. Some of them began touting dubious miracle cures.
If you don't remember the worldwide devastation of MEV-1, you must not have seen the movie Contagion , a 2011 thriller starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburne. Watching it might have benefited you when COVID spread across the planet. In a study that one of us (Scrivner) conducted in the early months of the pandemic, those who had seen at least one pandemic-themed movie reported feeling much more prepared for the societal surprises that COVID had in store. The stockpiling of supplies, business closures, travel bans and miracle cures were all things fans of Contagion had seen before; they had already played with the idea of a global pandemic before the real thing happened.
Learning to regain composure and adapt in the face of surprise and uncertainty seems to be a key evolutionary function of play. Engaging in play that simulates threatening situations helps juvenile mammals such as tiger cubs and wolf pups practice quickly regaining stable movement and emotional composure. Humans do this as well. Call to mind a backyard party where young children squeal with fear and delight as they are chased by a fun-loving parent who threatens, with arms outstretched in monster pose, “I'm gonna get you!” It's all just fun and games, but it's also a chance for the kids to try to maintain their motor control under stress so they don't tumble to the ground, making themselves vulnerable to a predator—or a tickle attack from the parent.
Researchers who study human fun and games have argued that the decline of thrilling, unstructured play over the past few decades has contributed to a rise in childhood anxiety over that same time period. School and park playgrounds used to be arenas for this kind of play, but an increased emphasis on playground safety has removed opportunities for it. Don't get us wrong: safety is a good thing. Many playgrounds of the past were dangerous, with ladders climbing upward of 20 feet to rusty slides with no rails. But making playgrounds too safe and sterile can have unintended consequences, including depriving children of opportunities to learn about themselves and their abilities to manage challenging and scary situations. Kids need to be able to exercise some independence, which often involves a bit of risky play.
Many scientists who study play have proposed that adventurous play can help build resilience and reduce fear in children. In line with this research, organizations such as LetGrow have created programs for schools and parents to foster independence, curiosity and exploration in children. Their solution is simple: let kids engage in more challenging, unstructured play so they can learn how to handle fear, anxiety and danger without it being too overwhelming.
Even virtual scary experiences provide many of these same benefits. The Games for Emotional and Mental Health Lab created a horror biofeedback game called MindLight that has been shown to reduce anxiety in children. The game centers on a child named Arty who finds himself at his grandmother's house. When he goes inside, he sees that it has been enveloped in darkness and taken over by evil, shadowy creatures that can resemble everything from blobs to catlike predators. Arty must save his grandmother from the darkness and bring light back to her house. He has nothing to defend himself with except a light attached to his hat—his “mindlight.” Players controlling Arty must use the mindlight to expose and defeat the creatures.
But there's a catch: as a player becomes more stressed (as measured by an electroencephalogram), their mindlight dims. The player must stay calm in the face of fear by practicing techniques such as replacement of stress-producing thoughts or muscle relaxation, borrowed from cognitive-behavioral therapy. As they regain their composure, their mindlight grows in power, and they are able to defeat the monsters with it. This combination of therapeutic techniques and positive reinforcement (kids defeat the monsters and conquer their fear) makes MindLight a potent antianxiety tool . Randomized clinical trials with children have shown the game to be as effective at reducing several anxiety symptoms as traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy , a widely used anxiety treatment.
S cary play can help adults navigate fear and anxiety, too. Scrivner tested this idea with visitors to Dystopia Haunted House. Haunted house goers could take personality surveys before they entered and answer questions about their experience when they exited. After about 45 minutes of being chased by zombies, monsters and a pig-man with a chain saw, the visitors ran out of the haunted house and into some members of the research team, who then asked them how they felt. A huge portion said they had learned something about themselves and believed they had some personal growth during the haunt. In particular, they reported learning the boundaries of what they can handle and how to manage their fear.
Other research from the Recreational Fear Lab in Aarhus, Denmark, has shown that people actively regulate their fear and arousal levels when engaging in scary play. This means that engaging with a frightening simulation can serve as practice for controlling arousal and may be generalizable to other, real-world stressful situations, helping people bolster their overall resilience.
In one study that supports this idea, real soldiers played a modified version of the zombie-apocalypse horror game Left 4 Dead that incorporated player arousal levels. In the game, zombies pop out of nowhere, chasing players and clawing them to the ground, generating visceral fear even in experienced video game players. In the study, some players were given visual and auditory signals when their arousal increased: a red texture partially obscured the player's view, and they heard a heartbeat that got louder and faster as their stress increased. Later, during a live simulation of an ambush, soldiers who played the video game and received biofeedback had lower levels of cortisol (a stress biomarker) than those who did not play. Strikingly, these people also were better at giving first aid to a wounded soldier during that simulation.
These rehearsals for stress may be especially effective when people do them in groups. Collectively experiencing a dangerous situation ties people together. There are many anecdotal examples of this in history, from post-9/11 America, to military platoons, to the high levels of cooperation and assistance that often occur in the aftermath of natural disasters. There are also experimental studies showing that danger and fear can be powerful positive social forces. For example, engaging in rituals such as fire walking can physiologically synchronize people with one another and promote mutually beneficial behavior.
We don't need exposure to real danger to reap these cooperative benefits, however. Collectively simulating upsetting or dangerous situations through scary play could confer similar benefits without the physical risk. In the health-care industry, simulations are often used to teach medical skills by creating situations that are intense. In public health , simulations have been used to teach people ways to cooperate and coordinate in pandemic preparedness and response.
