Have you ever walked past a dark space at midnight? A gaping hole in an empty building, or a shed or cattle store – the wind battering the steel roofs above, rain washing the cobwebby window panes? At such moments, it’s easy to feel the darkness stir and manifest. As you pass, and pick up your pace, icy hands reach out hungrily. Your imagination senses someone waiting inside.

But who’s to say there isn’t someone in there? Like the iceberg, more’s hidden than seen. What’s in there – you ask? Your questing jittery mind wonders as you wander hastily past. A child might see a monster or moving shadow. For adults, it’s more subtle – perhaps a villain, or thief, or a reflection of our other darker self. Echoes and memories of the deeper dark when light fades as daylight diminishes. The time of mist and damp settles in valleys. Dusky lanes cast shapes as the wind rakes the trees bare, their leaves spilling and spinning down as the ghost-horse harbinger of winter gathers pace. At such moments, spirits leak their secrets to any soul caught out alone.

The Washer at the Ford by Roger Garland

Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, the Equinox, call it what you will, is the shift from light to dark leading to the opening of some doors and the subtle closing of others. Portals and gateways. Hidden paths that cross dimensions. The ghostly highwayman riding the Ley Lines to Stonehenge. A time when those souls at rest, yet still restless, can waken, gather, and perhaps reach out to us waiting on the other side. They’ve crossed the bridge beyond the time gates and know what we have yet to learn. Samhain or the Feast of the Dead – there are many names for this time of year. In Ireland you might hear the banshee cry, or on the walls of York see the old dead Duke standing alone, his severed head clutched in his hands. Shadows within shadows. Echoes of memory.

Most of us greet Halloween as a time to have fun. Great for the kids out Trick & Treating. Grown ups too. Dress up and go party, laugh and tell tall spooky tales by a roaring blaze. All that’s terrific, but let’s not forget the deeper, darker meaning. That hidden truth, like the gaping hole concealing something inside. The monster’s name? Our future… What awaits us all beyond the grave? The world fabric thins as October fades into November. A time to think. To steep Light a candle, watch it flicker, burn and dwindle. We are dancers on a ball of gas hurtling through time and space. Everything is possible and nothing forgotten. We are part of the universe, as it lies both Within you and Without you, as George Harrison once sang.

The Shaman – Roger Garland

For me, Halloween is a poignant time. A period to reflect and ponder. I lost my first wife- Rae close by the Hunter’s roving moon, as Halloween crouched a day or so ahead. She loved Autumn, and its strongest moon took her away, freed her from the prison of cancer. I was angry. I wrote Gol a book where cruel people hurt the weak, but love ultimately prevails. I also penned The Haven – a Cornish ghost story for Rae – she so loved spooky yarns.

I’m no longer angry, but believe everything happens for a reason. We dance and fade, like the Candle in the Wind, as Watford Elton sang. Who can measure a time brief as ours? We are but bird song in an oak the hour before lightning strikes it down. We are the desert flower peeping out every three hundred years when the rains pummel sand to clay. We are everything and nothing, spinning through eternity from nowhere to everywhere. Lost and found, seeking and searching. Part of the pattern. Whether you dabble in mysticism or take comfort from religion. Belief, Faith, or mere intuition all hint at who we are. Why we’re here. Halloween reminds us of the gateway. Dare you venture closer and learn more?

eBook Version free on Amazon

Back in 2013, I scribbled out an echo of Halloween vibes. A novella if you like. The Haven has nothing to do with my ongoing fantasy series. Based on one of Rae’s watercolors, it’s a lonely, ghostly yarn, melding present and past, set amidst the North Cornish coast, and focusing on the fragile threads of vengeance, jealousy and loss. But most of all LOVE. The greatest gift we mortals possess. Without love, we are but shadows and dreams. There lies both light and darkness within each of us – twin battling wolves, or dragons. The one you feed the most grows stronger and devours its twin. I choose the light.

The Haven is FREE through Halloween. Grab your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UW3RKG2 Follow poor confused Richard as his world spirals into the deeper dark and her shadow rises to claim his trapped soul. Read the Haven today if you dare! She is out there on the beach at midnight, her hair whipped by rain and storm, the cold bloody knife gripped by white vengeful fingers. Is it you who she waits for …?

Rae on Trundle our canal barge near Cambridge sometime last century

Next month it’s the forthcoming Ansu tale, and more Corin an Fol disasters. Plus a touch of History & Mystery. Take care, enjoy your Halloween fellow Earthlings 🙂