*Apologies in advance to Edgar Allan Poe.
almost Halloween and as usual when Fearless Admin and I start tossing ideas around, things can get a little weird and spooky (and very silly). So, we began wondering… what would happen if various Malahide characters were caught in various typically Halloweeny situations? It might go something like this…
The full moon rises one night and from deep in the woods, eerie, tormented howling rends the skies… Sheep begin disappearing only to reappear as bloody, torn-up carcasses… Travelers report strange growling noises and the feeling of being tracked by a deadly predator… Suddenly a huge, hairy, wolflike creature that walks on two legs like a human leaps from the undergrowth, eyes glowing red and jaws slavering!
Lord Glendenning (RF): “…Well, I thought that was rather impolite, letting one’s dogs run wild like that. Next thing you know they’re after the livestock, running them around and bringing their value down. Badly trained cur leapt at me, so I rapped him smartly on the nose with my rolled-up Telegraph and told him to go on home and behave. Slunk away with his tail between his legs and I haven’t seen him since.”
Berkshire Sergeant (Admin): “Oh, so because you come over all furry like when the moon is full, I should let you spend the night in a cell, sir? I suppose you think this is a hotel then? Did you see a vacancies sign posted when you came in? Oh no, sir, of course you mustn’t worry if I would be in the least bit put out by the sound of you howlin’ your head off all night long. You were warned about going on that moor, sir, but of course you had to go stomping through it like you owned the place, leaving litter and bits of your friend strewn about for us lot to pick up the next morning.”
A Haunted House!
Located far away from the warmth of town, the run-down, uninhabited house has a reputation for strange noises, disembodied voices wailing in the night… Creaking floorboards and swaying chandeliers… Secret passages with half-unseen, mist-like figures… plus the occasional bleeding wall or thrown bric-a-brac when the inhabitants become angry…
The Rev. Edward Casaubon (RF): “…What? No, I haven’t noticed anything. I think you must be suffering from overly excited and strained mental faculties. But such wild flights of imagination often feature in many ancient cultures and religions, amongst the more credulous who have less advanced methods of critically studying the world. If you’d care to look at my notebook Number 26, you’ll see that I have an extensively detailed set of observations on the phenomenon, cross-indexed with their appearances in the surviving literature…”
Magnus (Admin): “I really thought we were making a connection since I was the only one able to communicate with it via my Ouija Board Game™. But, then it stabbed me in the back, literally I should add, after calling me a nutter. Well, we shall soon be playing a special game of my choosing, but first it must solve the riddle of getting out of this box.”
A mysterious, oblong packing crate arrives at the museum in the dead of night. It’s opened to reveal an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, accompanied by a crumbling scroll of papyrus bearing a big label saying, “BOOK OF THE DEAD. CONTAINS SPELL FOR RAISING THE DEAD. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, READ THIS ALOUD. ESPECIALLY IN ENGLISH.” So of course, someone reads it aloud – probably some hapless archaeology student – followed by the disappearances, one by one, of everyone connected with excavating the tomb, with a shambling, tattered-looking, lurching figure leaving the scenes of the crimes.
Jack Turner (RF): “Smelly fellow in ratty bandages got past security and broke into my office. Didn’t want him scaring Eddie, so I set him alight with my cigar lighter. Went up a treat, almost as nice as that paint factory. Scorched the ceiling and ruined my desk and the rug, so they’ll have to be redone. Bingham’s cleaning up the mess now. He left some treasure behind, you say?”
Chisholm (Admin): “Oh dear, oh dear. We have been through the wars, haven’t we, sir? I don’t suppose you mind telling me what you’re doing in the museum after dark shuffling around these priceless antiquities. Pardon? …… I can’t understand a word he’s saying, Jones. He must not be from around these parts. I bet that Arthur Daley knows exactly who he is, though. …… If you don’t mind coming this way, sir, we’ll pay our mutual friend Mr. Daley a little visit.”