Some things are scary. An old castle on a dark brooding day is definitely scary. Imagine this place at midnight on Halloween. Yep definitely scary. But some sights go beyond that.

A few years back we were living in the city. I was manning the door on a super busy Halloween. A constant stream of trick or treaters. All in fantastic costumes. I felt bad for just wearing jeans and a T-shirt. I had shaved so couldn’t even claim to be a werewolf. The doorbell rang and I opened the door again with a friendly smile. Two little devils looked up at me. Before I had chance to complement the monsters on being super scary, one of the devils screamed and ran off crying. The other devil calmly asked if he could have his brothers treats. With the brave devil chomping on his chocolates I went to apologise to the parent who was stood on the street. The mum just laughed and said her son wasn’t very brave and had screamed at a few masks on the night.

The worry was that I wasn’t wearing a mask.

WOW. And that’s why you don’t get any photos of me. Definitely a face perfect for radio….

Halloween or not

It’s the end of October and thoughts turn to Halloween. Well most probably if you are a parent. How to satisfy your young ones urge to join in the fun. From the age of about 5 Hawklad has looked forward to the 31st October. He liked to get dressed up. Maybe go to the school party. Definitely watch a bit of spooky TV. But never Trick or Treating. The thought of meeting strangers ruled that option out. So he’s never been. Actually I have never been. As a child the concept didn’t exist in our area. It was all about carving – not a pumpkin, we used turnips or swedes. A bonfire with jacket potatoes roasting in the embers. The dreaded turnip soup. Seeing what TV had on offer (just 3 channels in those days). Then it was to bed to read a spooky comic under the blankets by the light of a torch.

Trick or Treating really started to get going in our area only in the late 80s. In the last city we lived in, it was very popular. But then we moved into the sticks. The village we now live in has few children. Some years go by without a single Trick or Treater.

So what will 2020 bring. Well a full moon, so let’s hope for some breaks in the cloud.

Well for our little self contained world – it will mostly be the usual. Spicy red soup. Too many mini chocolates and sweets. Outside talks about our top ten monsters. Making up horror stories. We have a tradition that each year we invent a new horror computer game. No technical limitations when the game only ever exists in your mind. Watching cartoon halloween specials. Getting dressed up. Finally watching a couple of horror movies. When he was young that would be ScoobyDoo movies. The last couple of years it’s been old Hammer Horror flicks. This year he’s desperate to step up the horror option. Maybe the first Halloween movie.

Not forgetting Pumpkin Carving. Unfortunately our store has not had them in stock and Hawklad won’t let me go out to buy one. So it’s plan b. Well plan c as the store also failed to have a turnip or swede in. Don’t laugh plan c currently is trying to do mini carvings with jacket potatoes and apples…..

So yes 2020 may have some unique features for us. For many. Trick or Treating would appear to be banned in many areas. Luckily some places are trying to set up stuff for the kids (and parents!). Our village is doing a Halloween Trail. Households are being encouraged to put a pumpkin in the window or by the front gate. Families can then go pumpkin spotting without knocking on doors. So we need Plan D. An apple or potato carving just isn’t going to cut the mustard. At present it’s not a great plan. We have some orange balloons. The plan is to draw faces on the balloon with a think black marker pen. Then we will try to put an LED light or small torch inside the balloon. Then inflate it. What could possibly go wrong…..

The Terror in the Suburbs FIVE

Thank you to Ruth for nominating me to take this story forward. This is completely out of my comfort zone. It’s the second version as my first went a bit too Deadpool….

This story started with Joanne the Geek’s Part I to H.R.R. Gorman’s Part II to Chelsea Owens’ Part III to Ruth Scribbles Part IV. All parts are included below followed by my contribution below:

Fhtagn & Tentacles – Monster 910 by Marius Siergiejew
ONE (Joanne’s Part)

One sunny afternoon Jennifer was happily walking along the footpath only to find a crowd of people suddenly run past her in abject terror. Mystified, she managed to stop one of them. They were pale and seemed terrified.

“What’s happened?” she asked him.

“This portal opened up and these creatures from another world appeared. They were huge with long tentacles and large legs like leathery tree stumps.” he exclaimed. Jennifer let him go, and he ran off in terror following the others.

“Right.” she said. Someone had to do something about this, she thought. She strode off home. She went into her bedroom closet and fished out her old battered cricket bat. “I’m going to hit those freaks for six!” She stomped out of the house.

Jennifer walked down the road until she could see a glimmering portal that pulsed with a bright light. Before it were either two or three creatures that were as tall as small office blocks. They had dark leathery skin, massive tree stump legs (as already mentioned), long protruding arms, and their heads were a mass of long writhing tentacles. Jennifer watched them, and instead of feeling scared, she felt angry. She walked towards them until she was sure she had gained their attention.

“Look I don’t know where you freaks are from, but I’m not letting monsters like you take over our world. We’re already have enough monsters here to deal with.” she told them while thinking of the current assortment of world leaders. “So be warned. I have my cricket bat!” She held her cricket bat aloft in front of them. The monsters stopped in their tracks, as if unsure with what they were dealing with.

“Ge dthrth dltyz fkywfhg sdhtu!” the one closest to Jennifer said. As it spoke, from what Jennifer assumed was it’s mouth, the ground shook around them.

“Nope. Didn’t catch a word of that! Go back through your portal now, or I will take drastic steps!” she warned them. The ground shook around her again, as they all seemed to be laughing at her now. “Well I did warn you!” She gripped the handle of her bat with both hands and began running at them. As she ran the cricket bat began to glow…

TWO (H.R.R. Gorman’s Part)

The earth, which had shaken as the monster spoke, began to crack beneath her feet. Roots split and shivered as something beneath the ground pushed itself up.

