It’s that time of year again.
When I walk up the lonely, echoing road with the wind shaking tree branches like skeletal fingers as the moon rides high in a stormy sky. I glance uneasily out of the corner of my eye at the darkened windows and see... them.
Grinning -pumpkins- of varying sizes - glowing in the dark -as if they know something I don’t - is it next weeks winning lottery numbers or Michael Myers waiting to leap out from the shadows to eviscerate portly Clayton before you can say ‘seppuki’?
I turn the key in the lock and enter the ‘old dark house’ then switch the light on and lock the door in case the Betterwear man is due.
When I was a lad we didn’t celebrate Halloween. In fact it wasn’t until I was somewhat long in the tooth/fang that I came across Cakin Night at the Robin Hood pub at Little Matlock. That relic of an old tradition seems to have gone, to be replaced by Halloween parties. Our village inn here in Malin Bridge [twinned with Loxley Bottoms] the Malin, puts on a show par excellance- the interior of the pub blackened with paper and like the inside of the Cleethorpes Ghost Train.It boasts enough artificial cobwebs and spiders to make me feel at home -on our road we usually have covens of little Witches, Warlocks and Grim Reapers, some in poke bonnets and black plastic capes from Mad Harry’s. They come with the accessories of the idyllic 21st century childhood that they will wistfully sigh over when looking back in later life-the plastic scythes, gore etched executioners axes and black devil forks,veinous bulging plastic eyeballs and luminous skulls.
A lot of people seem interested in zombies these days-even to asking their council have they got a contingency plan against the outbreak of a plague of zombies. The dictionary description of a zombie is ‘an animated corpse’. I’ ve known a few of those over the years, in various capacities, maybe its a bit late for a plan. Then there is eerie green beer like Devil’s Walking Stick - on offer at the Hillsborough Hotel and cup cakes with bats on them in your local bakers.
So enjoy -yours- to the Witching Hour-must go and heat up the cauldron -for later.