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Shiver down the spine

Halloween, All Saints Day, Guy Fawkes night, all these days make me think about stories sending shiver down the spine. Straddling the line between autumn and winter, and more important, life and death, Halloween is a time of some spooky celebration. Originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts, Halloween is not treated that seriously today, we don’t try to ward off ghosts but we still wear funny costumes for parties and trick or treating. All Saints’ Day is observed by Christians in many countries around the world; in Spain, Portugal and Mexico, offerings are made on this day. In some European countries people bring flowers and light candles on the graves of dead relatives. Guy Fawkes on 5th November 1605 hoped to cause an explosion that would kill James I and blow up the Parliament; poor Guy was sentenced to the traditional traitors’ death – to be ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’. He has decided that jumping from the prison window and killing himself was a better option than  having his testicles cut off and his stomach opened up while still alive. OK, ok, enough of the gruesome staff! It wouldn’t be a full story however if I wouldn’t add some spooky pictures, so here they are of a deserted castle, decaying and falling into pieces – the only inhabitants are owls and ghosts of the previous owners walking alongside long corridors and shaking their heads in despair what is left from the glorious past of the building…

 

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