Monday, October 23, 2023

The Mystery and Horror of Fog


Sure, thunder and lightning are in-your-face unsettling and snow is bleak and colorless, but nothing quite unsettles a person more than fog rolling in, eating up the landscape, one acre at a time.

The 1980 movie "The Fog," was a classic. There is something about the sea and fog engulfing ships and eating up the streets and buildings, masking the comings and goings of vengeful specters that creates terrr! It doesn't get better than that for creep factor.

Fog is a complex atmospheric phenomenon. It is a visible mass consisting of cloud water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud, and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography, wind conditions, and even human activities. In turn, fog has affected many human activities, such as shipping and transport, warfare, and culture.

Chile's Fray Jorge National Park has trees that eat and drink their needs from the fog. This area gets less than 6 inches of rain a year and the trees have learned to take advantage of the fog.

(Hit PLAY above and listen while reading)

We had a summer home on the Chesapeake when I was a kid and the sound of the foghorn was lonely and yet so reassuring, like a distant rumble of thunder as a storm leaves. 

Fog is also dangerous. It is one of the top reasons for car pile ups and it's easy to see why. It confused depth perception, speed at which you are going, and differentiating if others are moving or stationary. You do not see other vehicles until you are upon them.

There is a time when fog can be related to the paranormal. When I was growing up (described in my book Growing Up With Ghosts), we experienced in one room in our house, a tendril of odorless fog-like smoke. I say fog-like because it was very thick and white, not grayish or wispy like a cigarette. It had no smell and no heat associated with it. It would rise up from the table or an object and then just stop being, as if it just fell apart at the same time. 

The fog-smoke never gave a particular odd feeling and did not come along with other occurrences, but it did happen right over the spot where during the Civil War, they tended the dying. In fact, the wood floors under it were stained dark from that long-ago blood.

Practically speaking, here is a photo (below) of the estate in a thick fog. 

There's a reason Halloween stores carry fog machines. They are certainly a big hit this time of year. And some people know how to make it even more powerful and awesome. Adding colored lights make it even more haunting in greens or blues.

Some of us have done the old-fashioned fog for Halloween party effects - 

Fog. She has mystery and moods. You can't ignore her. She takes away your view and makes you feel like an island. She licks your cheeks with her wet chilly kiss. And, she is dangerous and beautiful all at once - 

In Maryland, they have a haunted attraction called Legends of the Fog. It looks like exactly the kind of attraction I dream of. They offer Sinister Circus, Haunted Hayride, Cornstalker, and Carsins Manor. 

The 5 foggiest places in North America are:
1. Grand Banks, Newfoundland (also foggiest in the world).
2. Point Reyes, California.
3. Cape Disappointment, Washington.
4. San Francisco, California.
5. Mistake Island, Maine.

Want more? Try this Creepypasta story FOG

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