Saturday, October 22, 2011

Of Ghoulies And Ghosties And Long-Leggedy Beasties And Things That Go Bump In The Night...

I love Halloween.
And you might think that I've put it in my Half-Vampire novels, since it would seem so appropriate with vampires and Halloween.  But Eric isn't undead; he's got a genetic condition that makes him crave blood and have semi-translucent skin and nearly-clear retinas.  So neither Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire, nor its sequel, All in the Half-Vampire Family, contains much to do with Halloween. (Okay, the prologue to Half-Vampire does take place at a Halloween party, but it's far from scary.)
That, of course, does not stop me from putting Halloween into my other YA novels.  My WIP (very much on the back burner right now, since every moment of my spare time is spent formatting the POD version of Half-Vamp), The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay, is set during the Halloween season and involves the coolest haunted house set up I could dream up (one I've never heard of before, so I'm going to be irritated if someone else comes up with this before I get the book published!).  And my waiting-for-the-final-revision WIP, Becoming Brigid, most definitely involves Halloween.  In fact, since Brigid is actually the Celtic goddess herself (but she doesn't know it), the original Halloween or the Celtic festival of Samhain plays a huge role in the story.  (Got you interested yet?  Good.  Maybe you'll all want to read Brigid once I can get it published.)
My first experience with Samhain happened when I was living in Scotland in 2004.  One of my programmates at the uni was a born-again pagan from New York, and she got me interested in the Beltane Fire Society and their festivals.  Because of her, I went to both the Samhain and Beltane festivals that year, and my earliest research for Brigid was begun.
So, to put you in a bit of a Samhain mood, to prepare for the end of the year when the veil between the living and the spirit worlds is at its thinnest, let me share with you a few pics I took once upon a Samhain on the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Here the drummers wait to begin the parade.

And what's a parade without horns?

And what's Scotland without a few kilts worn for special occasions?

A Samhain critter or two....

And a few ghosties.....

That's enough for this post.  I'll share a few more tomorrow.
Special thanks to Max, who scanned these old prints for me so I could share them digitally with you.
(Remember to click on the pics to see them full-sized.)


  1. Sounds like you had an interesting time at Uni.

  2. The beak like mask worn by the long haired individual? I'm planning to wear one of those this year. Mine hasn't been decorated and now I'm thinking it needs it.

  3. Shrink -- so glad to have provided you with a bit of inspiration!

  4. Those Scots sure know how to throw a great parade. Here in the "other" London, parades just aren't the same. I so love it when folks totally get into the spirit of the thing, whatever that "thing" happens to be.

  5. Carmi,
    You should see what they do at Beltane!

  6. Did your new age pagan mate regard the festivals like we think of Halloween parties, or was it a religious occasion?

  7. It was religious for her, but that didn't mean it wasn't fun for her anyway.