One Halloween night, children and parents were sitting around a fire in the woods toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. The storyteller slipped like a shadow through the throng and before he’d even opened his mouth a child demanded,
‘ Tell us a scary story then.’
The storyteller replied that his name wasn’t Len but he’d tell a suitable tale nevertheless. And he told a Korean tale about a girl possessed by a Fox Spirit who slaughtered cattle and horses by thrusting her hands and arms down their throats, wrenching the liver from the depths and then gorging upon the warm and steaming succulent organ .
But when he’d finished the child said,
‘That wasn’t very scary. Tell us a really scary story.’
The storyteller said in his most cadaverous voice, ‘If you want to hear a really scary story meet me in the graveyard at midnight.’
To which the child responded, ‘Alright, which one? The one at of St.Neots’, St. Thomas’ or St. Bartholomews’?’
The storyteller retorted , ‘Be warned, inside everybody there’s a skeleton waiting to get out.’
Someone else shouted, ‘You said that last year. Get on with it!’
And of course , like the travelling talesman I am, I did get on with it.
Halloween lasted for 3 nights this year.
The 31st October saw me in West Devon at Woodovis Park www.woodovis.com near Tavistock. John and Dorothy Lewis created a Secret Cave in their cavernous garage which filled with ghosts and ghoulies from far and wide who needed some seriously spooky tales to satisfy their appetites.
I travelled from west to east for 1st and 2nd November. The ever popular Fright Nights at Escot House www.escot-devon.co.uk near Ottery St. Mary were spectacularly special. Sitting around a fire in the deep dark woods is just about the best place in the world to tell or hear stories.
And then the storyteller told them the one about the three girls who got lost in the woods and whose bodies are buried beneath the ground where they were all sitting now.
‘That’s not scary,’ they said, ‘you’re rubbish!’
With that he stood up, laughed like a maniac and pulled out an AK47 and shot them all through the head and said,
‘Is that scary enough for you?’
From the trees came a round of applause and out of the dark came the skeletons and other selected supernaturals of the woods and they all sat upon the fresh corpses and said to the storyteller,
‘That wasn’t bad, you’re a lot better than last year.’
The storyteller was rather chuffed to be praised by such a range of pucker paranormals.
But they didn’t stay seated for long, for soon the dead bodies beneath stirred, rose up surrounded the storyteller and said,
‘That was a good scary story. Now tell us a really really scary story.’
But the ghosts and ghoulies who’d just come out of the woods said,
‘No, we don’t want to hear scary stories anymore. We want to hear fairy tales with pretty princesses and handsome princes.’
The storyteller liked the sound of that but just as he opened his mouth to begin those who had just been shot said,
‘Yuk, we’re not sticking around for soppy tales like that, we’re off.’
And they disappeared into the night to scare the living daylights out of anyone who happened to cross their paths on this, their first excursion as newborn Halloween Horrors.