Happy Halloween!

With Christian, Celtic and Pagan roots All Hallows’ Eve has evolved into a tradition where children (and sometimes parents) dress up in costumes and go trick or treating. They go from door to door picking up treats and then head home with a bag full of goodies. My two boys are certainly looking forward to getting into their costumes and collecting goodies this evening.

After I became a mother Halloween morphed into a fun, exciting time where the kids play and, as a family, we enjoy an age old tradition. In my early teenage years I loved Halloween for different reasons. I loved to tell and listen to ghost stories, anything paranormal peaked my interest and I would spend hours reading through horror stories and true story books. 

Morgan's Milieu | Happy Halloween: Borley Rectory surrounded by trees, black and white photograph.
Borley Rectory - The Most Haunted House in England?
I came across one true story that has never left me. Borley Rectory - The Most Haunted House in England. Ghostly photos, writing on the walls and other strange happenings made this story interesting. The building burned down in 1939, the owner, Captain W. H. Gregson said that he was unpacking boxes when an oil lamp in the hallway overturned. The insurance company determined the fire to be fraudulent. The story of Borley Rectory captured my imagination. After all, Harry Price, a British Psychic Researcher who had spent his career exposing fake spiritualists, conducted an investigation in Borley Rectory and wrote a book about it documenting everything.

And here’s my own ghostly story:

At 13 I was 'into' the paranormal and had read books about poltergeist activity. One night, when I was in the house alone, I happened to be walking up the stairs and something hit me on the head. I turned around as I heard it hit the floor, ran back down the stairs, and found a tiny dice on the floor. I put the dice on a shelving unit by the front door, shrugged, and began up the stairs again. Half way up something else flew by my head, I didn’t know what it was but I decided not to go upstairs…

Later on that evening my parents returned with the rest of the family and we all sat in the lounge, talking. My gran happened to notice a funny smell and asked if someone had been smoking a cigar. Being a non-smoking family we didn’t know why she would ask that but she then explained that it was the odour of my grandfather’s cigars. The scent seemed to fill the lounge and it wasn’t long before we could all smell it. My Uncle headed to the door, he was going to open it to air the room. As he walked beneath the light fitting the light bulb exploded! The glass shattered and fell in his hair and around him on the floor. Was it the ghost of my dead grandfather or simply coincidence?

In my time I’ve witnessed a few strange things and have always wondered if all those ghost stories are true? No probably not, but I think there are some that can’t be easily explained - they’re the ones that intrigue me.

As a last little note here’s a strange, unnerving story called The Strangers for you to read (I found it on StumbleUpon). There's a lot to read but if you have the time, check it out.

Happy Halloween.

Status Updates and Memories

I read a status update on Facebook this morning that transported me back to the 90’s. It read ‘this person went from “married” to “single”. Normally I’m not so affected by Facebook posts but this one was another in a long line of posts telling me that old friends are getting divorced.
Picture courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I was in High School I remember listening to friends talk about their parents’ divorce, “I get to have two Christmases, two birthdays, it’s great. Twice as many presents!” they’d say with huge smiles. I heard that line far too many times so I decided to start boasting about how my parents were still together and how great that was. Being a teenager I didn’t consider other people’s feelings and started reminding these friends what they were missing out on.

However, when I was 13 my world fell apart. My parents announced they were getting divorced. They were joining the hordes of other parents who just couldn’t stay together any longer. I didn’t understand it and buried my head in the sand. The day my father left the family home it was my 14th birthday and I can’t think of that day without tears coming to my eyes and my heart aching. It was a very tough time.

Twenty years on my friends are now the married ones and one by one those couples have started to split but this time I don’t want to prove anything. I learned my lesson. I’m not about to start boasting on Facebook. What happened this morning was not what happened all those years ago, this time fear filled me, my stomach flipped and my heart skipped a beat because I suddenly thought “what if I’m next?” 

I know that marriage takes work and compromise but sometimes things happen that kill the relationship. What if that happened to me? What would I do? All kinds of scenarios went through my head, every one making me wince. I love my husband and my kids and I can’t imagine a life without them. For eight years my whole world has been to take care of all of them and I’m not sure what I would do if I found myself single again. 

I’m sad when I think of all those families torn apart, I remember how I felt and I wonder about the children. It’s terrible when a family splits, no matter what the reason, and it can cause scars that last a lifetime. Sometimes life happens and we have to deal with the consequences, whatever they are. We have to learn to live in a new way and hope for the best. 

When my parents divorced I learned a valuable lesson… Don’t take things for granted because you never know when they will be gone. The end could be just around the corner, caused by any number of reasons, so while you’re happy, enjoy it. Kiss your husband or significant other and tell them you love them and hug your kids like you never want to let go.