In other species, learning about risks is often a social endeavor . Stickleback fish investigating predators often do so with others. One stickleback will begin approaching, then wait to see whether another will approach a little closer. Then the first stickleback will go a little further, taking its turn being the one nearest the predator. The results of studies into this behavior even suggest that sticklebacks from regions with higher predation risk are more cooperative than those from places with lower risk.
In humans, morbid curiosity seems to be associated with cooperation and risk management. For example, in many societies people tell stories about dangers in their environments, whether those are natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes and floods or threats of war, theft or exploitation from nearby groups. The Ik people of Uganda, whom one of us (Aktipis) has studied as part of the Human Generosity Project, have a collective and emotionally compelling way of engaging with concerns about raids from other groups. They enact entire plays with music, dancing and drama where they reexperience both the tragedy and the triumph of helping one another during such difficult times. Such stories and dramatic enactments can bring shared attention to these kinds of challenges, and we know that shared attention is one mechanism that can help people cooperate and solve coordination dilemmas .
A failure of group imagination, in contrast, can lead to vulnerability. Some researchers have suggested that zombie-apocalypse fiction can lead to more creative solutions during unexpected and risky events by helping people become more imaginative. With CONPLAN 8888 , a fictional training scenario, the U.S. military used a hypothetical zombie apocalypse to make learning about disaster management more fun for officers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did something similar with a comic they produced called Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic . Organizations have recognized that couching fears in imaginative play is productive. Right now our research team is developing a set of scary group games to help people manage shared risks and fears.
W hat can we learn from the human propensity for scary play? First, don't be afraid to get out there and explore your world, even if it sometimes provokes a little fear. Second, make sure that your morbid curiosity is educating you about risks in a way that is beneficial to you. In other words, don't get stuck doomscrolling upsetting news on the Internet; it's a morbid-curiosity trap that, like candy, keeps you consuming but does nothing to satisfy your need for nourishment.
Instead of doomscrolling, take on one or two topics you want to know more about and do a deeper dive that leaves you feeling satisfied that you've assessed the risk and empowered yourself to do something about it. Be intentional about gathering more information through your own experience or by talking with others who are knowledgeable on the subject.
You can also tell or listen to scary stories with others and use them as a jumping-off point for thinking about real risks we face. Watch a movie about an apocalypse, go to a haunted house, get in costume to go on a “zombie crawl,” or have a fun night at home chatting with your friends about how you'd survive the end of the world. And finally, invite creativity and play into spaces where the gravity of a situation might otherwise be overwhelming. Make up horror stories or dress up as something frightening and have a laugh about how silly it all is. In other words, embrace the Halloween season with abandon—and then bring that same energy to the challenges of the times we're living in now.
This article was originally published with the title "Why We Need Scary Play" in Scientific American 329, 4, 72-79 (November 2023)
From our Archives
Friends Can Make Things Very Scary. Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik; May 2023.
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Make a DIY Haunted House That Both Kids and Adults Will Love
The ideal formula for a Halloween haven? Not too much gore, a little bit of spookiness, and all of the fun.
Skip the lines and bring the haunted house into your home this year. Don't worry—it doesn't have to be too frightening! Whether you're hosting a Halloween party or setting up a spooky front=yard maze for trick-or-treaters , a haunted house is a festive way to get into the Halloween spirit for all ages.
While it doesn't need to be complex, planning the overall concept of your DIY haunted house will make construction easier later on. Jenny Lex Huizar, owner of Lex and Relle Wreaths and a Halloween fanatic, made her first DIY haunted house for her kids last fall since they couldn't make it to one in person. Huizar advises first planning where your haunted house will be and how scary you want to make it. "Pick an area of the house that you can avoid using for a few weeks, like the dining room, playroom, guest room, entryway, or covered patio if you have decent weather," Huizar says.
Choose a Theme
Before buying any supplies, decide the theme and scare level of your haunted house. For themes, get specific: a paranormal haunted mansion, Frankenstein's scientific lab , a zombie-filled doctor's office, a witch's lair , or a spooky clown circus.
Use the following questions to help guide your theme further. What will be the average age group walking through it? Will there be live actors or just props? Is it all for fun or supposed to get a few screams out of people? If your kids will be taking part in the scaring fun, Huizar suggests taking them to a department store and letting them check out the Halloween props to be sure you don't purchase anything too frightening for them.
Huizar suggests the following supplies to customize your DIY haunted house. Most of the items are optional; add anything that will best fit your theme and scream-factor goals.
- Large cardboard boxes (she used 20 boxes to make a crawlable path through her dining area and entryway)
- Heavy-duty scissors or X-Acto knife
- Heavy-duty duct tape
- Black trash bags or black gauze fabric to cover walls or cardboard boxes
- Halloween props (the more the merrier!)
- Fake cobwebs
- Strobe lights
- Fog machine
- Halloween playlist and speaker
- Halloween candy
Most of all, bring your imagination and creativity!
Assemble Your Haunted House
Any haunted house or maze should consist of at least one component: pathways. Guided pathways ensure thrill-seekers can easily and safely find their way through the attraction. The rest is up to you and all of the scary details that you want to add based on your theme.
If your haunted house will be built using cardboard boxes, break down and bend the boxes to form walkways. If it will be constructed as a traditional walkthrough experience, use black drop cloths or trash bags to cover walls and doorways. If it will be an outdoor walk, small poles and ropes can easily form paths; consider using glow-in-the-dark versions.
