Saturday, 1 November 2008


Another month is over, another new one begins. 2008 is entering it's twilight weeks, soon destined to nothing more than the dust of history books. The year has, and is, going fast. But on the other hand, it seems like a millennium ago when Big Ben chimed twelve and we welcomed in the new year, and all it's anti-climaxes. The summer never really got going, the sun refusing to leave its blocks, whilst the bitter cold has gripped our skin and bones with its icy claws over the past few weeks, reminding us we really are in winter now.

I used to love this time of the year as a kid. Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night, then the always enjoyable run-up to the madness of Christmas festivities. Yet as time passes they all fade into insignificance; a barrel of anti-climax, which I always felt but always managed to conveniently forget. 

One Hallowe'en in 1992, we visited my Nan in the midlands, and it is still possibly the most terrified I have ever been in my life. I had always been convinced this large, spacious, cold house on the top of a hill was haunted. Ever since I had known it. It looked slightly odd, looming, had a spiky feel. We visited that Hallowe'en and it was even colder, darker, and more atmospheric than ever. And this was before I had seen Psycho to corrupt my young mind. 

During the evening, my sister played the violin - a violin that had once belonged to our dead grandfather. My Nan made a passing comment that she hoped he could hear it...she thought he could. A passing comment became cemented in my brain, filling me with an excitable terror, and I became convinced he was there. Haunting. 

Later that night, with the eerie echo strains of the violin still in my ears, I snuck downstairs and put on the TV. The BBC were showing Ghostwatch - a now infamous TV programme, that convinced a nation that Michael Parkinson had become possessed. Of course, we all know now it was not real. It was the Blair Witch Project of its time. But as a 10 year old, already scared by the idea of ghosts and ghouls, I was petrified. But I couldn't stop watching. Car-crash TV. I believed everything - here was a real life ghost vigil on TV, a scary ghost named Pipes terrorising. It could happen here. To me.
I scampered up to bed and hid under the duvet covers. I was shaking with fear. I honestly do not think I have ever been as scared as that since, not even when I saw Celebrity Re-Hab on cable. I didn't sleep at all that night. I was convinced there was something in the room with me (there sister, we shared a room). There were shadows crawling the walls, knocks and bumps on the floorboards; the wind was howling around the house, engulfing nooks and crannies. I could still hear the echos of the violin, straining from somewhere in the pits of my fear.

In a way, I miss that. I miss believing. The utmost terror wasn't admittedly, fun, but at the same time it was more excitement than being a boring skeptic. A skeptic's world is rather flat and colourless. I try to believe sometimes,'s just not the same. I miss a good haunting. Do ghosts exist? I have yet to see any hardcore evidence. I saw a 'ghost' once, and it was a bizarre experience, but was it real? Was it actually a ghost? I cannot trust my own foolish imagination. But there's a lot about the world, our brains we still do not understand....that's a given...


sillyblondegirl said...

I remember Ghostwatch. So scary. I was watching it on YouTube earlier in the year and then the earthquake came and nearly made me crap myself. It was Pipes' fault!

Subversive Runner said...

Hi Mr Gump,

I saw your comment on my blog reference Martha 'bloody' Wainwright.

Nice to hook up with a fellow Martha devotee....I sall add your blog to my list sir. Carry on!!!

sillyblondegirl said...

Sian had a sex change

TrefforestGump said...

Heh yes I can confirm I am female ;-) But I do love Martha! And Rufus. And anything Wainwright-connected. I've seen them so many times now I think I am funding that family personally!

I love Ghostwatch. I have it on my computer somewhere, but I'm too scared to watch it...Bloody Pipes...!

Subversive Runner said...


Apologies Ms Gump!!!! Sian.... sometimes this blogging lark becomes asexual me thinks!!!

Yours apologetically,