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Now Old Hallow's Eve comes once a year, and it is said that those
dead and undead walk the earth together, whether it is true or not
is a subjecet of great debate. I, however, believe that it is true and that
those who have died wrongfully (before their time or for reasons
unnatural) come back to wander the earth in search of that which
they have lost, howling in pain and frustration because what
could have been theirs is now lost forever. It is a night for the
appearance of ghouls and other creatures of darkness who have shunned
the world of the living and light to take part in more sinister past-times
like witchcraft. People are afraid only because they cannot
understand or identify.

We use this excuse to have a good party and to get our hackles up.
It is a more popular "holiday" in the USA, but it is steadily becoming
more popular all over the world to go "trick or treating" and to have a good
Halloween party or, my personal favourite, spend the night watching ancient
horror movies and trying to scare the neighbours *grins*.
Got to love the idea, huh?

Al here loves to go to parties! Go figure!

I must admit that I would have loved to go "trick or treating" when I
was younger, but here in Africa it's never really been all
that popular, but I have noticed that there've been quite a
few kids around my door on Halloween the past two or three
years. Who knows? Maybe I'll get my chance yet! *smiles*

My cat hates it, the dog gets all skittish because of the atmosphere of fear
that seems to hang around the house and so they both end up getting rowdy,
not to mention the people who have parties and end up driving
around the neighbourhood shouting and screaming! Ugh! Poor animals!

Unfortunately my cat isn't black...

But now I suppose it's story time...

On a dark and stormy night...
Our friend Jack sat quite happily in his local pub in Ireland,
potting away. Now you see Jack had this tendency to
overdo the whiskey a bit and so his temper was great and his
teeth were few. It was All Hallows Eve but Jack didn't care;
he didn't about much come to think of it. But tonight he
drank too much and got in one fight too many. As his life
began to slip away, he was confronted by the Devil who was
there to claim his soul.

Now Jack didn't want to die (who does really?) and so he tried to
bargain with the Grim Reaper. He asked if he could have just
one more drink before he died. The Devil also likes a good
whiskey every now and then and so he grudgingly agreed. Jack
was a little short of money, as usual, and so he asked the
Devil of he could maybe help him out a bit and assume the
shape of sixpence so that Jack could pay and then,
afterwards, the Devil could change back. Once again the Devil
grudgingly agreed and so he promptly changed into the money.
Jack immediately took the money and put it into his wallet,
which, lucky for Jack, had a cross-shaped catch! Jack had
managed to trap the Devil! (what a feat for a drunk, huh?)
Now, as you can well imagine, the Devil was not impressed and
was thus screaming with rage and ordering Jack to release
him. But Jack was rather pleased with himself and so he
decided to push his luck and make a deal with the Devil
(sounds rather like Stephen King). He told the Devil that he
would release him if the Devil didn't bother dear old Jack
for another whole year. The Devil was in a bit of a pinch and
so he did some math and decided that it was worth the wait,
he had enough of a labour force anyway, and so he agreed to
Jack's terms.

Realizing that he had been granted a lease on life, even if it
was only for a year, Jack decided to mend his ways.
For a while Jack kept on the straight and narrow, going to church
with his family and giving to charity. But, as most people know,
old habits die hard and it wasn't long before old
Jack was back in the pub with his good old mate: whiskey.

The next All Hallows Eve, as Jack was heading home
in a drunken stupor, the Devil appeared
and demanded that Jack make good on their deal and accompany
him. Once again Jack wasn't eager to die and so he distracted
the Devil by pointing to a nearby apple tree. Jack was
feeling pretty sure that he could fool the Devil again and so
he said confidently that the Devil simply had to get an apple
off that tree, he even offered to lift the Devil up onto his
shoulders to get it. Now the Devil has never been all that
smart and so he fell for Jack's trick, again, and so he
climed the tree and picked an apple. Jack took a knife then
and carved a cross on the trunk of the large tree, trapping
the Devil in it's bows. So now in the old, familiar way the
Devil screamed to be released and told Jack that he would
give him ten years of peace if he would release him. Jack was
sure he could get more of the Devil and so he said that he
would only release the Devil if he never bothered
Jack again. The Devil had no choice and so he agreed.

Now, as you know, Jack hadn't had a good life to date and
it turned out that his body couldn't take living that way any
longer and so a year later Jack died. When he went to Heaven he
was turned away because of the way he had lived his life.
When he tried to gain entry to Hell, the Devil, still embarrassed
about the way Jack had got the better of him, refused him entry.
However, as a joke, the Devil threw Jack a piece of coal to
find his way in the darkness of limbo. Jack put the coal
into a turnip, which became known as a Jack O'Lantern.
On All Hallows Eve, if you concentrate and look hard enough, you
can still see Jack's coal flame burning dimly as he searches
for a place to rest his weary soul.

The use of Jack O'Lanterns as festival lights for Halloween
is a custom that descended from the Irish who used to use carved
out turnips or beets as lanterns. On Halloween these lights
represented the souls of the dead or goblins freed from the
dead. When the Irish emigrated to America, they could not
find many turnips to carve and so they used their
imaginations and made use of the abundance of pumpkins. The
pumpkins seemed a suitable substitute for the turnips
and have been an essential part of Halloween celebrations
ever since!


Now ghosts also play a large part in the Halloween celebration.
As legend has it, these ghosts come back on All Hallows Eve
to wander the earth and, for one night, escape the limbo in which they
had been wandering, and shall be wondering, for eternity. Sad story,
but true perchance?

Now that old, spooky house on the corner takes on a special role at
this time of year, with the old lady who lives there coming out more often
and the children hurrying past faster than normal.
And those who have been dared, enter The Haunted House!

Oh, and last, but not least, the horror of all horrors: the witch!
This strange phenomenon is really ugly (no wonder they used to
burn them in the middle ages), is often seen riding a broomstick
and screeching,"I'll get you my pretty! And your
little dog too!" Don't get in their way, you might
end up as a very warty frog! Yuck!

Oh, and don't forget her cat! Never let it cross your path,
could be real ugly!

All in all Halloween is a time to be scared and jolted and
just totally frightened. But who ever said you didn't
get a rush from being afraid? Isn't that why people (not me of
course) do bungee jumping and go on those big carnival
rides and stuff? Well anyway, have a good beer, watch a good
horror movie and maybe go off to a party dressed as the Grim Reaper.
But whatever you do always remember that,
"He's coming to get you Barbara..."



Now before you go, I have to do give a few thanks to
those who designed the midi sequence and those who designed
the graphics, which are great!

A big thanks to The Evil Doctor for his Midi - he has
some amazing stuff!
Another big thanks to Full Moon Girl for links
and graphics!
And finally to Spooky and his Halloween house for info
(he gave me the facts for the story) and for some great graphics,
thanks tons!

This page has been haunted times, keep it screaming!

Oh and here's a Halloween pic of yours truly *grins*!