No matter how you create your walkways, make sure to include a few dead ends along the way. These forced stops will make guests think about their next turn rather than mindlessly wandering. You can also move the paths back and forth multiple times (in a snaking pattern) throughout the space to make your haunted house last longer for guests. Huizar also places bowls of candy at the dead ends to keep guests motivated.
Fill one passageway with something guests will physically touch. Use standard balloons taped to the sides of the walls or tall, twisting balloons taped to the ground and pointing upwards to create more textural variety for guests to walk through. Drape things like faux spiderwebs or spooky signage along the walls and ceiling for visual variety. If you don't want to DIY your Halloween decorations , head to a department or Halloween store to explore all of the options—they're countless!
Make It Spooky (and Fun!)
Ensure there are a few spine-chilling characters throughout your haunted house; it's even better if they are motion-activated to make sound and movement when there's a passerby. To get the best scares, recruit some actors and dress them in festive costumes to jump out at guests, having them hide behind cardboard walls or drop cloths.
Most important are the details—eerie shrieks and thunder echoing through a speaker, fog machines, and strobe lights make all the difference. Happy haunting!
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1 October 2023
Happy Spooktober, our little goblins and ghouls! Tis The Apostles' favorite time of year! To celebrate the spooky season, we've put together a spine-chilling, hair-raising event! Check out the Halloween Spooky Special , where each faction has it's own ooky-spooky writing prompt...lost souls beware. We're also voting for our favorite LichenClan and Tribe landmarks as well as handing back our Warm-and-Fuzzies from our 4 year anniversary! See the October Announcements for more information! We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!
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'A Haunting on the Hill' is a love letter to Hill House, a tribute to Shirley Jackson
"There's definitely something strange about Hill House."
That line, uttered by a character named Stevie soon after a black hare inexplicably falls down a chimney and runs out of the lit fireplace, perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere of Elizabeth Hand's A Haunting on the Hill . The first novel to be granted permission to return to the universe of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House , Hand's novel is not a retelling or reimagining of Jackson's brilliant classic; it is an entirely new, modern narrative that takes place inside Hill House and reckons with the supernatural mayhem that has made the place a horror fiction staple since 1959.
Holly Sherwin works as a teacher while struggling to get her career as a playwright off the ground. Now, she has received a grant to develop her play Witching Night . Holly knows the play, which is a feminist retelling of an old play in which a woman was accused of being a witch and consequently murdered for it, has a lot of potential. Nisa, Holly's girlfriend, is a fantastic singer-songwriter and has been adapting classic murder ballads for the play. With the help of their friend Stevie, a talented sound designer, and Amanda Wingfield, an actress trying to reclaim her glory after a devastating accident, Holly thinks Witching Night is her ticket to stardom. All she needs is the perfect place to put it all together and rehearse.
Holly and Nisa are on a weekend getaway when Holly accidentally discovers Hill House and almost immediately becomes obsessed with it. The place is exactly what she needs. Holly uses the money from her grant to rent Hill House from its owner, a woman who works locally as a realtor. A few weeks later, Holly, Nisa, Amanda, and Stevie move into Hill House to work on the play, and they soon learn the place is unlike anything they've ever experienced.
Hill House is "not sane," as Jackson stated in the opening paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House , one of the best opening paragraphs in literature and one Hand honors and echoes in her short, poetic prologue. Holly and company soon learn just how "not sane" the house is. Hill House, a main character here, has been active in the decades since Eleanor Vance walked its creepy hallways. Hand hints at some of the things it has done and the people it has pushed away. Now, Holly and her friends experience all of it. Strange voices can be heard at night. Black hares show up everywhere, some of them sporting bloody smiles. The house squeezes the group like a fist. The woman who cleans the place and her husband, who cooks for the group, refuse to come to Hill House at night. There is an overprotective local living nearby and trying to keep people away. Holly sees the face of someone from her past. There's someone looking at the house from the edge of the woods. Strange drafts of cold air appear out of nowhere. The curtains move even in the absence of a breeze and with the windows closed. A mysterious little green door hides something. Alone, these inexplicable things can be disregarded, but together they say something about Hill House that its new temporary residents can't ignore and struggle to comprehend: "Maybe Hill House really is haunted."
A Haunting on the Hill is a class in atmosphere. Unlike haunted house narratives that introduce readers to a new place, this novel presented Hand with a unique challenge: delivering creepy, surprising scenes to readers who had high expectations and most of which were familiar with what Hill House could do. Luckily, she delivers. The unsettling atmosphere in this novel builds from the start and never disappoints. Hand deftly layers the history of the house with the past of each character and the things that haunt them, especially Holly and Amanda. Hill House is a spooky place, and Hand delves deep into its darkness and allows it to flourish in almost every chapter.
There are small echoes of Jackson's novel here, but A Haunting on the Hill is its own thing even if it constantly pays homage to its celebrated predecessor. It's also a novel that brilliantly picks up on some of the things Jackson played around with and pushes them to center stage. For example, this one is a tad gorier and the visions are firmly planted in contemporary horror. Also, Holly and Nisa, a lesbian couple, finally celebrate the queerness that was always at the heart of Jackson's novel.
A Haunting on the Hill is a love letter to Hill House and a very impressive tribute to Shirley Jackson. It is also a tremendous addition to Hand's already outstanding, multi-genre oeuvre. The thing inside Hill House is still there, but as long as Holly and her friends stay inside it, it won't have to walk alone.
Gabino Iglesias is an author, book reviewer and professor living in Austin, Texas. Find him on X, formerly Twitter, at @Gabino_Iglesias .
