Thursday, October 30, 2008

Of Ghoulies and Ghosties!

'Tis the Season!

While there is probably nothing scarier than the current economic crisis, or maybe registering your vote on a touch screen and finding it decided you voted for A.N.Other instead of the way you wanted, I thought we needed some light relief for this post. All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saint's Day, is traditionally the time for tricking and treating and, of course, ghost stories. So I will indulge you with my favorite little campfire story. Turn down the lights, put a blanket over your knees and hug a hot cup of chocolate.

There is a road in Ireland with a reputation for mysterious disappearances. It's said that on Autumn evenings when the sun has set, and the mist rolls in the dark figure of a man with no face patrols the road to catch unwary souls and take them from this life. Oh bosh, I hear you say, but I know it is true. Some years ago I was traveling through Ireland around this time of the year and, as is my wont, stopped at an Inn for lunch. Well, Irish hospitality being what it is, on a cold wintry day and the company being good, it was a good few hours before I was on my way again. Well, it so happened that the quickest way back to my hotel was over a mountain pass on the road with the ghostly reputation. As I was feeling no pain by this time I set off cheerfully enough and was soon heading for the crest of the pass, when a dense mist came down and my car spluttered to a halt. Turning the key nothing happened and it seemed I was stranded. Nothing for it but to start walking and hope someone else might be using the road this night. I had walked (somewhat unsteadily!) for a while and, reaching the top of the hill and in the clear for a moment, I could see the lights of a small town some distance away in the valley below. Well that was a relief, at least I wasn't totally lost, and I smiled at the thought of a hot meal and a nightcap. As the lights faded away once more as I walked down the hill and entered the mist again, I thought about the ghostly legend and a shiver ran down my back. Just then I heard a noise behind me and, turning, saw the lights of a truck coming down the hill. Perhaps my journey to the town will be quicker than I expected, and I waved my thumb in the age old gesture. The truck stopped as it came abreast of me and the passenger door opened. In the darkness I could make out a dark hooded figure staring at the road ahead, and indicating I should hop in. Thankful for the lift i flopped into the seat and gushed away with my thanks as the old truck picked up speed in the mist. The driver said nothing, and I prattled on about my car breaking down and having to walk, and the ghost story of the man with no face at which point the figure turned to me and said "Like mine"..............................!

Enjoy your Halloween and watch out for the ghoulies and ghosties!