Halloween has always been my favourite time of year. I love scaring myself and others silly. As a kid, I used to enjoy telling ghost stories to all of my friends. I remember carving out pumpkins with my sister and then going trick or treating. We would make our own witches hats out of coloured card board and then create a dress out of a black bin bag. I’m sure we looked pretty ridiculous, but at the time I thought we looked great. Even as an adult, I still love to dress up and munch on toffee apples whilst watching a scary horror flick!
My love of horror began when I was eight and I found a rented copy of ‘The Candy Man’ that my older sister had left out. I’d heard her telling all her friends that it was the scariest film she’d ever seen, and being naturally inquisitive, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. So I waited until my parents were busy, slid it into the VCR and curled up on the sofa with a blanket. I’ve honestly never been so petrified in all my life! I couldn’t go near a mirror for about three years because I thought the Candy Man was going to come after me. So when my sister and her friends brought home the sequel one day, my mum was quite adamant that I wasn’t going to watch it. But you know, there’s something strangely satisfying about getting really freaked out. And despite being scared, I wanted to see it. After that, I watched every horror film that I could get my hands on, and devoured the whole of the Goosebumps series and then started on Stephen King. I used to ask for ghost stories instead of bed time stories, and even thought they scared me silly, I’d keep requesting them time and time again.
So to celebrate Halloween, here’s one of my all time favourite shorts:
Haggard and shaken, an English country-house guest once enthralled his breakfast companions with this account of his night's adventure:
His hostess had warned him, he said, that his bedchamber was haunted, but he had merely laughed at this. When he went up the stairs to his bedchamber that night, however, he found himself anxious - unaccountably so, for the room was well lighted and eminently comfortable. To soothe his nerves, he looked under the bed and into each cupboard. He examined the blanket chest and opened every drawer of every table. All was serene. He was alone in the room. After a glance up and down the empty hallway, he closed the bedchamber door and bolted it. Then he shut the windows, latched them, drew the curtains and snuffed out all the candles but one. Then he got into bed, pulled the covers to his chin and lay there as still as he could, listening. He heard nothing, not a rustle, not a murmur. Relaxed at last, he extinguished the bedside candle, and as he did so, he heard a voice - a tiny, dry, satisfied voice that seemed to emanate from an inkstand on the desk. It spoke only once, but that was enough to keep him in a state of rigid wakefulness until dawn.
"Now we're shut in for the night," it said.