The last of the amber and copper coloured leaves are falling fast. The Owl does not call on clear moon lit nights. Autumn has gone.
The bare trees reach out, leaning against one another and making spooky sculptures. Creaking in the night wind.
|Winter comes with long thin icy fingers, the trees reflected in the windows. |
Fog hangs in the air, and frost is upon the grass. When the rain stops.
This is a time for pretty things, bright baubles, and candles.
|Mirror with fairy lights|
I like gathering old books to read over the holidays, mainly Fairy Tales and Ghost Stories. There is an old traditional in England of reading ghost stories aloud on Christmas Eve. Some of the oldest ones are the scariest. I've been reading The Violet Car by Evelyn Nesbit, (best known for her children’s books). The author of 'The Railway Children', was a great beauty in her day who was also known to turn her pretty hand to a ghostly tale.
|Evelyn Nesbit on a bear rug in her studio, 1901|
The story begins with a paragraph that hooks straight away, beautifully written - and already haunting. When a nurse goes down to a remote farmhouse on the Downs to look after an elderly couple she discovers that their madness has a terrifying edge to it. And why is the old man haunted by hallucinations of a violet car?
'Do you know the downs-the wide, windy spaces, the rounded shoulders of hills leaned against the sky, the hollows where farms and homesteads nestle sheltered, with trees round them pressed close and tight as a carnation in a button hole?'
Do you have a favourite ghost story?
America has Thanksgiving between Halloween and Christmas. It is a holiday that has changed substantially over the years, but gratitude is a blessing. After Bonfire Night November is a quiet month for me, taking time out to reflect upon the year that has passed and beginning to 'draw in' for the Winter. It is nice to nest and to be glad of home.
1. Corinthians 13:12 contains the phrase βλεπομεν γαρ αρτι δι εσοπτρου εν αινιγματι (blepomen gar arti di esoptrou en ainigmati), which is "For now we see through a glass, darkly." This passage has inspired the titles of many works.
2. Hutchinson - 50 Years of Ghost Stories
3. Virago - Book of Ghost Stories