Sunday, 6 November 2011

Storytelling Sunday ~ On a Dark and Misty Night

When I was a little girl, we didn’t go Trick or Treating and Halloween wasn’t really that big a deal. We made lanterns, not out of a pumpkin, but carved from a mangel-wurzel. I can still remember how much our hands hurt afterwards.

One year, when I was about 10 I think, we went to a Halloween party that our neighbours were throwing. We played lots of fun games, including apple bobbing and trying to grab a bun, tied on a string, without the use of our hands.

Later, we gathered round to tell scary stories and when it got to Midnight (or so it seemed) we all went out for a walk. I don’t think I’d ever been allowed to stay up that late before and it was strange and exciting to be outside in the dark. The local church, where I sang in the choir, was just around the corner and that is where we headed.

With our heads full of spooky tales, we walked up the path to unlatch the gate, but it swung open before us. By now my heart was racing and then I noticed that there was a hand holding the gate. There was a large ring on its finger and a lacy cuff hanging out of the burgundy velvet sleeve.

That was enough for me and I didn’t let my eyes travel any further. I no longer remember who was standing beside me, but we grabbed hold of each other and ran screaming from the churchyard. I can’t tell you how happy I was, to be safely back in the warm bright house.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later, when I was getting my Mum’s sewing machine out of the bottom of her wardrobe, that I noticed a burgundy velvet sleeve hanging there. I nearly jumped out of my skin! Then I realised that while we had been out in the misty night, I couldn’t remember seeing my Dad anywhere.

He had gone ahead to hide behind the wall and give us a scare. In the end, all he needed to do, was pull back the gate and our over active imaginations had done the rest.

I hope you enjoyed my Halloween memory. For lots more stories, head on over to Sian’s place, where you’ll find a warm welcome.

15 comments:

Helen said...

I vividly remember carving lanterns out of what we called turnips - and the smell of the lid being singed by the candle. Got to love a Dad who joins in the fun (?) like that!

Amy said...

I would have got a fright too!
I've never carved a pumkin and judging by the ones we have here I can well imagine how sore your hands would have been!

furrypig said...

I thought mangel worsels were made up! I didn't realise they were real! I wasn't allowed to celebrate Halloween or join in when I was growoing up so now I have a halloween party each year for my kids and we always go trick or treating.... your story was brilliant!

Sian said...

I really did enjoy your Halloween memories becasue they brought back happy memories of my own! We never had a pumpkin, and I don't even remember seeing them in the shops here; but we always carved big baking potatoes into little lanterns with birthday cake candles insde. And we bobbed for apples and my dad used to scare us silly. Happy, happy times!

Thanks Fiona for adding your lovely touch of nostalgia to Storytelling Sunday

Lynn said...

Ohh very scarey! Great memory

Ifa said...

OOOh, spooky. How scary was that ? Great memory to treasure though.

heart.hearth.home. said...

That's a great Halloween story. I can just imagine you all running away, frightened out of your skin! You just have to love your dad for tricking you! Wonderful memory. Irene

alexa said...

What a dad! I don't know whether I'd have been cross or relieved. :) We used to make lanterns out of turnips and it was such hard work scraping out the inside - and I remember the singeing lid smell too!

Barbara Eads said...

Halloween is supposed to be scary and spooky. I've never heard of mangel worsens, so I learned something new to boot. What a great memory to share.

Lotti said...

When I read your story it made me think of something that my sisters and the neighbourhood friends used to do .... not so much about Halloween ... but at night ... we used to sneak out of the house about 2 or 3am in the morning and fly kites in the middle of the street. Don't know why we did it and sure as heck don't know how we never got caught. funny thing is I wouldn't dream of being outside in the middle of the street now.

Alison said...

I can just imagine your fright! It was turnips that we made into lanterns too...I'd actually forgotten how new pumpkins are to us!
Alison xx

Jimjams said...

How brilliant - loved your tale of apple bobbing and ghost stories - so much less commercial and so much more fun than the majority of Halloween trick or treaters get these days!

Jo said...

What a fantastic memory to have, I loved your story :)

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

:o) What a fun Halloween story, Fiona! I had never heard of a mangel-wurzel so I had to click on the link to see what it was. Ha! I learned something new before 7:00 a.m. today!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh that was a lovely story - how clever of your Dad. Wonder if he expected it to be so successful :)