I’ve noticed a trend during my October readings. A majority of scary stories take place in Massachusetts. Fact. Maybe that’s why I’m so inclined to visit there.
The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving takes place in Massachusetts hub, Boston. The Devil and Tom Walker was controversial for its time because it told the story of a man who made a deal with the devil. He Essentially chose a life full of luxury over a life with his wife.
But his wife isn’t all-innocent here, either. After Tom is approached with a deal from the Old Scratch, who represents the devil, he tells his wife. She then goes to the woods where Tom first met the Old Scratch and attempts to sell all their expensive goods. A few days later, Tom finds what is left of his wife wrapped up in her apron underneath a tree. Tom thought of his wife’s death as a good thing and believed what the Old Scratch did was an act of kindness. Tom was mistaken, but didn’t realize it yet.
Tom had a way of swindling people out of money. As he grew older and older, fear of the afterlife caused Tom to carry two bibles with him at all times. Except for one time…. It only takes one time. When a man approaches Tom and blames him for taking his money, Tom says, “The Devil take me if I have made but a farthing!”
That very moment the Devil, dressed in all black, arrives on Tom doorstep on horseback. They both disappear into the darkness. Legend has it, that Tom’s home and all his belongings burned to the ground and that Tom haunts the area where his home once stood.
As the story ends, there is a clear image of the Devil in his smoky black garb as he carries away Tom, who is dressed in all white. The obvious translation–black and white cookies. I used the recipe for these black and white cookies from fellow blogger and soon to be published cookbook author, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. Look for her recipes on her blog and check back in 2012 for the release of her book! I know I’m looking forward to it!