J. M. White
Spiced Apple Sangria (Psycho)
Updated: Sep 19, 2019
Part II of #ASD13DaysofHorror Instagram Challenge
Prompt: Serial Killers
This was a difficult prompt. There are so many haunting fictional stories about serial killers. Let’s be real, serial killers are scary enough in real life, but to sit down and invent one must be a truly horrifying prospect. For this prompt, I decided to use Psycho by Robert Bloch after recently devouring this novel in two days.
To be honest, I was surprised by how much I loved this book. I have seen Hitchcock’s interpretation of Psycho probably a dozen times (as everyone should) and adored Bates Motel, the T.V. prequel to the famous story. I know the plot very well, including the big twist with Mother at the end (don’t worry, no spoilers) and still, I found myself enthralled. Bloch has a clean writing style. His sentences are crisp and right to the point. But what impressed me most was the novel's original idea. In my opinion, Psycho may be one of the best psychological thrillers ever written. After all, there is a reason people are still revisiting this story more than fifty years later.
“Mothers sometimes are overly possessive, but not all children allow themselves to be possessed.”
-Robert Bloch (Psycho)
What's the Plot?
Psycho was published in 1959, then adapted into a film by Alfred Hitchcock shortly after in 1960. The movie was a hit and remains a classic. Hitchcock’s interpretation of the “shower scene” became particularly famous due to its accompanying music. It’s a scene that has been imitated in many cartoons, skits, and T.V. shows.
The story follows Norman Bates, the reclusive owner of the Bates Motel. The motel was cut off from the main highway after a new road was built a few years back. With little business, Norman has time to focus on his taxidermy and his overbearing Mother. Mother is not a fan of women and will do almost anything to protect her son from their bad influence. This is made brutally clear when a beautiful woman, Mary Crane, stops at the motel for the night.
Bloch’s Psycho was inspired by the real-life story of Ed Gein, also known as The Butcher of Plainfield. Gein was an infamous murderer and body snatcher who dug up corpses to make trophies from their bones and skin. Don’t let this put you off from reading the book though. Although deemed a horror book/movie, the violence is kept to a minimum in both. So, please give this one a read. Pair it with my Spiced Apple Sangria for the perfect treat. Once you’re done, check out Bates Motel, which is one of my favorite T.V. shows to date.
"If she wanted to, she could reach out and swat the fly. But she didn't swat it. She didn't swat it, and she hoped they were watching, because that proved what sort of a person she really was. Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly...”
-Robert Bloch (Psycho)
Spiced Apple Sangria
Yield: 6 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes
What You Need:
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp of cloves (whole)
- 2 star anise (whole)
- 4 orange slices
- 1 bottle red wine (Cabernet or Merlot)
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup vodka or brandy
What You Do:
1. In a small saucepan combine apple cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and orange slices. Bring to a simmer over medium/high heat then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Strain mixture into a large pitcher. Add red wine and orange juice. Mix thoroughly.
3. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange slices if desired.