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- Favorite Destinations
Love Song Halloween Haunted House
- haunted house
By HopeOakley , Sunday at 06:47 PM in Favorite Destinations
🎃 🏰 👻 do you dare step into the realms of terror at the love song haunted house this halloween season be prepared to experience bone-chilling thrills and spine-tingling scares like never before.
Location: Love Song Haunted House
Delve into the darkest depths of the unknown as you navigate through the twisted corridors of our haunted mansion. Our ghoulish hosts have prepared a night filled with horrifying surprises, terrifying monsters, and chilling spirits lurking around every sinister corner. Dress in your most frightful attire and have an unforgettable evening of screams and laughter. Take photos while there of you in costume and your new ghoulish friends made at the haunted house! Feel free to bring along your friends and family, but be warned, only the bravest souls are recommended to enter! Come, if you dare, and uncover the mysteries that lie within the Love Song Haunted House this Halloween. We eagerly await your presence! 👻 🏰 🎃
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Suzanne somers' husband alan hamel wrote her love letter day before death, suzanne somers husband wrote love-filled poem ... read it night before she passed, 1.4k 10/16/2023 6:47 am pt.
Suzanne Somers ' husband, Alan Hamel , penned a heartfelt poem to his ailing wife in her final hours ... and she was able to read all about his love for her the night before she died.
Alan gave Suzanne the touching words Saturday night -- Suzanne's publicist R. Couri Hay told People she read the poem and went to bed, later dying peacefully in her sleep.
Hay says Alan gave it to her "a day early," so it likely was a present for her birthday, which would've been Monday.
Alan, a film producer, lists in all caps, the many ways he uses the word "love" in his daily life -- from emails to his family, to shows on Netflix, and even about "A GREAT MEAL."
However, Alan says nothing comes close to the love he has for his wife of 46 years ... adding, "THERE IS NO VERSION OF THE WORD THAT IS APPLICABLE TO SUZANNE AND I EVEN USE THE WORD APPLICABLE ADVISEDLY.”
He goes on, saying there is hardly anything in the world that can fully encapsulate his feelings for her -- writing, "I’LL TAKE A BULLET FOR YOU DOESN’T DO IT. I WEEP WHEN I THINK ABOUT MY FEELINGS FOR YOU."
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He says they've been together for 55 years, being married for 46 and they haven't spent, "EVEN ONE HOUR APART FOR 42 OF THOSE YEARS."
Alan ends his touching note, saying the best way to describe the fire between them is simply, ‘US’, UNIQUELY, MAGICALLY, INDESCRIBABLY WONDERFUL ‘US.’”
As we reported, the "Three's Company" star passed away in her sleep Sunday after her battle with cancer -- her rep told us her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday, but instead will be using the time together to celebrate her life.
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Why loving a woman with anxiety is like loving a ‘haunted house'.
Senior Reporter, HuffPost
Brenna Twohy is no stranger to leaving her heart on the stage -- and she recently did it again in a riveting spoken word performance.
At the National Poetry Slam this past August, Twohy -- author of the upcoming book Forgive Me My Salt -- performed her poem called " Anxiety: A Ghost Story ." In the powerful performance, Twohy compares her anxiety and panic attacks to living in a haunted house.
She describes the metaphor as if she were talking to her lover and attempting to explain what anxiety feels like for her.
"When I tell you about the ghosts that live inside my body, when I tell you I have a cemetery in my backyard and in my front yard and in my bedroom," Twohy says. "That my anxiety is a camera that shows everyone I love as bones ... This is that part of the story when everyone is telling you to run."
She describes her panic as a "stubborn phantom" that will follow her for months on end. " ≈ ," Twohy says. "It’s fun to visit once a year but no one wants to live there."
Towards the end of her poem, Twohy's face gets a little brighter as she says, "And you love me… you are not stupid or careless or even brave. You’ve just never seen the close up of a haunting."
Although Twohy says this love can't "cure" her, it does give her some welcomed company in her haunted house riddled with anxiety. "When you say to the ghosts, ‘If you’re staying, then you better make room.’ And we kiss against the walls that, tonight, are not shaking."
Also on HuffPost:
13 Slam Poems That Pack A Serious Feminist Punch
Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.
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A Haunted House
Virginia woolf, everything you need for every book you read..
Love is the central strand of Virginia Woolf’s “A Haunted House,” bringing comfort and happiness to everything from the undead to the titular haunted house itself. Far from being a typical ghost story, “A Haunted House” details a much gentler kind of haunting. In the story, two ghostly lovers glide through the house where they once lived, searching for a “treasure” that they had buried there before death. In the end, it seems that the so-called treasure is simply the love they shared in life, which is alive and well in the living couple to whom the house now belongs. In “A Haunted House,” Woolf ultimately suggests that love knows no bounds—it survives the test of time, it overcomes boundaries between people, and it even endures beyond the grave.
As the story unfolds, it’s clear that the ghostly couple’s love still lives on in the house and in the garden even though the ghosts haven’t lived there in several centuries, suggesting that love can survive the passage of time. The ghostly couple’s exchange at the beginning of the story—"Here we left it.” “Oh, but here too!” “It’s upstairs.” “And in the garden”—grounds their treasure in the house. Though the living couple has “inherited” the treasure, it is the house, which has safeguarded it for many years, that makes that possible. The representation of the house as a living creature also indicates that the house itself embodies the couple’s love and lives on. Throughout the story, Woolf repeats the refrain, “‘Safe, safe, safe,’ the pulse of the house beat.” The house protects the “treasure” in it, suggesting that the love will be passed on to the next couple to live in the house. The use of “pulse” and, at another point, “heart,” to describe the life of the house also connects it with the organ traditionally associated with love, and suggests that even as time goes by, the couple's love will continue to “beat” in the house. Similarly, the garden functions as a symbolic connection between the living couple and the dead couple. The first location the dead couple gives for the treasure is “in the garden,” and the narrator (half of the living couple) makes mention of reading in the garden, which is “still as ever”—suggesting that for many years the garden has remained as it is now, as when the woman of the dead couple remembers being “in the garden reading.” Also, though the narrator is not able to see the ghosts, they see “reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves […] green in the glass” where the ghosts should be, so that the ghosts are in a sense reflected back to her in the form of the garden, the repository of the love that connects the two couples.
