Finally got round to visiting the wondrous new Poundland shop in Hastings the other day, a cornucopia of delights, none costing more than £1.
Obviously, in the run up to Halloween, a whole section of the shop was given over to 'ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night'. I was particularly taken with some excellent 1/12 scale skeletons (3 for a £1) and some uncannily realistic spiders, just the right size for LARGE 1/12th tarantulas. Get them while you can.
There is a real dichotomy between the largely imported, saccharine coated, trick or treasty, pumpkin-lantern style of Halloween peddled for the kiddies, and the more visceral origins of the festival which date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain
This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night of October 31, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.
It was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth wreaking havoc and damaging crops.
Anyway, all that aside, one of the best things about the run up to Halloween is the plethora of horror films on TV. I prefer the vintage Hammer Horror films to the modern gore-fest shockers in vogue in recent years. My personal Hammer favourite is Masque of the Red Death with the redoubtable Vincent Price and a virginal Jane Asher whose acting left something to be desired.
As a young teenager, Hammer Horrors used to be routinely screened late on Friday nights, and I used to stay up to watch them, with the lights off, armed only with a cushion to block out the scariest bits.
This fascination with fear has never left me, although I am more circumspect these days. However thanks to a fellow blogger I have discovered an interesting purveyor of fear through the medium of photography.
My favourite from the portfolio gallery on his website is this one, which panders to my well-documented fear of clowns and is disturbing on soooooo many levels.........
In addition, his blog details how the photographs are created. Fascinating stuff......