From Ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord deliver us. – Scottish prayer.
Around this time of year there are countless blogs, articles, and news stories about how Halloween came to be a holiday tradition, particularly here in the United States. I expect that most of us have read or heard them before. So, instead of dwelling on the history let’s just enjoy the day. Kids (and grownups) love to dress up in costumes and pretend to be someone else; and who doesn’t love to get treats. When the parties are over, costumes are put away, and the kids are safe and sound at home, with a bag full of goodies, we all seem to love a good ghost story or scary tale. Authors, poets, musicians, playwrights, and film-makers have been happily turning out spooky fare since long before Halloween came around. There are some names we all associate with the spirit of the holiday – Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, to name a few. But there are some classic “Halloween” quotes from some less expected sources. Here are a few:
“A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night.” – From The Little Minister by J.M. Barrie
Men say that in this midnight hour,
The disembodièd have power
To wander as it liketh them,
By wizard oak and fairy stream.
– From “Midnight and Moonshine” by William Motherwell
Hark! Hark to the wind! ‘Tis the night, they say,
When all souls come back from the far away-
The dead, forgotten this many a day!
– From “Hallowe’en” by Virna Sheard
‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
– From Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Of course, here in North Carolina we have more than enough ghosts and haints to keep us awake all Halloween night. So, Happy Halloween, and many scary returns!