Not only does love transcend the boundaries of time and death, it also transcends the boundaries between individuals. This is clear through the way that the ghostly couple is described as a unit, like two strands woven into a single cord. The ghostly couple is unified throughout the story, acting and speaking in concert. They drift through the house “hand in hand” like two puzzle pieces snapped into one. They complete each other’s sentences and are referred to with the pronoun “they,” as though talking in exact unison. Later in the story, they interrupt one another rhythmically, almost like a song in harmony: “Waking in the morning—” “Silver between the trees—” “Upstairs—” “In the garden—.” Love makes it possible for them to have an intrinsic understanding of one another’s minds and to act like a unit.
Most radically of all, the story suggests that love endures even after death. Although the ghostly couple is searching for the love they shared as living people, it’s clear that they are devoted to each other beyond the grave. The story introduces them going “hand in hand” through the house, and they complete each other’s sentences and speak as a unit, as in, “‘Quietly,’ they said, ‘or we shall wake them.’” Once again, the pronouns “they” and “we” emphasize that the two lovers are truly a pair and speak with one voice. They may have been dead for hundreds of years, but they are the model of a loving couple. Later, the narrator describes how “death [came] to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house […] He left it, left her […] sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs.” When death divided the couple, the man left his house behind, the symbolic home of his love. However, the story then transitions into the refrain of “‘Safe, safe, safe,’ the pulse of the house beat gladly. ‘The Treasure yours,’” suggesting that even in light of his wife’s death and his own absence, the love he shared with his wife is still pulsing through the home.
At the end of the story, the ghostly couple’s love supersedes death in a new way: by inhabiting the young couple who live in their home. As the ghostly couple leans over the sleeping lovers, the woman sighs, “Here, [...] sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure—” The living lovers mimic these activities, sleeping in the bedroom and reading in the garden. When the narrator wakes, they say, “Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart”; Woolf’s italics suggest both that the narrator has realized what the treasure is—love itself—and, furthermore, that the treasure was previously the ghostly couple’s, positioning the living couple as inheritors of the dead couple’s life and love. In “A Haunted House,” love is able to overpower any barrier it faces, from separation to death to the ravages of time. Even the individual self is not impervious to the force of love, which seems at times to combine two people into one.
Love Quotes in A Haunted House
Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure—a ghostly couple.
"Here we left it," she said. And he added, "Oh, but here too!" "It's upstairs," she murmured. "And in the garden," he whispered. "Quietly," they said, "or we shall wake them."
So fine, so rare, coolly sunk beneath the surface the beam I sought always burnt behind the glass. Death was the glass; death was between us; coming to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs.
"Safe, safe, safe," the heart of the house beats proudly. "Long years—" he sighs. "Again you found me." "Here," she murmurs, "sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure—" Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. "Safe! safe! safe!" the pulse of the house beats wildly. Waking, I cry "Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart."
'Call to action': Ways to help groups who promote peace, provide relief to victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Thousands of people have been killed and wounded amid intense fighting in the Gaza Strip after Hamas militant groups launched an unprecedented assault over the weekend.
On Saturday, Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired thousands of rockets and sent about 1,000 gunmen from Gaza to Israel. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces retaliated with airstrikes and rocket attacks inside the Gaza Strip.
The fighting between Israeli and Palestinian militants is among the most violent in years, marking the latest clash in a conflict that dates back to World War I . Israel formally declared war on Sunday and the country intensified its response the next day with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordering a "complete siege" on Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel, and other supplies to more than 2 million Palestinians.
The war’s death toll climbed to nearly 1,600 on both sides on Monday, including about 900 in Israel and more than 680 in Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians. Thousands have also been injured. And more than 123,000 people have been displaced in Gaza, according to a Monday report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Humanitarians, aid groups, and public health experts have expressed growing concerns over humanitarian needs in the region and have called for an end to the violence.
On Monday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres sounded the alarm about the deteriorating situation and urged people to focus on civilians from both sides. Guterres pleaded for an end to "the vicious cycle of bloodshed, hatred, and polarization," according to a U.N. news release.
"Humanitarian relief and essential supplies must be allowed to reach people in need, rapidly and without impediment,” OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke told the Associated Press. “All parties must ensure freedom of movement for humanitarian workers.”
Several organizations have warned of the potential of more lives lost and have also called for peace to help victims of the war. If you are looking for ways to help Israeli and Palestinian victims, here is a list of some organizations promoting peace and providing relief.
How to cope: The videos out of Israel, Gaza are graphic, but some can't look away
Alliance for Middle East Peace
The Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) is a coalition of over 170 non-governmental organizations that includes tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis who share the goal of building state peace between the two communities.
On Saturday, the coalition said it is working to support members assisting in emergency responses. "We call for the immediate protection of civilian life, for urgent steps to be taken to de-escalate this situation, and for all actors to prevent this situation spiraling toward even further tragedy," ALLMEP said in a statement.