Jennifer rolled to the side and held her cricket bat at the ready. The bat glowed even brighter now and tingled in her grip.

Once the earth had sufficiently broken up and the thing beneath the surface was visible, the monster pointed at it. Its tentacles writhed in a flurry as it said, “Ue kthgyn wysdht dhutyk!”

Up from the earth rose a transparent sphere glowing a faint blue. Two humanoid figures stood inside the bubble, and one flicked his fingers to cause the bubble to dissipate. The man, robed in a smooth, blue cloth and a rosy sash, raised a slim hand against the monsters. The hand glowed brightly.

“Wkusdth grnsthyk pyblsdth, shtrydk sythyd,” the monster said, somewhat morose and pleading. Some of the creepy eyes on the ends of tentacles looked to Jennifer as if begging. The monsters retreated into the portal once more, and the fantastical apparition disappeared.

A thin woman, her ears long and pointed like the man’s, stepped from the bubble she’s appeared in and put her hands in a prayerful position. She bowed to Jennifer, smiled, and said, “Chosen one, we have protected you now, for you will soon do much to save us from those creatures.”

The man stepped off after her and licked his lips. Though he possessed an otherworldly beauty, Jennifer noticed his teeth were all small and sharp. Or was she just imagining things?

“And just who do you think you are?” Jennifer asked. She still held up her bat, noticing it retained its glow…

THREE (Chelsea Owens’ Part)

In fact, the bat glowed the same faint blue as the slender beings’ orb. Jennifer wondered, briefly, at the connection between her beloved bat, the tentacled invaders, and these new, Vulcan-like humanoids.

“There won’t be a need for that,” the male’s voice said from a much closer position.

Her heart jumped and she looked up. His odd teeth appeared sharper and more menacing from less than a meter away. Of course, the menacing part might have been his hungry mien and continued advancement toward her.

Jennifer stepped back, once. She raised the pulsing bat. “Rack off, ya Smurf!” She swung at his face like an American gangster. *Thwack!*

The being stopped, shocked. A bat-shaped indent took up the entire side of his head.

“Chosen One?” the female asked. Jennifer heard the surprise in her voice. “What do you do?”

Jennifer glared, raising her only weapon again. “I’m not going to let you EAT ME!” she yelled.

A rippling sound of smothered grinding came from the female. It may have been laughter. “But, Chosen One,” she began, “Intraoral adherence is vital to defeating our enemies. It’s just one bite… ”

FOUR (RuthScribbles’ part)

“IT’S JUST ONE BITE????” Jennifer yelled! “Well he can kiss my…..,” her words trailed off as the male confused, abruptly turned and snarled at the woman…. “why can’t you learn to keep your mouth shut!?!”

Taking advantage of this reprieve, Jennifer backed up about ten feet and began to internally reassess the situation. “What does Chosen One mean? Am I food, or am I to lead a campaign?”

Jennifer decided to find out. She raised her voice and asked, “Are you hungry? Do you want some tea?” “Come, follow me.” …

FIVE (My Part)

“Tea” snarled the male. “Your petty traditions mean nothing to us. All they do is feed your ignorance. You close your eyes. You choose to see nothing. For centuries you have been no more than food for the portal vermin. Now to us your are no more than a living vaccine.”

Those words sent shivers through Jennifer’s soul. REASON was clearly wasted here. Hope was lost. She was out of options.

“Please, I don’t want to die.” Jennifer sobbed. “I am pregnant”.

An eerie silence fell spread across the footpath. Time seemed to stand still for Jennifer. The two alien figures clearly locked in deep thought. A stream of dialogue beyond the human realm. The silence finally broken by the female entity as she whispered “This changes everything!”


Going to have to nominate someone to take it further – SORRY. If you don’t fancy doing it let me know and I will tag someone else.

Hopefully Tina will enjoy having a go.

Halloween 3

This Halloween has to make our son happy. Failure is not an option. Best way to achieve that simple goal was to let him choose what spooky activities we will fill our time with. At the start of the week he came up with his list.

  1. Make a Pumpkin Head. But this year Dad let’s try not to make the poor soul look like Donald Trump. That’s just not fair on any fruit. *** I thought it was a vegetable. Every day is a school day.
  2. Halloween Costume. Dad I think we should try and go for a Freddie look. We don’t buy a costume we see what we can rustle up. I guess the mad dog will want his party hat on again.
  3. Watching as many Scooby Doo DVDs as we can find. Finish off with his three favourites. Boo Brothers, Kiss and Witches Ghost.
  4. Watch a Hammer Horror movie. These are atmospheric but relatively tame these days.
  5. Have a Lego building competition. This year it’s who can make the best haunted castle.
  6. Make a spooky music playlist.
  7. Make up a Halloween story. Dad this year I think it’s a couple of kids stuck in a scary computer game.
  8. Play our two Top Trump Monster packs.
  9. Any TV has to be spooky related like Ghostbusters.
  10. Monster knockout competition to decide the greatest ever horror character.
  11. Apple Bobbing
  12. Late night reading in the garden of Hound of the Baskervilles.
  13. All dog walks have to be after dark.
  14. Build a garden monster out of what we can find lying around. Then leave it for nature (or the dog) to dispose.
  15. Halloween treasure hunt in the garden to find hidden objects like chocolate bars.
  16. See what spooky food and drinks we can invent.
  17. Eat the cookie/biscuit game. Put a cookie on your forehead and then without using your hands try to somehow get the cookie into your mouth and it’s the first person to eat the cookie wins.
  18. Jelly Bean roulette. We have stocked up on some new flavours. Cat food, Snail, Earthworm, Earwax, Squid.
  19. Make Pumpkin Chilli Soup. Even I can manage that.

Have we missed anything. Any more cool ideas?