As we all know up here in the Northern hemisphere it's that time of year. Memories of sunny days are just that. The magical colours and textures of Autumn are fleeing by and we are in that brief lull that this change of season brings - allowing us to readjust before the madness of the Christmas season takes hold. Cardigans are out of hibernation and snuggly blankets beckon us toward the sofa. Various of us have extolled the virtues of lighting candles and open fires, yet what better to accompany them than a storm whipping up outside, lashing rain against the windows and wind howling through the keyholes. The perfect setting, one might say, for a ghostie tale....
I've posted some of my ghostly experiences before here, and looking back the date made me smile. This urge that I have to hear more at this time of year seems as regular as wanting to plant the first seeds in Spring, or collect that first posy of flowers from the garden. I'm not a fan of those shows that claim to contact spirits for the sake of the cameras, but have found that over the years most people have a tale to tell. Often it might seem insignificant to others, but the impact it has on the bearer can be profound.
So this is what I thought we could do. For the next couple of weeks - leading up to Halloween - I thought we could share some stories. Preferably those of our own but may be passing on tales from others. No need for a mass outpouring of urban legends - often the slightest tale can be the most evocative. Perhaps somewhere you have been has just created a particular feeling. Our house is over one hundred years old and yet I have never felt at all spooked here. In fact as soon as we first walked through the door it felt welcoming - yet some places certainly do not.
An example of this is the infamous Winter's Gibbet in Northumberland. I remember visiting the area as a child and our usually inquisitive dog, Prince, refusing to get out of the car. He shivered and whined until we left.
Find out more about Winter's Gibbet here.
My contribution is tricky as I relayed most of my experiences here but I do have another. Mr K is the world's biggest cynic when it comes to the supernatural. And yet something happened to him many years ago that he still can't explain. As a teenager he set about cycling around the Lake District with an old school friend of his. One night as they were returning to their camp site from the local pub they heard an almighty rush of - well something - nearing them from behind. As the noise got louder it sounded like hooves and it was enough to make them pedal like the clappers to get out of there. Next morning they mentioned their experience to the owner of the campsite, enquiring as to what sort of animals there might be nearby who would be capable of making such a row. The owner blanched as he told them the name of that particular stretch of road - Devil's Gallop.
Sorry - this was the only picture I could find of the area - from 1952!
If you want to join in you could leave a link to your post here in the comments section, and link back to this blog using the title 'Ghostie Post'. I'm not sure if this will work or not but I for one will look forward to having a selection of tales to be passed on to others on that most spooky night of all - Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeen.
And now I've completely spooked myself I'm going to put all the lights on and make a cup of tea!
Come on - share your tales .............!
P.S. Well done for those fruit detectives amongst you - the yellow fruit was indeed a quince. Brownie points all round!