American Friends of the Parents Circle - Families Forum
The American Friends of the Parents Circle - Families Forum (AF-PCFF) is a grassroots organization that works to share narratives from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the U.S. public to foster a peace and reconciliation process. The organization supports the Parents Circle-Families Forum which is an Israeli-Palestinian organization of over 600 families who have all lost an immediate family member to the ongoing conflict.
In response to the attacks, the AF-PCFF reaffirmed its commitment to building and fostering peace for the future.
"Let us remember that violence begets violence, and the only way forward is through peaceful dialogue, diplomacy, and a commitment to finding common ground," the AF-PCFF said in a statement Sunday. "It is a call to action for leaders, communities, and individuals alike to seek solutions that prioritize reconciliation, justice, and lasting peace."
The Carter Center
Founded by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center is a humanitarian aid organization that has been promoting peace and advocating for a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.
After Israel declared war, The Carter Center released a statement condemning the targeting of Israeli and Palestinian civilians and called for international action to end the violence.
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian organization that aims to protect victims of conflicts and provide them with assistance. The ICRC has been present in Israel and the occupied territories since 1967. The organization is asking for donations to improve access to essential services like water and to support livelihood projects.
“All parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. This is non-negotiable. Civilians and civilian objects must be respected and protected," Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC regional director for the Near and Middle East, said in a statement Saturday.
Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders is a non-governmental organization that describes itself as an "independent, impartial and neutral" charity that provides humanitarian aid to people affected by conflict, disease outbreaks, and natural and human-made disasters.
With thousands wounded by airstrikes, the organization reported overcrowding and supply shortages, including medical supplies, drugs, and power for generators, in Gaza. Medical staff are also facing dangerous conditions and are struggling to find safe ways to transport patients to hospitals, as ambulances have been hit by airstrikes.
"The situation is horrific, with massive Israeli and Palestinian casualties," Matthias Kannes, head of mission in Gaza, said in a statement. "Our Palestinian colleagues are working day and night to cope with the influx of wounded."
Doctors Without Borders is assisting with medical needs in the region by donating medical supplies to hospitals and health facilities while local staff are providing surgical and inpatient care.
Save the Children
Save the Children issued an emergency alert in response to the conflict, noting the "escalating violence" has put 1.2 million children in need of humanitarian aid. The international organization is demanding de-escalation and has called for peace talks.
The organization is providing assistance to children affected by the attacks, where many face dangerous conditions, and displacement and may suffer from "serious mental health impacts."
Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF)
National and international organizations that provide assistance to victims in the conflict include the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF), which works to provide crucial and life-saving medical relief and humanitarian aid to conflict victims in Gaza. Before the conflict and now, access to essential resources like food, clean water, and healthcare has been severely limited.
"In light of the recent violence that has left hundreds dead and thousands injured and homeless in Gaza, we are mobilizing our resources in unwavering determination," the organization said on its website.
Contributing: Julie Garisto, Leesburg Daily Commercial; The Associated Press;
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Gaza Strip explained: Who controls it and what to know
What is the Gaza Strip?
The Gaza Strip refers to a narrow strip of land wedged between Israel and Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea that is roughly the size of Washington, D.C. Occupied in turn by the Ottoman Empire and then the British Empire, it forms the smaller of the two Palestinian territories — the other being the West Bank.
After the creation of Israel in 1948, Egypt controlled Gaza for nearly two decades. After Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War against its Arab neighbors, it gained control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. For the next 38 years, it controlled the strip and enabled the construction of 21 Jewish settlements.
In 2005, under international and domestic pressure, Israel withdrew around 9,000 Israeli settlers and its military forces from Gaza, leaving the enclave to be governed by the Palestinian Authority, which also controlled parts of the occupied West Bank.
Today, with over 2 million Palestinians living within roughly 140 square miles, it is “one of the world’s most densely populated territories,” according to Gisha , an Israeli nongovernmental organization. Half of Palestinians living in Gaza are under age 19, but they have few to no prospects for socioeconomic growth and limited access to the outside world.
Who governs and who controls it ?
Hamas, which has clashed repeatedly with the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank who negotiated the Oslo Peace Accords, is a militant Palestinian nationalist movement currently led by Ismail Haniyeh. It took control of Gaza after it won elections there in 2006. Since then, no elections have been held.
Despite pleas from the United Nations and human rights groups, Israel has maintained a land, air and sea blockade on Gaza since 2007 that has had a devastating effect on Palestinian civilians. Israel says the blockade, which gives it control of Gaza's borders and is also enforced by Egypt, is necessary to protect Israeli citizens from Hamas.
The International Committee of the Red Cross considers the blockade illegal and says it violates the Geneva Convention, a charge Israeli officials deny. The U.N., various human rights groups and legal scholars, citing the blockade, consider Gaza to still be under military occupation by Israel.
What is Hamas, and whom does it represent?
Hamas is one of the two major political parties in the Palestinian territories. Founded in 1987 during an uprising against Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, the group was originally a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which favors Islamist principles — a belief that Islam should play a major role in political life.
For decades, Hamas called for the destruction of Israel. In 2017, 30 years after its founding, the group issued a new charter that appeared to stop short of that goal.
Many countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, have designated Hamas a terrorist organization because of its attacks on Israel, which include rocket salvos and suicide bombings. Other countries, including New Zealand, deem only Hamas' military wing to be a terrorist group. Hamas also provides social services for people in Gaza, such as education and medical care in hospitals.
