Wednesday, 13 July 2011

This picture needs a scarecrow

I took it in Brittany in August last year, I liked it enough, I like harvest pictures for some reason. But I thought there was something lacking. I found out recently after blogging this post: it needs a scarecrow. It would have given the picture some ominous, sinister atmosphere, even though it was a sunny day. Dark and stormy nights are useful, but not essential to create terror. You can easily find the right ingredients for a scary story in the middle of a warm summer afternoon too. 

My long time readers know that I am fascinated by scarecrows, because of course of their scary, unsettling appearance, which I blogged about before. Like my brother said, they are more efficient scaring humans than birds. As a child he was terrified by a stuffed scarecrow that was pinned on the wall of our bedroom. What were my parents thinking? I am naturally fascinated by bogeymen and scarecrow can easily be the stuff of nightmares. I think part of its appeal as a terrifying figure is that it is a primitive one: it is associated with seasonal changes, harvest, food (just like my favourite holiday), but also with danger (again, just like my favourite holiday), if even it is an indirect one. Scarecrows were protecting food against the most implacable form of looters, birds, in a way the most vicious forms of looters as they were stealing food. Of course, scarecrows had to look menacing. They were not the threat themselves, but maybe like all guardians they ended up scaring up those they were supposed to serve.

Anyway, for those who think Halloween is not coming soon enough, have a look at this picture and think of a scary story to go with it.


PJ said...

J'aime l'ambiance inquiétante, parfois même lugubre d'un après-midi tranquille et ensoleillé dans une nature déserte, glauque. Les histoires d'horreur de toutes sortes s'en servent trop peu souvent.

L'intro de Tales of the Darkside a ce genre d'atmosphère. C'est à la fois pastoral et sinistre, un beau mélange qui fait contraste aux trucs toujours sombres, orageux et nocturnes qui en mettent trop et qui tombent dans le cliché et la caricature.

The Artful Gypsy aka Wendy the Very Good Witch said...

Oh how I love the scarecrows! Some can indeed be sinister looking, but I love them still! :o)

Virginia said...

Oh I have never thought about scarecrows being scary but maybe they are. Certainly the ones at Jadin d'acclimatation are too chic to be scary. Glad you like my photos. Merci pour votre comments! Mon français est très terrible. Pardon, svp! :)

Guillaume said...

@PJ-Je suis d'accord: la lumière glauque est terrifiante et une silhouette au loin, un jour ensoleillé, peu avoir une apparence spectrale. On oublie souvent que le Dracula de Stoker, bien que nocturne, pouvait se déplacer le jour.
@Wendy-I especially love the sinister ones!
@Virginia-Thank you for commenting on my blog! And your French is fine! Scarecrows can be very scary, but it depends of where they are.