A Galaxy of Ghouls, a colostomy of soiled underwear……
All Souls Eve is rapidly approaching. Duck apple night, Halloween, "Give us a treat, or we’ll burn your house down" night …. call it what you want – it’s supposed to be the night when spirits get mischievous and the dead rise to have a laugh. Anyway, it got me thinking – my Mum and Dad’s old house, an unremarkable bog standard post war semi was stuffed to the brim with poltergeists, bogglin’ men, boggarts, and horrible creepy things lurking in dark corners of long forgotten cupboards.
The worst and most mischievous of all was the bony old hag that used to lie in wait for me on the upstairs landing. She wasn’t just there on Halloween night – she was there every night … Especially on dark, inky black winter ones. There she’d sit – waiting, on her bony haunches for the opportunity to shove her horrible bony wizened, warty old hand through the gaps between the banister spindles and ruffle your hair or grab your nuts as you’re walking upstairs. ‘Haggy Baggy Jabby Hob’ was a real evil bitch all right.
The only way to combat her? Stand at the bottom of the stairs, take a deep, deep breath. Focus. Get in the zone. 3-2-1-go, go, go!!!….Just got to get from bottom to top in three gigantic bounds, four steps at a time – and of course, keep your head real low, so even if ’Haggy Baggy Bitch’ did manage to get her arm out in time, she’d miss your tousled locks – and your jangly nuts.
She couldn’t touch you once you’d got to the top of the landing, obviously. She was absolutely helpless – and anyway, I was safely in the bog by then.
The return journey was no less traumatic – except that the downward journey was achieved in only 2 monster bounds…. With the occasional broken ankle at the bottom – courtesy of the unforgiving newel post.
But hey, at least it worked… she never did get me.
But wait, did I say she was by far the most evil? I got that wrong….
By far the most evil entity in our old house was the guy that looked like a cross between an ‘Archie Andrews’ ventriloquist dummy – and a 1950’s shop window mannequin – all slicked down hair, rouged cheeks, red shiny lips and gleaming white teeth. He hid in my built-in bedroom cupboard… in my bedroom ….the room that I slept in … at night …all on my own.
When I was very, very small, I had this God-awful dream. There I was just nodding off to sleep. All of a sudden, the door of the cupboard in the wall burst open and Waxy, Plastic Smiley, Smirking, Brylcream Mannequin Monster-Man stood there in all his moody, brooding malevolence. Slowly, he raised his waxy head and fixed me with his glassy eyes. Slowly, he raised his wooden hands and started to totter towards me. In the nick of time, I woke up, jumped up and slammed the cupboard door shut.
The big mistake….. The big mistake I made was to leave the cupboard door slightly ajar. As long as I made sure every night that the door was shut, Mannequin-Monster-Man couldn’t get out and do his worst….
But hey, at least it worked… he never did get me.
But wait, did I say he was by far the most evil? I got that wrong….
By far the most evil… by far the most evil were the terrifying pair of ‘Harpy-Hagged-Haggy-Hags’ that would occasionally be found chewing on my legs whilst I slumbered away in my bed.
I don’t know where they came from, or where they hid during the day. But now and again, I’d wake up to see 2 little dark shapes with little flappy wings gouging at my legs. Two little imps with their vicious little talons stabbing away for all they’re worth. Now that was scary.
Fortunately, I had a strategy to hand to outsmart those little devils ….. Head under the bed sheets obviously.
So why where there so many evil dudes in our post war semi? Much too much ‘white powder’ hitting the base of my brain generating obscene, hell hound images I reckon.
Sherbet Dabs have a lot to answer for.
Coming soon – my real and really strange meetings with ‘the other side’ (well, the ones I’ve met when I’ve have been sober).