Thursday, 25 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night.

And that's just the staff.

Halloween, or the preparation of, in the asylum is a wonderful thing. Last year, we had Abbie and Kristy joining in the festivities, one by losing half her tongue and the other by having a broken collarbone inflicted her by heavy-handed orderlies.

That was thanks to a glow-in-the-dark skeleton they'd decided to hang over the door so it would 'attack' anyone who came through.

In an asylum, that was likely to have a detrimental effect on the mood of the residents. And it did. Hence the hospitalisations. This year, they've decided to be a little more creative. Webbing, plastic spiders and fake cut out pumpkins adorn the rooms and corridors.

I think they genuinely want us to have a little fun. I actually believe they have, in this once instance, our interests in mind. I'd say 'to heart' but they'd have to have said organ for that to be true.

Saying that, they'd have to have a mind to have our interests resident in there, and I'm not so sure that's the truth either.


Halloween. It's a wonderful thing.

Half the world gets dressed up as creatures of the night. Horror has come a long wait, don't you think? Mummies and ghosts and monsters used to scare and terrorise us. Now they're the stuff of panto and party.

That's because the real monsters don't have arms hanging off or fangs. They don't burn in sunlight and they don't grow teeth, hair and claws during the full moon.

The real monsters smile at you. They stand behind you in the queue for the checkout waiting to pay for the groceries in their trolley.

They sit opposite you at breakfast and tell you they love you.

We don't have a day for them. There's no celebration for the real monsters.

But the night before All Saints Day, when the witches are meant to fly and the darkness is meant to rise, children put on costumes. They dress as Dracula or as the walking dead. They knock on the doors of complete strangers to ask for sweets or money.

That, I think, is scary.

Because one of those strangers could be one of the monsters that smile and say "Hi" and let you pay for your carton of milk first because they have a trolley full.

"Don't you look scary in your costume? I have some sweets for you. Come inside."

Lorraine. That's what happened to her. Dressed as a bat, complete with wings and fake fangs. Eight years old. Outfit made out of cardboard and black bin liners and lots of permanent marker. With a little bit of mummy's make up thrown in.

'Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to...'

Well you know how it goes.

Three weeks later, almost the end of November, they found her. She'd missed Bonfire Night, but her reappearance caused lots of fireworks in itself. They caught him. He said he'd been looking after her. He seemed to believe it too.

Aliens is one of my favourite films. Little Newt tells Ripley that her mommy says there are no monsters, not real ones.

But there are, aren't there?


  1. Another eerie, wonderful post. I love it in the asylum!

  2. Awesome! Eerie, quick, and scariest because it's true. Love your writing style.