Hamas says it is a freedom-fighting movement to free Palestinians from occupation and reclaim large parts of Israel. Its actions are divisive among Palestinians and those who support establishing a Palestinian state because of its use of violence.
A recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research reported that one-third of Palestinians found the internal and political split between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza to be “the most damaging development that has happened since 1948.”
The same poll found that more than half of Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank would vote for Hamas over the Palestinian Authority. The group’s popularity grew after a two-week conflict with Israel in 2021, with roughly 75% of those polled viewing Hamas as safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem.
Hamas receives heavy backing from Iran, which contributes “funds, weapons, and training” to the militant group, according to the Council on Foreign Relations . Though Turkey insists it supports Hamas only politically, it has been accused of funding Hamas’ terrorism , including through funds diverted from Turkish government aid programs.
What is it like living in Gaza?
Human Rights Watch likened the conditions in Gaza to “an open air prison,” referring to the restriction of movement Israel enforces on Palestinians there. Israel prohibits Palestinians from entering or leaving the area “except in extremely rare cases, which include urgent, life-threatening medical conditions and a very short list of merchants,” according to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group.
Israelis, Jewish settlers and foreigners are not subject to those restrictions and are free to travel in and out of Gaza. Over the years, Israel has gradually closed land-border crossings from Gaza into Israel except for one — which is open only to Palestinians with Israeli-approved permits. Egypt sporadically closes its land-border crossing for months on end, which is often the only way people in Gaza can gain access to the rest of the world.
By limiting imports and nearly all exports, Israel’s 16-year blockade has driven Gaza's economy to near-collapse, with unemployment rates above 40%, according to the World Bank . More than 65% of the population live under the poverty line, according to the U.N., with 63% of people in Gaza deemed “ food insecure ” by the World Food Program. Little psychological support exists for a generation of children who are “living with the long-term psychological effects of constant exposure to violence,” according to a U.N. report , which described an uptick of mental health issues, including depression, among young people living in the Gaza Strip.
“The Gaza closure blocks talented, professional people, with much to give their society, from pursuing opportunities that people elsewhere take for granted,” Human Rights Watch said in a 2021 report . “Barring Palestinians in Gaza from moving freely within their homeland stunts lives and underscores the cruel reality of apartheid and persecution for millions of Palestinians.”
In the wake of the recent surprise Hamas attack that killed 700 Israelis, conditions for civilians in Gaza are expected to dramatically worsen. So far, more than 400 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes. An Israeli ground invasion of Gaza is likely, which Hamas has vowed to fiercely resist. On Monday Israel’s defense minister announced “a complete siege” of Gaza, cutting off all electricity, fuel, food and water to the enclave.
Yasmine Salam is an associate producer with the NBC News Investigative Unit. Previously she worked in the London Bureau, covering international stories.
"Haunted House" lyrics
- Neoni Lyrics
A brief history of Gaza's 75 years of woe
Oct 10 (Reuters) - Gaza is a coastal strip of land that lay on ancient trading and maritime routes along the Mediterranean shore. Held by the Ottoman Empire until 1917, it passed from British to Egyptian to Israeli military rule over the last century and is now a fenced-in enclave inhabited by over 2 million Palestinians.
Here are some of the major milestones in its recent history.
1948 - End of British rule
As British colonial rule came to an end in Palestine in the late 1940s, violence intensified between Jews and Arabs, culminating in war between the newly created State of Israel and its Arab neighbors in May 1948.
Israeli troops in action near an unidentified Arab village in the Galilee region during the opening stages of the 1948 War of Independence. REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights
Tens of thousands of Palestinians took refuge in Gaza after fleeing or being driven from their homes. The invading Egyptian army had seized a narrow coastal strip 25 miles (40 km) long, which ran from the Sinai to just south of Ashkelon. The influx of refugees saw Gaza's population triple to around 200,000.
Arab villagers fleeing from an unidentified area in the Galilee in October 1948. REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights
1950s & 1960s - Egyptian military rule
Egypt held the Gaza Strip for two decades under a military governor, allowing Palestinians to work and study in Egypt. Armed Palestinian "fedayeen," many of them refugees, mounted attacks into Israel, drawing reprisals.
The United Nations set up a refugee agency, UNRWA, which today provides services for 1.6 million registered Palestine refugees in Gaza, as well as for Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank.
1967 - War and Israeli military occupation
Israel captured the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war. An Israeli census that year put Gaza's population at 394,000, at least 60% of them refugees.
Destroyed Egyptian armour lines the sides of a Sinai road after it was hit by Israeli jet fighters during the 1967 Six Day War. REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights
With the Egyptians gone, many Gazan workers took jobs in the agriculture, construction and services industries inside Israel, to which they could gain easy access at that time. Israeli troops remained to administer the territory and to guard the settlements that Israel built in the following decades. These became a source of growing Palestinian resentment.
1987 - First Palestinian uprising. Hamas formed
Twenty years after the 1967 war, Palestinians launched their first intifada, or uprising. It began in December 1987 after a traffic accident in which an Israeli truck crashed into a vehicle carrying Palestinian workers in Gaza's Jabalya refugee camp, killing four. Stone-throwing protests, strikes and shutdowns followed.
Palestinian school girls returning home from classes pass a line of Arab men being frisked by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip in 1986 after a Jewish man was stabbed and seriously injured. REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights
Seizing the angry mood, the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood created an armed Palestinian branch, Hamas, with its power base in Gaza. Hamas, dedicated to Israel's destruction and restoration of Islamic rule in what it saw as occupied Palestine, became a rival to Yasser Arafat's secular Fatah party that led the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1993 - The Oslo Accords, and Palestinian semi-autonomy
Israel and the Palestinians signed an historic peace accord in 1993 that led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority. Under the interim deal, Palestinians were first given limited control in Gaza, and Jericho in the West Bank. Arafat returned to Gaza after decades in exile.
PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat shake hands with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, as U.S. President Bill Clinton stands between them at the White House, September 1993. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn Acquire Licensing Rights
The Oslo process gave the newly created Palestinian Authority some autonomy, and envisaged statehood after five years. But that never happened. Israel accused the Palestinians of reneging on security agreements, and Palestinians were angered by continued Israeli settlement building.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad carried out bombings to try to derail the peace process, leading Israel to impose more restrictions on movement of Palestinians out of Gaza. Hamas also picked up on growing Palestinian criticisms of corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement by Arafat's inner circle.
2000 - Second Palestinian intifada
In 2000, Israeli-Palestinian relations sank to a new low with the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada. It ushered in a period of suicide bombings and shooting attacks by Palestinians, and Israeli air strikes, demolitions, no-go zones and curfews.
Palestinian police exchange fire with Israeli soldiers during clashes near Netzreem Jewish settlement in Gaza Strip, October 2000. REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights
One casualty was Gaza International Airport, a symbol of thwarted Palestinian hopes for economic independence and the Palestinians' only direct link to the outside world that was not controlled by Israel or Egypt. Opened in 1998, Israel deemed it a security threat and destroyed its radar antenna and runway a few months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Destroyed buildings of Gaza airport are seen in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa Acquire Licensing Rights
Another casualty was Gaza's fishing industry, a source of income for tens of thousands. Gaza's fishing zone was reduced by Israel, a restriction it said was necessary to stop boats smuggling weapons.
An elderly Palestinian man (L) looks at the remains of his house after it was destroyed along with five others by an Israeli bulldozer, near the Jewish settlement of Netzareem in southern Gaza Strip, February 2001. REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights
2005 - Israel evacuates its Gaza settlements
In August 2005 Israel evacuated all its troops and settlers from Gaza, which was by then completely fenced off from the outside world by Israel.
Palestinians tore down the abandoned buildings and infrastructure for scrap. The settlements' removal led to greater freedom of movement within Gaza, and a "tunnel economy" boomed as armed groups, smugglers and entrepreneurs quickly dug scores of tunnels into Egypt.
A Palestinian rides his horse while holding a Palestinian flag as he passes a synagogue in the former southern Gaza Strip settlement of Neve Dekalim, September 2005. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah Acquire Licensing Rights
But the pullout also removed settlement factories, greenhouses and workshops that had employed some Gazans.
2006 - Isolation under Hamas
In 2006, Hamas scored a surprise victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections and then seized full control of Gaza, overthrowing forces loyal to Arafat's successor, President Mahmoud Abbas.
Much of the international community cut aid to the Palestinians in Hamas-controlled areas because they regarded Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Palestinian Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh assists Hamas co-founder Ahmed Yassin in taking a phone call in Gaza City, June 2003. REUTERS/Stephen Farrell Acquire Licensing Rights
Israel stopped tens of thousands of Palestinian workers from entering the country, cutting off an important source of income. Israeli air strikes crippled Gaza's only electrical power plant, causing widespread blackouts. Citing security concerns, Israel and Egypt also imposed tighter restrictions on the movement of people and goods through the Gaza crossings.
Palestinian policemen walk over a destroyed bridge in the Gaza Strip after it was hit by an Israeli missile from a warplane, June 2006. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem Acquire Licensing Rights
Ambitious Hamas plans to refocus Gaza's economy east, away from Israel, foundered before they even started.
Viewing Hamas as a threat, Egypt's military-backed leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who took power in 2014, closed the border with Gaza and blew up most of the tunnels. Once again isolated, Gaza's economy went into reverse.
Gaza's economy has suffered repeatedly in the cycle of conflict, attack and retaliation between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.
Palestinian pedestrians and a motorcyclist commute along a road between ruins of houses, which witnesses said were damaged or destroyed during the Israeli offensive, in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip in this September 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem Acquire Licensing Rights
Before 2023, some of the worst fighting was in 2014, when Hamas and other groups launched rockets at heartland cities in Israel. Israel carried out air strikes and artillery bombardment that devastated neighborhoods in Gaza. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.
2023 - Surprise attack
While Israel was led to believe it was containing a war-weary Hamas by providing economic incentives to Gazan workers, the group's fighters were being trained and drilled in secret.
Palestinians break into the Israeli side of Israel-Gaza border fence after gunmen infiltrated areas of southern Israel, October 7, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa Acquire Licensing Rights
On Oct.7, Hamas gunmen launched a surprise attack on Israel, rampaging through towns, killing hundreds, and taking dozens of hostages back to Gaza. Israel took revenge , hammering Gaza with air strikes and razing entire districts in some of the worst blood-letting in the 75 years of conflict.
Smoke and flames billow after Israeli forces struck a high-rise tower in Gaza City, October 7, 2023. REUTERS/Ashraf Amra Acquire Licensing Rights
King Abdullah on Gaza: 'No refugees in Jordan, no refugees in Egypt'
Israeli air strike kills senior Hamas armed commander Ayman Nofal in Gaza
Israeli army spokesman says next phase of war may be different from expectations
Gaza families ordered south return home, say nowhere is safe from Israeli bombs
Writing by Stephen Farrell, Nidal al-Mughrabi and Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Chris Reese
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