It’s that time of year again. The shadows grow longer, the days colder. We light fires and candles, close our doors against the night and tell tales to terrify ourselves. Why when the darkness presses against the windows and the winds howl do we concentrate on our fears? The terror of the unknown, the closeness of death and decay?
For the rest of the year we keep these thoughts at bay. It is only when we feel most vulnerable to the in-definable, to the spirits that we don’t really believe in, to the afterlife we hope exists, but of which we can find no evidence, that we indulge in an orgy of spine chilling stories.
We seem to have a need to allow ourselves to be afraid, but it has to be in a manageable way. In the end we know that the story is just that, a piece of fiction, the film is not real. There is no ghost waiting at the turn of the stairs.
Tomorrow the lights will come on, the day will be bright and busy and we will go shopping for pumpkins and plastic bats.